Gophers men’s hoops holds in-squad game

by Todd Zolecki

Fans starved for their first dose of Gophers men’s basketball can get their fix Saturday when Minnesota holds an intrasquad game at Williams Arena.
The Gophers have debuted during Midnight Madness in recent years, where the players put on a show for the fans.
But with no Madness this year Gophers fans must settle for a scrimmage where Coach Clem Haskins will actually be working on some things for the upcoming season.
“I just hope that we can come out and do some things and improve on offense and defense,” he said. “We’ll take a look at the tape and see what we need to improve on.”
At last year’s scrimmage Courtney James proved he was a force inside and Charles Thomas showed his hot shooting hand.
One thing Haskins wants to see Saturday is the Gophers’ transition game.
“I want to see us run,” he said. “I want to see how well we run the break, and how well we finish. Those are two areas I’m very concerned about. I want to see us run a lot more.”
The walking wounded
Haskins dealt with a handful of injuries early last season, which hindered the development of his new players. Bobby Jackson, Charles Thomas and Courtney James all missed time with foot injuries.
This year Haskins has more of the same. The entire freshman class and sophomore Miles Tarver all missed some practice time this week.
“Injuries are killing us,” Haskins said. “We have a few injuries that really sets players back and team improvement. Those things you’ll go through in the preseason. But if we can get those players back, we can mature much quicker as a team.”
The Gophers injuries breakdown is this:
ù Kyle Sanden had recurring headaches after taking a knee to the back of his head by Sam Jacobson last week in practice.
ù Tarver has suffered from back problems.
ù Russ Archambault scratched his eye and has had to wear an eye patch.
ù Thomas suffered from a hip-pointer.
ù Kevin Loge is out recovering from finger surgery. He won’t be back until late December at the earliest.

Notes: Haskins will be inducted into the Western Kentucky Hall of Distinguished Alumni today in Bowling Green, Ky.
Haskins played and coached at Western Kentucky. He is a member of the Western Kentucky Hall of Fame, the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame and the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame.