Lewis, Guyton share honors

by Michael Dougherty

Gophers coach Clem Haskins has made it no secret that he wants Quincy Lewis to be named the Big Ten’s MVP.
The Big Ten, meanwhile, felt obliged enough to name Lewis the Co-Big Ten Player of the Week along with Indiana guard A.J. Guyton.
Lewis averaged 32 points in Minnesota’s two games last week. His 36 points on 13-of-26 shooting against Guyton and the Hoosiers on Tuesday night tied a career high. Lewis then put 28 on the board in Saturday’s loss at Wisconsin.
His 23.8 points-per-game average ties him for fourth in the nation, and puts him in first in the Big Ten. It was the second time Lewis has received the honor this season. The first came the week of Dec. 21.
Guyton scored 27 points in that 90-83 overtime loss at Minnesota, and then poured in a season-high 33 in Sunday’s 98-95 double overtime win at Penn State.

The march to March
The halfway point of the men’s conference schedule is here, and only No. 8 Michigan State and 12th-ranked Wisconsin have emerged as teams who look poised for a first-round bye in the Big Ten tournament.
The top five teams in the conference standings at the end of the regular season receive a first-round bye in the tournament, which will be played at the United Center in Chicago, Mar. 4-7. The bottom six seeds, however, are forced to duke it out on the first day.
If the tournament started today, Michigan State (18-4, 7-1 in the Big Ten), Wisconsin (19-3, 7-2), Iowa (15-4, 6-3), Ohio State (16-6, 6-3) and Northwestern (12-6, 4-4) would receive the first-round byes.
The 19th-ranked Gophers (13-5, 4-4) would lose the head-to-head tiebreaker with Northwestern and have to play 11th-seeded Illinois. Seventh-seeded Indiana would face 10th-seeded Penn State, and No. 8 Purdue would square off against ninth-seeded Michigan.
Avoiding that first day of play would be a big advantage for the Gophers, but the schedule isn’t quite in their favor.
Minnesota plays five of its remaining eight games on the road, including three games in 10 days on the road against teams the Gophers have already beaten.
Wednesday’s game against Illinois at home is almost a sure thing, because the Illini would probably have a tough time against Minnetonka High School.
But games at Michigan on Feb. 7, at Iowa on Feb. 10 and at Penn State on Feb. 17 loom large on the horizon. The Gophers then get five days off before finishing at Purdue on Feb. 23, at home against Purdue Feb. 25 and at Northwestern Feb. 27.
Minnesota coach Clem Haskins and Indiana’s Bob Knight were the only coaches to vote against the Big Ten’s adaptation of a postseason tournament in 1997.
Haskins was opposed to it because he said he would like to see the conference provide money for the families of the players to attend the tournament.
Last year, the Gophers entered as the No. 8 seed and beat Northwestern 64-56. The next day Minnesota knocked off No. 1 Michigan State, but lost to eventual champ Michigan in the semifinals.
A 9-7 conference record should lock up a first-round bye, meaning Minnesota needs to win all three of their remaining home games and two on the road.
He ain’t got time to bleed
Lewis had to leave Saturday’s game twice in the second half because of a cut he got above his eye after fouling the Badgers Duany Duany.
NCAA rules state that if a player gets blood on his uniform, he must change into a different one. Fortunately for Lewis, Gophers trainer Roger Schipper was able to stop the bleeding before it got on Lewis’ jersey.
Lewis reentered the game with a bandage over the cut, and was able to play without any trouble for another five minutes. Then referees asked him to leave the game because they thought the wound was bleeding again.
“It was just sweat, but they thought it was blood,” Lewis said. “That’s how the referee interpreted it.”
Lewis had to receive a few stitches after the game, but at the time he said he didn’t know exactly how many he needed, nor did he care.
“I don’t know, they just put ’em in,” he said, shrugging off the pain.