Monday, November 4, 2013

Player of the Day November 1-7, 2013

Thurs., Nov. 7--Concordia (St. Paul) men 85 St. John's 71

This is more like it. DII is supposed to beat DIII and that's just was the Golden Bears did, beating the Johnnies by 14 in St. Paul. Concordia didn't dominate anything, but they out-played St. John's just a little bit in most aspects of the game. Mostly they out-shot 'em 47 percent to 45 and 56 percent to 27 from long-range.

Player of the Day--Terez Van Pelt, Concordia (St. Paul) men 22 points 4 assists 2 steals. Coach of the Day--Jim Smith, St. John's, now in his 50th year at Collegeville. I know he didn't win, I just think he's a better coach than Kelly Boe.

Wed., Nov. 6--St. Thomas women 66 St. Cloud State 56

Ruth Sinn and her #5-rated, defending MIAC champions from St. Thomas are rarin' to go into 2013-2104 after an exhibition win over DII St. Cloud State 66-56. The Tommies opened with a flurry to go ahead 13-3 and despite a few back and forth's, that's how it ended, a 10-point game. The Tommies may have found a new star as sophomore point guard Katie Stone hit 3 3s and finished 11 points. Kelly Brandenburg and Maggie Weiers scored 10 each for the Tommies, while Jessica Benson scored 20 and Sam Price 3 3s and 13 points for St. Cloud.

Player of the Day--Taylor Young, St. Thomas women 16 points. Coach of the Day--Ruth Sinn, St. Thomas women.

Mon., Nov. 4--Minnesota Gopher men 101 Concordia (St. Paul) 67

I missed Rick Pitino's exhibition opener, a 79-57 win over Cardinal Stritch but now in game 2 of the Pitino era, things look better. Here is Pitino's rotation so far, accounting just for the "major" minutes.

C--Eliason 14.5 minutes Walker 20
F-- Osenieks 15.5 King 22.5
PG-- Mathieu 22 Ahanmisi 14.5
SG1-- Andre 23.5 Ellenson 12
SG2-- Austin 21 Smith 19

Key stats would include:

C-- Eliason 6.5ppg 4reb 5/5FG Walker 13ppg 9reb 12/17FG. Walker has been more productive offensively but Eliason is a more advanced defensive player. In a Big Ten context, this is not going to be a strength, but it might not be a weakness.

F-- Osenieks 5ppg 4.5reb 4/11FG King 11,5ppg 3reb 10/17FG. At this rate, King will be starting soon and Oto's minutes may start to diminish any time now. OTOH Oto was much better in game 2 than game 1. Even so King looks like he belongs at high D1 for now. The Gophers are exceptionally lucky to have him after Tubby ignored him the first time around. Depth is a problem unless Oto gets it together.

PG-- Mathieu 9.5ppg 8asts 7/13FG Ahanmisi 6ppg 2.5asts but also 2.5TO. A true point who has fully 40 percent of the Gophers assists so far. He should help the Hollinses to be more productive on offense by relieving them of primary ball-handling duties. Ahanmisi is an acceptable back-up despite what some people say.

SGs-- Andre 13.5ppg 2 asts 10/19FG Austin 12.5ppg 1.5asts 10/19FG Smith 6.5ppg 3.5reb 4/9FG Ellenson 5ppg 2reb 4/6FG. Pretty solid here.

Player of the Day--DeAndre Mathieu, Minnesota Gopher men 12 its 6 reb 7 acts 4 stls 3 TO 5/7FG. Coach of the Day: Rick Pitino, Minnesota Gopher men

Sun., Nov. 3--Minnesota Timberwolves 109 New York Knicks 100

Say what? Another surprising win!? Already? The season is just three games old and the T-Wolves are already two games ahead of expectations. The real score was, well, 109-100, don't get all melodramatic. But another real story, let's say, is this: Kevin Love 34 Carmelo Anthony 22. The Knicks outscored the Wolves from the field 40 FG to 35, both teams shooting about 44-45 percent. But the Wolves got to the FT line 38 times to just 13 for the Knicks--Love 15 times, Anthony 5--and that, as they say, was the old ball game. It didn't hurt that the Wolves led 40-19 after one period. The Knicks closed to within 100-98 but Kevin Martin scored four of his 30 points to put it away.

Player of the Day--Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves. Coach of the Day--Rick Adelman, Minnesota Timberwolves.

Sat, Nov. 2--Minnesota Gopher women 69 Minnesota State Moorhead 54

The Gophers pulled away from a 35-34 half-time lead to defeat the Dragons, who look for all the world like a contender for the NSIC title this year. What might have happened had Moorhead guard Haley Thomforde hit more than 2-of-17 shots? But Rachel Banham scored 21 for Minnesota, with five assists. Freshman post had 14 points and 12 boards. Sari Noga and Micaella Riche scored 11 and 10. Shayne Mullaney was the fifth starter. Freshmen Joanna Hedstrom (19 minutes) and Stabresa McDaniel (13)  are already in the rotation ahead of sophomores Mikayla Bailey (9) and Kayla Hirt (8), and Jackie Johnson, who played sparingly a year ago as a freshman, has also leapfrogged Bailey and Hirt with 20 minutes last night.

Player of the Day--Rachel Banham, Minnesota  Gopher women, 21 points. Coach of the Day--Karla Nelson, Minnesota State Moorhead.

Fri., Nov. 1--Minnesota Timberwolves 100 Oklahoma City Thunder 81

What a turnaround. Two nights after beating a mediocre Orlando team at home in OT, the Timberwolves brought their A+ game tonight, jumping out to a 34-19 lead after one period, and 88-60 after three, and hammering the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-81.

Sure, OKC was without Russell Westbrook. But, hey, they (primarily Corey Brewer) also held Kevin Durant, who scored 42 the other night, to just 13 points.

For the Wolves, Kevin Love led again with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Nikola Pekovic, who got badly outplayed against Orlando, bounced back to score 15 with 10 rebound and 4 turnovers. Ricky Rubio had 14 points, 10 assists.

Player of the Day--Cory Brewer, Minnesota Timberwolves, for his defense of Kevin Durant. Coach of the Day--Rick Adelman, Minnesota Timberwolves.

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