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Gophers continue to win

The Minnesota men’s basketball team is off to a 3-0 start after cruising by Central Michigan 77-59 at Williams Arena Saturday night. It’s the first time the team can claim a three-game winning streak since the start of the 2005-2006 season.

I was not covering the game for the Daily, as I was home in Milwaukee for Thanksgiving with my family. Since I wasn’t at the game, I had to find out the juicy details of the game by reading the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press. I usually do this anyway to compare myself to the two professional beat writers covering the team, but I found a few things interesting this time around in terms of the way Myron Medcalf of the Strib and Marcus Fuller of the Pioneer Press covered the game.

Medcalf decided to focus on how sloppy the game was, how the Gophers had 24 turnovers and looked, at times, like the 9-22 team of a season ago. Fuller, while still mentioning how sloppy the Gophers looked, decided to focus on the different starting lineups coach Tubby Smith has been putting on the floor to start each of Minnesota’s first three games. He referenced the number of starting lineups last season (16) used under the guidance of Dan Monson and Jim Molinari and how those lineup changes didn’t produce wins (only 9), but Smith’s adjustments have left the team undefeated thus far.

Both men got to the main point in their stories, that is that the Gophers are undefeated but still have work to do to become an elite team, but it was interesting to see how each went with vastly different angles in their leads.
From both accounts, it is clear Minnesota has to take better care of the basketball.

With the team traveling to Tallahase, Fla. to face Florida State Tuesday night, we will all certainly get to see how much the team has improved its ballhandling in a few short days as the Seminoles are a quick, athletic, veteran squad that will take the ball away from the Gophers if they aren’t careful.