- I am wearing an Omaha Mavericks short sleeve shirt over a Nebraska Cornhuskers long sleeve shirt. Admit it, I am your boss.
- I really feel like the Mavs can win this game. I don’t like saying it out loud because anyone will assume I am just bein a homer when I say it. Omaha is capable of winning this game, and South Dakota State is capable of beating Minnesota when they play them later on this season.
- Does Rick Pitino ever blame his son for the problems that the Boston Celtics had when he was running the team and ruining a part of my childhood?
- I really wanted to listen to the women’s game on the radio, but I could not understand one word that was said. It sounds as if the broadcast is coming from a shed 3 miles from the arena.
- Hey, ESPN3 froze on me at the first media timeout. I blame Richard Pitino for this.
- Is home court advantage not as big for Minnesota when Omaha has a few Minnesotans on the team, and they got a Thanksgiving dinner at the home of one of the players last night? They get the feeling of family on an away game, that cannot hurt, right?
- I do not think Minnesota is all that great. I find it offensive that they were preseason ranked higher than Nebraska.
- I’m drinking a delicious coffee from Starbucks at the moment. Their holiday cup fiasco was made up, right? Probably even made up by them. How can I prove it? Damn it, I cant.
- Daniel Meyer is looking really active in his short amount of time right now, and Tim Smallwood just looks intense.
- At the 8 minute media timeout, I can turn on the Nebraska game. I can definitely mute the Nebraska game as they put the worst possible group of commentators that they could find.
- It sort of sounds as if there are more Omaha fans than Minnesota fans at this game. You can hear them when Omaha does anything good, but you cannot find them.
- Jake White, Zach Jackson, Devin Patterson, and Tim Smallwood all have 2 fouls in the first half; and the Mavericks are ahead by 1.
- I am actually kind of angry right now because The Paul Finebaum Show is listed on ESPN3 that someone must watch and be entertained by. I’ve never tuned into the Paul Finebaum show, but I assume it’s just him in front of the camera constantly sending his meal back from Outback because his medium rare steak is too red. Then he spells out “SEC” in his ketchup.
- Over to the Nebraska game: Tommy Armstrong throws an interception on a play action pass. Never seen that before.
- I am pretty pumped for Nebraska and Oregon to play football over the next two years. One thing I am excited for is going to Oregon and seeing how many Nebraska fans buy up tickets from all of the Oregon bandwagon fans that usually just go for a free t-shirt or some crap. I brought this up to my wife, an avid Oregon fan, she actually thought that should play out to be an interesting scenario.
- My father-in-law is not a bandwagon Oregon fan. He is the guy that will set up an Oregon bar in Minnesota just so he could have a bar to guarantee himself a good place to watch an Oregon game when he is in town visiting family. If I ever somehow got him to go to an Omaha-North Dakota hockey game (he is originally from North Dakota), he would only go if the big screen in the arena had an Oregon game on the screen. He would somehow find his way to the arena staff and seriously demand it. My father-in-law currently resides in North Dakota…I send him tidbits of Omaha hockey to argue with North Dakota hockey fans at the local pubs there to anger them. You’re welcome.
- Earlier in the game, the commentators were commenting how great Omaha’s passing is. Every pass is a bounce pass, and not some pass thrown up at some guy’s face.
- Jake White hit his second 3 of the game. So far the only basket he has missed, he got the offensive rebound himself and put it back up for a score.
- Jake White picks up his 3rd foul, I am incredibly curious how long they can keep him on the bench with Minnesota picking up a little steam right now. He’s hot today, he’s needed out on the court.
- You know what is better than a Hollins-to-Thurman alley oop? Nothing.
- Jake White gets stabbed in the face. My wife drops the F bomb, and loudly. It’s an extreme coincidence though, she was just reacting to Oregon State being up 7-0 on Oregon. This reminds me: If anyone has Intro to Gerontology and your professor is a 5 foot tall 29 year old woman, can you just yell out “Mark Helfrich sucks” or “Chuck Bass has a douche face.” That professor will think you are the coolest student to ever take a class.
- I have the Nebraska game on mute, but I can tell the refs are messing it up.
- Are we sure Richard Pitino is the coach? His no tie or jacket look makes it feel like he’s the terrible cousin that no one likes that showed up to the family dinner when they were not invited. He wasn’t invited because of his love of strippers from Kentucky. Too far?
- The play with Hollins getting the ball to White near the free throw line and then White getting the ball to a cutting Thurman was fantastic. White and Thurman each only have one assist, but they are making some good passes today. Big men that can pass are never bad pieces to have on a basketball team. No one complains about it. It might really bum out Richard Pitino actually.
- Jake White hits his third three of the game, and Omaha immediately takes a timeout as they are down 78-80. The Gopher fans could not be more pissed right now. 4 1/2 minutes to go in the game and the commentators finally just put it together that White is from the state or Minnesota. White is the Gopher Killer right now.
- Jake White fouls out and you can tell he is just furious. He played with great intensity today. He was a warrior out there that put the Mavericks on his back when he was on the court today. This new Jake White 2.0 is fantastic. This is the version we were hoping for last year that was slowed down with every injury imaginable it seemed. White could have gone for 40 today.
- Two shirts for myself may have been a poor choice.
- The video quality turned to absolute crap with 45 seconds to go and the audio stopped. That’s swell.
- I think I may throw up from the stress.
- There were a few moments when the game was close in a few different situations where guys wanted to take poor shots and be the hero. It was just a few, but guys can learn from that…I hope.
- Tra-Deon Hollins puts this team on an entirely different level. He does not need to score to take control of the game. Hollins can give you 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals whenever he wants. The Mavs have not had a player like that yet. His 9 assists are the most for any Maverick against a power conference school.
2015-2016 opponent preview, Game 5: Minnesota Gophers
I am sitting here looking at the basketball schedule and many things go through my mind as I see the Minnesota Gophers.
- Minnesota is only about 6 hours away
- The state of Minnesota is known for Juicy Lucys, and no one here in Omaha has really perfected it
- The Mavericks played the Gophers pretty close when these two teams met in 2013
- The Mavericks have 3 players from the state of Minnesota
- Could this game be on the Big 10 Network?
- Am I the only one who thinks Richard Pitino is a little overrated?
- Do we have a shot here?
- This will be the Gophers first game back after a trip to Puerto Rico
- UNO Hockey plays Ohio State the same day basketball plays Minnesota, and possibly at the same time?
- Minnesota has not lost a true home game against a Mid Major team since 2006…they were really bad in 2006-2007
- Does the internet have enough Minnesota Gophers/Caddyshack memes?
The first thing I want to ask myself when I see this schedule is: Should I make the trip?
As noted above, Minnesota is not a difficult drive unless the weather is not cooperating. I debate several times a year for a reason to go up to Minneapolis. While it is only a 6 hour drive, probably less even, it would feel even longer as I would sit in excitement like I am Buddy the Elf impatiently waiting for Christmas. I would be thinking of that first sweet bite of bliss as I bite into a Jucy Lucy burger, and the idea that the Mavericks could potentially pull off this upset.
A few scheduling conflicts that come to my mind are; the Nebraska-Iowa football game; and the UNO hockey game against Ohio State. Since the game time of the Mavericks at Minnesota has yet to be posted*, it is tricky to determine if I could make the trip, listen to the football game on the radio during the drive and watch the hockey game from Minnesota or listen to it on the radio on the drive back. So many burning questions that need to be answered.
Could this game be on the Big 10 Network?*
The last time the Mavericks and Gophers faced off, the game was played on BTN. My wife and I had a few friends over, for something actually completely unrelated, so I definitely had the game going on in the background. Turning on the game we thought the game could get ugly, but it was ugly for Minnesota in the beginning. A friend of mine, who did not and still does not pay attention to the Mavericks, but he is a big college basketball fan (he is a Husker fan, it’s cool). He was completely impressed with the shooting of the Mavericks.
At first, I thought the game could get out of hand, as Justin Simmons was slowed by injury. My friend and I were completely surprised by the shooting of Alex Phillips that game. Every time the Mavericks needed a 3, Phillips showed no fear taking it. With no prior experience watching the Mavericks, my friend thought Phillips was the star of the team. Phillips (along with Caleb Steffensmeier and Matt Hagerbaumer) really brought energy and experience off the bench for that Mavericks team. The Mavericks do not have that same dynamic this season, but hopefully seniors Randy Reed and Tim Smallwood could bring the experience, and new guards Tra-Deon Hollins and JT Gibson can bring the energy.
I just realized how I got off track here. Anyway, the game was on BTN, there was drama to that game, could the network pick up the Mavericks-Gophers again for a live broadcast?
*So I looked it up after typing all of this out. The game time is currently not posted on omavs.com, but the game is listed as a 2 pm start time on ESPN3 on the Gophers’ website. With that in mind, 2 pm brings up a few different scenarios of stuff to do.
If DJs Dugout or Dudley’s Pizza could stream the game, this could create a watch party at either place, and create for great pre gaming for the hockey game against Ohio State…nice.
Or yes, one could drive to Minnesota listening to the Husker game on the radio, go to the basketball game, and then hopefully watch or listen to the hockey game on the radio. That is a big day.
OR, your significant other could throw a big wrench in your plans and tell you that you have to put up Christmas decorations all day and you have an event with your in-laws because you did something with your family on Thanksgiving.
Do the Mavericks have a chance?
So after checking out what most Big 10 beat writers had to say, almost every single one had Minnesota ranked 11th in the Big 10 in the incredibly worthless “Way too early rankings.” Much of this is based on the fact that the Gophers had big expectations for 2014-2015, but instead they came in 10th and failed to make the post season. With that in mind, the Gophers lost their two leading scorers, most of their experience, and they will be a pretty young team this season with 6 freshman and 4 sophomores. They also have two juniors that transferred into the program but will be sitting out during the 2015-2016 season.
The Gophers do not have much talent in their post game, as the two juniors that are sitting out after transferring are basically a bulk of their talent in the post. The Gophers do have 6’9″ senior Joey King, who could pose a threat to the Mavericks, but King does play more like a guard with literally half of his field goals made in 2014-2015 being three point field goals. King only averaged 3 rebounds per game in his junior season, and has only had a total of 11 games with 5 or more rebounds in his entire three year career between Minnesota and Drake. While King is mostly a threat on offense, and the Gophers lack an inside presence, the Mavericks could feel comfortable with forwards Jake White and Tre’Shawn Thurman to guard King on the outside, as both appear comfortable stepping out and playing defense.
The biggest threat the Gophers have is 6’5″ senior Carlos Morris, who can do a little bit of everything, averaging 11 ppg, 3 rpg, 2 apg, and 2 spg in his junior season while shooting 45% from the field and 36% on threes. The scariest thing to think about is who the Mavericks will use to guard Morris. Could Minnesota go with Morris at the 4 with their lack of size? If so, look to Thurman and/or Randy Reed to try and contain Morris in this one.
While Minnesota had a decent recruiting class and signed two talented point guards, their young guards are going to have to go up against seniors Devin Patterson, Marcus Tyus, and Smallwood; as well as junior Tra-Deon Hollins. Patterson loves these games against the bigger schools. A stat that I love to bring up is that in 5 career games against Power 6 teams, Patterson has averaged 16.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.6 spg, and shot 55 % from the field and 35% on threes. Tyus has shot 52% from the field and 48% on threes in 9 career games against Power 6 teams.
Please note that if these figures seem off as compared to earlier posts (assuming you have actually read any of these posts), it is because I realized I forgot to include Kansas State into those figures earlier.
Not to mention the Mavericks were scaring the crap out of Gopher fans for about 30 minutes of the game the last time these two teams played. That Maverick team had a little bit of a different look, but actually so do the Gophers with only one player (King) that played in that game. Patterson and Tyus combined for 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists in that game.
With the Mavericks having seniors Jake White and Marcus Tyus*, along with freshman JT Gibson, looking to have big games in front of their home state fans, the Mavericks will more than likely be looking to work harder to push on for a win against the Gophers. Out of the three games the Mavericks have this season against power conference teams, this could be the Mavericks best chance at getting an upset. I say that without even really getting into Missouri yet. This is what is making it difficult to pass up a chance to make the drive to see the Mavericks take on Minnesota.
* I just realized that I am not even 100% sure that Marcus Tyus will be back and ready at this point. I just kind of assumed, because there was actually (minimal) debate of him playing in Italy.
I am not saying it is a guarantee that the Mavericks will win this game. I am not Paul Finebaum claiming that the SEC football teams will go 56-0 in non-conference play because God spent days 8 to 13 creating what we now know as SEC football. I am saying the game should at least be entertaining, and that the Mavericks do have a chance to win this game if they play big. Seriously though, imagine how crazy the UNO Maverick Maniacs would be at a Ohio State-Omaha hockey game hours after a Omaha win at Minnesota. We are talking villagers storming Dr. Frankenstein’s house crazy.