Lewis named Gophers’ MVP

by Murali Balaji

There were few surprises at Monday’s awards banquet for the Gophers men’s basketball team.
Forward Quincy Lewis, who was overlooked for the Big Ten Most Valuable Player award despite being the nation’s second-leading scorer (24.4 ppg), was named team MVP.
Minnesota’s top defensive player was guard Kevin Clark, who earned the award for playing through increased seizures toward the end of the season. Other honors went to forward Antoine Broxsie (Academic-Most improved) and Mitch Ohnstad (Hustle Award).
Place your bets
Tiny Gonzaga might be obscure, but its basketball team has caught the eye of the Las Vegas sports books.
The 10th-seeded Bulldogs are listed as a two-point favorite against the Gophers for Thursday’s first-round matchup in Seattle. Anyone interested in wagering on the Gophers in the NCAA tournament would receive a hefty payoff if Minnesota wins the NCAA championship — the Gophers are 250:1 picks to win it all.
For those who believe that Gonzaga has a decisive home court advantage by playing in Seattle, coach Dan Monson says think again.
“You know, that’s a common misconception about our university,” Monson said. “Seattle is not home to us. We’re about six hours away, so we think we’re pretty much playing at a neutral site.”
However, Monson did say that the six-hour drive from Spokane, Wash., to Seattle was a lot easier than the four-hour flight from Minneapolis.
“I guess when you put it that way, we do have an advantage,” Monson joked.
A fan’s perspective
Monson admitted he has only seen the Gophers play a couple of times this season, but not as a coach.
“I’ve seen them on television a few times, and I was in awe of Lewis and Clark,” Monson said. “There is a difference between watching them as a fan and watching them as a coach, and believe me, that’s going to be a lot harder.”
Simple math
Gophers coach Clem Haskins has Minnesota’s run to an NCAA title all figured out — mathematically, at least.
“We’ve got six games to play,” Haskins said. “It’s pretty simple. We win all six games, and we’re the NCAA champion. That’s a pretty good feeling, to be an NCAA champion.”
Haskins, however, has yet to experience that feeling, as he’s never won an NCAA championship as a player or coach.