Minnesota Golden Gophers A Bottom Team In the Big Ten?

By Trevor Lowry
Minnesota Golden Gophers
Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Golden Gophers are losing some key pieces from last season’s NCAA tournament team, but does that make them a bottom team in the Big Ten for the 2013-14 college basketball season?

According to ESPN it does. In a recent power ranking by ESPN, Minnesota was ranked No. 8 in the conference. That means only four teams are expected to be worse than the Golden Gophers.

As bad as Minnesota might be, it should have a very good backcourt with Andre Hollins and Austin Hollins both returning. They were the top two scorers on the team this past season. FIU transfer Malik Smith also joins them, who averaged 14.1 points per game last season.

So, the backcourt will be set, but that is about it.

The Big Ten will have some great basketball teams once again and a couple of them could challenge for a national championship. That does not bode well for the Golden Gophers, unless if they can beat some of those teams in conference play.

However, after making the dance as a No. 11 seed this past season, the Golden Gophers may be on the outside looking in once March Madness begins. It doesn’t help that the team will be losing head coach Tubby Smith either.

Being ranked No. 8 in this conference is pretty reasonable, but it is not like teams will walk all over Minnesota. I am sure Austin Hollins will not allow that, who averaged 14.6 points per game this past season. He was even bigger in the NCAA tournament, scoring 28 points against UCLA and 25 points against Florida.

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