Author: Eric Angevine


Mathieu likely to claim Gophers’ point guard spot

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If you were looking forward to a backcourt of Hollins & Hollins at Minnesota this season, it’s starting to look unlikely.

According to Amelia Rayno of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 5-foot-9 juco transfer Deandre Mathieu has claimed a starting slot for the Gophers.

Deandre Mathieu should be the Gophers’ starting point guard,” Rayno wrote. “After a single exhibition game and a public scrimmage, I think it’s apparent. With Mathieu in the lineup, the Gophers simply seem faster, more efficient and more dynamic.”

That means 6-foot-2 Andre Hollins can slide over to the off-guard spot and spend a little more time attacking, and 6-foot-4 Austin Hollins can play the wing. The three-guard look fits very well with the aggressive tempo favored by first-year Minnesota head man Richard Pitino.

One area he needs to improve in order to fully claim the job is maintain that intensity. Pitino pointed to Mathieu as the one player he thought looked visibly tired as the game went on. Playing with such vigor and aggressiveness takes a lot of energy. More conditioning will surely be in store.

Minnesota was picked to finish ninth in the Big Ten in the preseason media poll, which would be a lot worse if there actually were ten schools in the league. If the Gophers are to move up, the Mathieu experiment will have to pay big dividends, and quickly.


UConn’s Daniels is prepping for a breakout season

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It’s easy to imagine that all athletes are extroverts who enjoy the limelight, but it’s not always a fair assumption. Take UConn’s DeAndre Daniels, for instance. According to a recent article in the Hartford Courant, the junior forward’s struggle to assert himself on the court mirrors his reluctance to stand out in his personal life.

The newspaper spoke to Daniels’ roomate, Ryan Boatright:

Said Boatright: “He’s done an unbelievable job at becoming outspoken. When I first met him, man, he was so quiet. He literally stared at his phone all day. He didn’t say two words all day. I’m sure he’ll be the one to tell you, we’ve been living together three years, he acts exactly like me now. K.O. will probably say, ‘You’ve been around Boat too much, you’re talking too much.'”

For Daniels, the words simply followed the results, and experience. “It’s just more confidence in myself,” he said. “Talking to K.O., that’s the main thing he’s telling me to do. Just talk. Talk on defense. Once you step between the lines, your personality has got to change. That’s what I’ve been focusing on.”

K.O. would be head coach Kevin Ollie, of course.

I like Daniels’ message: don’t change who you are at heart, just find you equilibrium. Talk when you need to talk.

With all of the stories about kids struggling to grow into their roles and act with maturity during their college sports careers, it’s nice to hear about a coach, player and his teammates finding some balance and learning from one another.

Hey, Linus! Marcus Lee is the Great Pumpkin! (PHOTO)


Halloween is over, but I’m not quite ready to let go yet.

The Sporting News published some awesome photos of current DI players in their childhood Halloween costumes this week, and one in particular tickled my funny bone for some reason. There were photos of young Sam Dekker as a cowboy, Iowa’s Roy Devyn Marble as Barry Sanders, and Georges Niang looking like Jake Lamotta, but it was Marcus Lee in the pumpkin patch that caught my eye:

Marcus Lee was an orange roundie for Halloween one year. (photo courtesy Sporting News)

With a figure like that, it’s a wonder Lee didn’t end up at Syracuse, hanging out with Otto the Orange.