Morning Five: 01.25.11 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on January 25th, 2011

  1. You may have heard that Wisconsin destroyed Northwestern by thirty points on Sunday afternoon in Evanston.  But did you also hear that a little-known freshman named Josh Gasser pulled a trip-dub (10 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists) for the first time in Badger history?  Well, he did.  The 6’3 guard came into the game averaging only 5/4/3 APG, but he put together a fantastic all-around floor game that day which represented the first triple-double by a Big Ten freshman since a guy named Earvin “Magic” Johnson announced his presence to the world at Michigan State in 1977.  Considering the number of phenomenal players who have passed through that league in the interim, that’s rather impressive.
  2. The San Diego Union-Tribune ran an article over the weekend discussing all of the inherent disadvantages that hometown school San Diego State suffers in comparison to other schools in the top ten in America.  Or the top fifty.  Maybe even the top 100.  Whether facilities, coaching salaries, guarantee games or charter flights, SDSU pales when matched up versus the other basketball powerhouses.  The good thing about sports, though, is that games are won on the court, not in the conference room (although we’d be foolish to suggest those things are unimportant).
  3. If you thought it was a little funny that The Jimmer seems to do most of his big-time damage on the road (or, at least, away from home), BiaH broke down Fredette’s season splits and ultimately concludes that he’s got some serious stones that enjoys stepping up in the face of adversity.  We’re always reminded of the old Larry Bird trick where he would show up at NBA All-Star Weekend’s Three-Point Contest still wearing his warmup jersey: OK, fellas, who’s playing for second?  That kind of mentality seems to be woven into the DNA of all the great shooters (Reggie Miller; Steve Kerr; etc.).
  4. This Thomas Robinson story is simply tragic.  His mother, all of 37 years old, died of a heart attack on Friday night, and the Kansas sophomore found out about it when his 9-year old sister called him because she didn’t know what else to do.  That horrific news, of course, came on the heels of the deaths of two of Robinson’s grandparents in the last month, presenting a question of what will now happen to his younger sister without a family guardian to raise her.  Robinson has already headed home to Washington, DC, to be with his sibling, and the rest of the team will play Colorado tonight before chartering to DC on Friday for the funeral services of Lisa Robinson.  There’s really no right way to handle these sorts of things, but the team solidarity that Kansas is showing in support of their teammate seems genuine and heartfelt, and we here at RTC applaud them for it.
  5. If it’s not one thing, it’s another for the Minnesota Gophers this season.  Tubby Smith revealed during his weekly teleconference that his point guard Al Nolen, the same player who missed the entire spring semester last year, will miss as few as four weeks and as much as the rest of the season again because he needs surgery to repair a bone in his left foot.  This is potentially a huge blow to the 15-4 (4-3) Gophers, as Nolen provides a steady influence and defense in addition to his 8/4/4 APG.  Smith’s depth at the perimeter is especially thin this year, as Devoe Joseph (last year’s replacement) transferred last month, leaving Minnesota with a couple of freshman guards to withstand the rigors of Big Ten play.
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