The Minnesota Timberwolves have encountered their first speed bump of their 2013-2014 season. Actually, it is a rather large bump and they seem to be hung up on it and unable to move forward.
With Chase Budinger out of the lineup after his surgery, Rony Turiaf on the shelf with an elbow issue and Derrick Williams in Rick Adelman's doghouse, the depth of this team (or lack thereof) is flat out killing this team. Against the Clippers, the Wolves got 5-of-23 shooting from the bench and a total of 18 points. It is a glaring weakness that is going to cost the squad as they move forward.
The Gopher men take on Wofford tonight at Williams Arena in their final test before heading to the EA Sports Maui Invite next week. After winning a sloppy game against Coastal Carolina on Tuesday, Richard Pitino's team will look to clean things up before meeting Syracuse next Monday.
Forward Joey King suffered a fractured jaw in the game against Coastal Carolina and will not play in the game Thursday. He is expected to travel with the team to Maui.
I had the opportunity to work with the Maple Grove girls program as they went through tryouts this week and was reminded of how taxing the process is both mentally and physically. I walked away impressed by the talent and depth in the program that will run with three seniors (Cora Bourbonais, Allie Winter and Kaela Jones), three juniors (Julie Hagert, Haylee Barker and Mary Eckberg) and three sophomores (Mackenzie Barta, Maddie Tharp and Allie Schmidt) in their top 9.
The team went 19-7 last season and lost its leading scorer in Angie Davison to graduation. Jones is the leading returning scorer (10.3PPG). The underclassmen are going to help shape how and where this team goes. Hagert (5'11), has all the physical tools to be one of the best 4/5 combos in the metro and Barta is one of the top sophomores in the state. A big thanks to head coach Mark Cook and his staff for letting me be part of the process.
The boys season tips off for some programs tonight including Burnsville vs. Chaska, Heritage Christian Academy vs. Breck, Mankato East vs. Holy Family, Holy Angels vs. Mound-Westonka, St. Paul Como Park vs. Columbia Heights and Monticello vs. Orono.