The Gophers’ season ended Thursday with a 75-51 rout against Stanford in the NIT Championship Game. You could say the Gophers found their identity during their NIT tournament run by playing a more up-tempo style of game than previously seen this season. Led by Andre Hollins and Rodney Williams they ran by, and dunked over their first 4 opponents taking them to the NIT Championship Game. Unfortunately for this Gophers squad, Stanford was ready for the Gophers new style of play. Stanford clogged up the lane, not allowing the Gophers to get the points in the paint they were able to get in the previous games. They also played strong defense, blocked shots and took charges under the basket which caused countless number of turnovers for the Gophers. Both Andre Hollins and Rodney Williams fouled out early as well which didn’t help the Gophers chances of a comeback. To say the least this was a disaster after such an impressive series of games this team was able to string together.

 To look on the bright side of things, Andre Hollins looks to be turning into a star point guard for the Gophers and will only be a sophomore next season. Likely, the entire core of the team is expected to return next season (unless Rodney Williams decides to go pro) including the addition of a solid recruiting class, a big center in Mo Walker, who was injured early in the year, and possibly Trevor Mbakwe who was granted a 6th season of eligibility. That being said, I think there is a lot to look forward to when looking at this Gophers squad for next season.

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