Team preview: Minnesota
Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.
Storm clouds have hovered over Williams Arena since the 1999 academic scandal that cost Clem Haskins his job and ushered Dan Monson into the Big Ten. But despite coming off a 12-win season with only one starter returning, there's a break in the clouds, as the Gophers' probation has ended, and Monson finally has a full arsenal to help rebuild this once proud program.
Last year was something of a lost year for the Gophers, despite the presence of one of the most talented players in school history. Kris Humphries, who won the 2003 Mr. Basketball Award at Hopkins High School in the suburbs west of Minneapolis, got out of his scholarship at Duke and landed on Monson's doorstep in time for the start of last season.
And while Humphries compiled some wonderful statistics -- leading the Big Ten in scoring (21.7 ppg) and rebounding (10.1 rpg) as a freshman, a first for the league -- he also created a season-long distraction, as Gopher fans, coaches and the local media speculated whether each double-double pushed him one step closer to the NBA.