Three games in three days can wear down a team’s focus and energy — but not its natural talent.
After expected wins against four easy nonconference opponents, the Gophers rose to the occasion and flexed their talent in the Bahamas.
Andre Hollins showed he has potential as an elite Big Ten point guard even though he’s more comfortable scoring — as he did against Memphis for 41 points — than distributing.
Senior forward Rodney Williams averaged 13.7 points and six rebounds as he displayed his high-flying ability.
Even benched star Trevor Mbakwe had his best game of the season against Stanford by leading Minnesota with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
But Tubby Smith’s group still has an obvious Achilles’ heel.
Minnesota averaged just under 17 turnovers in the Bahamas, which effectively lowered its ceiling in all three games.
Sophomore Joe Coleman led the team with 11 turnovers on the week and has a team-high 25 on the season.
As good as Hollins was, he had seven turnovers during the tournament and is second on the team with 17 this season.
He redeemed a poor all-around game against Stanford — 1-for-8 shooting, two assists and two turnovers — by hitting the game-winning free throws, but the clutch shots wouldn’t have been necessary if Minnesota didn’t turn it over 18 times to Stanford’s 13.
On the season, Minnesota has more turnovers (113) than assists (112).