Reporting Mike Max
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – What made the Gophers’ win over No. 1-ranked Indiana all the more stunning was how poorly the Gophers have been playing with back-to-back 20-point plus losses on the road.
Admittedly they still have to shoot the ball better, going 4-for-20 from 3-point range. Yet Minnesota won because they battered and bruised Indiana inside, and on the boards all night long.
One of those posterized moments late Tuesday night was Rodney Williams’ astonishing vertical jump deflecting a 3-point attempt.
It was a big moment with the Gophers trying to protect a lead late in the game a game that took all 40 minutes of focused play to win — something the Gophers haven’t been doing much of this past month.
Smith is a tough coach. And he has been hard on this team, and the tough love was felt this past week.
“We’ve been working extremely hard the past few days getting ready for Indiana,” Austin Hollins said. “I knew we had a good chance of winning. I had a feeling.”
Smith has seen much in his coaching career. And since he took over the Gophers, he’s been aware of the critics’ claims he’s growing a thick skin because of his resume.
“I’m pretty secure in who I am, pretty secure in my job and what I’m about,” he said.