A Gopher Basketball Fan in Press Row: 2011-2012, Oh, What Could Have Been!

Ken SmithContributor IJanuary 27, 2012

Royce Looks Better As A Gopher
Royce Looks Better As A Gopher

Now, I’m not normally one to live in the past or play the “what if” game. All it does is bring me down. I don't need any more Sports Tears In My Beer. But with the way this Gopher season has gone, I couldn’t help it. Although the team isn’t horrible now by any means, it could be, or least had the potential to be, amazing.

Let’s look at what most likely would have been the Gophers starting line-up this year if these kids never left. WARNING: This is a big “what if” write up, so take it with a grain of salt.

The “What If” Team:

Devoe Joseph (14.6 PPG/2.6 APG)

Austin Hollins (8.4 PPG/2.0 APG)

Royce White (13.4 PPG/9.6 RPG)

Rodney Williams (10.9 PPG/5.8 RPG)

Trevor Mbakwe (14.0 PPG/9.1 RPG)

That is a 61.3 points scored a game on average team.


Compare that to:


The “Current” Team.

Julian Welch (10.6 PPG/2.6 APG)

Austin Hollins (8.4 PPG/2.0 APG)

Joe Coleman (6.1 PPG/2.1 PPG)

Rodney Williams (10.9 PPG/5.8 RPG)

Ralph Sampson (8.4 PPG/4.9 RPG)

This team only averages 44.4 points a game. A -16.9 point differential.


I don’t know about you, but scoring almost 17 points more a game on average sounds pretty damn good to me.

Now, I know a lot of people say that Tubby can’t recruit, but I’m not buying it. He has had some big name kids here. Granted, they haven’t all stayed, but he did bring them here. Is that his fault? Maybe, but we will never know for sure why some left.

Also, I don’t want people to think I’m down on the team that is currently here, I’m not at all. I’m as big a Gopher Homer as there comes, so I will stick behind the kids that are here 100 percent. It just breaks this Gopher fan’s heart to think of the team we could have had.

Not only would you have that starting five from the “what if” team on the court; you would also have an amazing bench that consisted of Justin Cobbs, Andre Hollins, Joe Coleman, Mo Walker, Colten Iverson and Ralph Sampson III.

And seeing how Tubby likes to “hockey sub,” that’s not a bad second line.

Andre Ingram, Maverick Ahanmisi and Oto Osenieks would most likely be the odd men out. But I don’t think any of us would be all that upset if that were the case. Not that they are bad players, the other guys are just that much better.

Would the “what if” team win more games? No one knows, but I would bet my hard earned money on it.

Again, I know Trevor is hurt so it is hard to really make the comparison, but I’m just going off what I think would have been the starting five at the beginning of the season if all those guys were here.

On paper, if guys wouldn’t have left, they had everything needed to make a run at a B1G championship and go dancing on a yearly basis.

I’m getting fired up just thinking about how great this team could have been if everyone would have stayed. It’s really a slap in the face of Tubby to see these kids, who he really wanted to help out, go off and blow up.

Also, writing this makes me think about how mature Trevor really is. He could have left and I don’t think we would have blamed him, but he stayed. He stayed and played great. Hell, the kid, sorry, man, is thinking about coming back next year if allowed.

Why couldn’t he have slapped some sense into the others?

So there it is. My “what if” take on the season that could have been. Was it fun reading it? Yeah? Well that’s good, but try writing about it and living it. It was hell.

With that being said, want to be a Gopher Fan? It’s a blast! Well, it might be anyway...if you stick around.