Tuesday, October 16, 2012

2012-2013 Gopher Basketball Player Breakdown


With the season only weeks away, I figured it was time to do a little write up on the team. I’m going to go over each position player as well as each game the team is scheduled to play.


I will give my prediction on what each player will do and also give their “impact on the team” score.


1-3 = Very little

4-6 = Moderate, more if an injury happens.

7-10 = Needed and would be a huge blow if lost.

You won’t really need to spend any time at other sites looking for previews. Alright, that might be a stretch. You should for sure check out Gophersports.com and Gopherhole.com.


Let’s get started.


Maverick Ahanmisi: 6-2, 192, JR

Maverick hasn’t proven much, but he also hasn’t been a bust, contrary to what most people believe. He has started 12 games in his career as a Golden Gopher and has been what he should be; a decent back up.

His stats don’t punch you in the face, but they also don’t make you vomit everywhere. He is averaging 12.1 minutes a game while shooting 36% overall (30% from 3). Not great, but not horrible either. If he played more minutes and only averaged 2.4 points a game, I’d be a little more disgusted.

Prediction for the Season:

He will continue his role as a back up; a deep back up. I’d like to say his numbers will improve, but I just don’t see it happening with the guys ahead of him.

Impact on the Team: 3


Joe Coleman: 6-4, 200, SO

If there was ever a guy on this team that seemed to be hit or miss last season, it was Coleman. One minute he looked like a true, inexperienced freshman; the next, a budding star looking to take over the B1G.

Not getting his first start until the B1G season, Joe was slow to get going. He averaged 5.8 points in 19 minutes of play. He shot a nice 44% from the field and had his struggles at the line shooting only 73%. His 3 rebounds a game were a nice addition.

Prediction for the Season:

Joe could see more time starting this year. Or he could be a great 6th man. Either way, I see him being more of the guy we saw that looked like a star. If his shot has improved and the game has slowed down, look for Joe to be a big factor.

Impact on the Team: 7


Wally Ellenson: 6-4, 200, FR

Can someone say sleeper pick up? No? Well I will. This kid is coming in to a great situation. He has guys in front of him so he doesn’t need to be a starter right away. Can he be one? Sure, I think so.

The Gophers have lacked a real outside threat since Blake left and Wally might just be the guy to fit that role. Oh, and he can get to the rack.

Prediction for the Season:

I hope I’m right when I say Wally will have an impact on this team. I see him being a sharp shooter that comes into the game when the Gophs go big (Eliason, Mbakwe, Williams) and stretches the court. If he does indeed redshirt, you can ignore all of this…

Impact on the Team: 5


Andre Hollins: 6-1, 200, SO

When I think about Andre, I think about what could have been. If this kid would have started last year I think we would have been in the dance. But the injury bug and Welch prevented that from happening. However, when both of those things feel to the side, we saw a star being born right before our eyes.

He is quick, has a smooth shot and can get into the lane with ease. Not to mention his free throw % is outstanding. Plus, playing with his brother Austin must be fun. What’s that? They aren’t brothers? Oh, but ESPN and CBS always say they are. I guess I’ll have to take your word for it.

Prediction for the Season:

He could be, and this may be a stretch, B1G player of the year. Now, he will have some stiff competition no doubt, but I feel he is up for the challenge. And if the Gophers somehow finish in the upper 4 teams in the conference, those chances get even better. I love this kid and I think he could be the sole reason we land Tyus Jones. If Tubby lets Andre do his thing, Tyus will see that you can indeed flourish here.

Impact on the Team: 10


Austin Hollins: 6-4, 185, JR

Silky Smooth Hollins is what I call him. I suggest you do the same. This kid has impressed me from the minute I saw him play. He works hard on defense, has great court presence and has gotten better with each and every game of his career.

He is starting to get a little more swagger and attitude on the court, which I enjoy. He is becoming deadly from beyond the arch and that is something this team needs badly.

Prediction for the Season:

Silky Smooth could step up to be the unspoken captain of this team. He is a good example of how to play the game and is a role model off the court. I look for him to shine early and often. He, no doubt, will be the reason we win a lot of games. He will be forced to shut down a lot of the top offensive players on other teams. He won’t even blink at the challenge.

Impact on the Team: 10


Kendal Shell: 6-0, 190, SO

Umm, this think is already getting lengthy. I hear he is good at being the first guy off the bench to slap the guys on the back…

Prediction for the Season:

His hand will get sore early and often.

Impact on the Team: 1


Julian Welch: 6-3, 195, SR

Oh Julian. How I both love and hate you at the same time. From missed free throws in big spots, to hitting 3’s in clutch situations; I don’t know if I can take the up’s and down’s. I think I might start calling you Sour Patch Kid.

Although I give JW crap, I do think he has a role on this team and is needed. He can shoot well from pretty much anywhere on the court and seems to be getting into better shape which should help is slow feet on D.

Prediction for the Season:

If Andre wasn’t on this team, my prediction would be drastically different. Welch will come off the bench and that’s how it should be. He should be a solid leader on the floor with the second unit and that is something you can’t sneeze at. With the hockey subs Tubby runs, Welch will be looked upon as somewhat of a second captain.

Impact on the Team: 6



Charles Buggs: 6-8, 198, FR

Did anyone see this guy at “Gopher All-Star Friday Night”? If you didn’t, you missed out. He flat out put on a show. Buggs has great size and can fly like Rodney. He can shoot better than Rodney too.

I wasn’t so sure about his signing at first, but after seeing him I think he will be needed more so next year, but still some this year. He really does appear to be an RW33 clone. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Prediction for the Season:

There has been talk about him redshirting, but I don’t see it. Tubby will get a lot of use out of Chuck and will be happy that he did. I’m picking Buggs as my sleeper to start at some point this season. It maybe be due to Rodney needing a wake up call, or it could be to just throw a new look at someone.

Impact on the Team: 5


Chris Halvorsen: 6-8, 214, JR

See Kendal Shell…


Andre Ingram: 6-7, 213, SR

I was pleasantly surprised with Mr. Ingram last year. When Trevor went down he needed to step up; for the most part, he did. Minus a few missed dunks here and there, he did an admirable job.

He provides good size inside, just needs to get those hands a little softer. It’s like he replaced his hands with Fred Flintstones feet.

Prediction for the Season:

I say this with respect, but I hope we barely see AI this year. He is a bench guy and shouldn’t really see the court that often. If he does, that either means someone is hurt or isn’t playing very well.

Impact on the Team: 5


Trevor Mbakwe: 6-8, 245, 18th Year SR

A DUI? Really Trev, what were you thinking? I really hope this doesn’t come back to bite you in the ass. Trevor has the chance to be something special for this team. He provides something the Gophers haven’t seen since….well, his first year actually playing here.

As we found out last year, we need him. If his knee doesn’t give out and his liver doesn’t beg for booze, he could right there in the battle for B1G player of the year. I want to write more, but I’m a little disgusted with the guy right now.

Prediction for the Season:

He will be a beast. He will average a double/double and his draft stock will grow with each and every win the Gophers get. Look for him to be on a mission early and often. Advice to anyone standing under the rim when he dunks….get a Rip Hamilton mask; you are going to need it.

Impact on the Team: 10


Oto Osenieks: 6-8, 205, SO

“Oto”matic wasn’t really that last year. He seemed to be stuck in neutral. I like what he did inside last year, in fact in surprised me. I thought he would just float around the perimeter all season, but that wasn’t the case. Thank god.

I don’t know if it was just nerves or what, but he couldn’t shot at all. He was lights out in the videos posted when we signed him. Not sure what happened to that guy, but he has to come back in a hurry.

Prediction for the Season:

I think Oto does indeed find his stroke and his place on this team. If we can pair him up with Wally on the wings that could be a very nice combination. Not pepperoni/mushroom nice, but nice. Look for big things from Oto this year.

Impact on the Team: 6


Maurice Walker: 6-10, 289, SO

There really isn’t much to say about Mo right now. I think there will be more words in this breakdown of him than minutes he has actually played for the Gophers.

Walker could be a big part of this team….I think. If he can stay healthy he might be a HUGE part of the deep bench Tubby has.

Prediction for the Season:

I hope that he stays healthy and gets a full year in. If not, maybe it’s time we cut ties with him and open up the scholarship for someone else. I think Mo will once again get bit by the injury bug and won’t be here by the end of the year. It truly pains me to say that.

Impact on the Team: 3


Rodney Williams: 6-7, 200, SR

Say it isn’t so. Why does Rodney have to leave? I feel in love with RW33 when I saw him play for Cooper. He was big and took over the game with ease. Now I know that didn’t translate his first season with the Gophers, but he has progressed; in a big way.

Rodney became the leader I always though he could be, last year. He was in players faces, leading by example and seeing the team grow right along with him.

Prediction for the Season:

If Tubby is smart and keeps Rodney at the 4. Look out. He will exceed what he did last year and will be known on the national stage. He will no longer be a projected 2nd round draft pick. He will be joining Trevor in the green room come draft time.

Impact on the Team: 10+




Elliott Eliason: 6-11, 260, SO

Colt who? Remember when people were saying that Colt was a great center? He was, on this team, but EE trumps him by a mile. This isn’t meant to be a shot at Colt, it’s meant to show my respect for Eliason.

The lumbering big man from Chadron, NE really impressed me last year. He was a force inside and played great defense.

Prediction for the Season:

I don’t think EE starts and that’s not his fault. It’s hard to start a kid over 2 seniors (Trev, Rod) that are great players. I do see him spelling time for Trev and doing a damn good job of it. His numbers and minutes may be down, but the experience he will gain playing behind those two will be immeasurable.

Impact on the Team: 8


That’s it for player breakdowns. Look for my season breakdown and game predictions coming soon.

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