Best Gopher team ever

Otis

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 13, 2014
Messages
4,928
Reaction score
1,682
Points
113
Which was the best Gopher team of all time?

Choice comes down to teams that officially were winless.

The 1977 vs 1997 teams.

Pretty even teams with 4 NBA players on one and 5 on the other. Although the 1977 team also had a Harlem Globetrotter and an NBA head coach.

Let’s break it down:
PG - Flip Saunders vs Bobby Jackson. Advantage 1997. Bobby was better offensively and defensively. Although hard to say how much of Flip’s game was diminished by playing style and teammates. It’s still Bobby.
SG - Ray Williams vs Eric Harris. Advantage 1977. Eric was very good but Ray was special.
SF - Osborne Lockhart vs Sam Jacobsen. Funny how both teams were three guard lineups at the end of the season. I’m calling this a draw. Cause i could have put any of these 6 guys against any of the others and stacked it for either side. It’s only fair to come from the guards with a draw. But here they are in my order of greatness.
1. Bobby Jackson
2. Ray Williams
3 Osborne Lockhart
4. Sam Jacobsen
5. Eric Harris
6. Flip
That’s a tough group!
PF - Mchale vs Courtney James. Not really a contest here. By the end of his freshman season Michael was a stud and James was mortal. Advantage 1977.
C - Mychal Thompson vs John Thomas. Clear advantage 1977. Mychal is probably the best player to ever wear Maroon & Gold. Thomas was tough and a good player but this isn’t close.
Bench - 1977 didn’t go very deep. Steve Lingenfelter and Dave Winey are the biggest names but Lingenfelter only averaged 1.7 points that year. 1997 had a very good bench with future NBA players Quincy Lewis and Trevor Winter, plus Charles Thomas and Miles Tarver who equaled Lingenfelters production.
Coach - Dutcher vs Clem. I loved both these guys. It’s hard to pick between them. Funny, if I give it to Clem, this process is all tied up, 3-3-1. So that’s what I’ll do.

Which team you going to take? 77” or 97”?

I’ll shorten my Bench and take 1977, the team that didn’t get to play in the NCAAs but did beat the National Champion Marquette team in the regular season.

Honorable mention: Trent Tucker and the 1982 Big Ten Champs.
 

bc2211

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 29, 2013
Messages
1,897
Reaction score
959
Points
113
There should be a version of this for us poor souls who joined the U post 2007.
 



60's Guy

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 29, 2010
Messages
6,743
Reaction score
1,773
Points
113
I don't know if I could ever decide without waffling between Bobby Jackson and Ray Williams for top dog, but I think Ray was better. And as I type it, I go really? But ya, I think so.

But 1,000,000%, Flip is not #6! If we think of a point guard as floor general...Flip is #1.
Moxie, grit, leadership #1. Working with the least physical gifts of the guys ahead of him....he just made winning plays!
Osborne Lockhardt was a very different player than Flip. Osborne's strengths blended great with the talents of his teammates. Once again, I dunno, but these two guys are 3,4 or 4,3 for me and I got Flip #3.

As far as guards who were shooters...Trent Tucker, Willie Burton, Voshon Lenard, Sam Jacobsen Ollie Shannon...come to mind first..I'm sure there are others. Before that Lou Hudson and Archie Clark were pretty special. And another shooter different from them all was Clyde Turner.
 


short ornery norwegian

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2011
Messages
14,562
Reaction score
6,883
Points
113
the '77 team was very good.

But, I will always weep and wonder, what if?

What if Olberding and Landsberger had not left the team after Musselman left?

I imagine a team with Thompson, McHale, Olberding, Landsberger, Dave Winey, Ray Williams, Goose, Flip......

would have been not only the greatest Gopher team ever, but would have had a chance to be one of the greatest teams in college basketball.

dammit......
 

Tucker32

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2008
Messages
1,593
Reaction score
737
Points
113
I became a Gopher fan as a little kid with the '77 team. I think the '97 team was great - both were. However, the '77 team was pretty unreal. In both cases, compared to college basketball today, teams were so much deeper than they are now.
 

jovs

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2008
Messages
3,996
Reaction score
513
Points
113
the '77 team was very good.

But, I will always weep and wonder, what if?

What if Olberding and Landsberger had not left the team after Musselman left?

I imagine a team with Thompson, McHale, Olberding, Landsberger, Dave Winey, Ray Williams, Goose, Flip......

would have been not only the greatest Gopher team ever, but would have had a chance to be one of the greatest teams in college basketball.

dammit......
Kinda of a should've, could've, would've but the 75-76 team with a starting 5 of Thompson, Olberding, Landsberger, Williams, and Saunders would have been special. I can't help but think that front court would have dominated the 97 team while the back court held their own. Depth with Lockhart and Winey off the bench only add to it.
 

Atl Gopher

Member
Joined
May 28, 2010
Messages
543
Reaction score
9
Points
18
Seems to me that we were not allowed to go for the national championship eventually won by Marquette who we beat earlier in the year. 3 total losses that year and ranked 2nd. Thompson I believe borrowed an alumni's car and stayed at a cabin or something during the Musselman era. With today's NIL it sure seems pretty petty. Actually, it seemed pretty petty back then too.
 



Lincoln gopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
1,263
Reaction score
124
Points
63
Seems to me that we were not allowed to go for the national championship eventually won by Marquette who we beat earlier in the year. 3 total losses that year and ranked 2nd. Thompson I believe borrowed an alumni's car and stayed at a cabin or something during the Musselman era. With today's NIL it sure seems pretty petty. Actually, it seemed pretty petty back then too.
I thought he sold his complementary tickets.
 


Ogee Oglethorpe

Over Macho Grande?
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
14,195
Reaction score
6,243
Points
113
Watching the 1997 team was probably the highlight of my MN sports fandom, through the entire season. Just an incredibly deep, PHYSICAL, intimidating and talented team. I remember going to watch them in Lincoln and play a really tough road game against the Huskers but physically had their way with Nebraska in the Corn Crib. Stupid Husker mascot jokingly stood in my way (I was wearing Gopher gear of course) on my way into the arena and I pushed him out of my way.

Even more fun than watching the 1998 Vikings I have to say.
 




PMWinSTP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 11, 2015
Messages
12,277
Reaction score
2,562
Points
113
Watching the 1997 team was probably the highlight of my MN sports fandom, through the entire season. Just an incredibly deep, PHYSICAL, intimidating and talented team. I remember going to watch them in Lincoln and play a really tough road game against the Huskers but physically had their way with Nebraska in the Corn Crib. Stupid Husker mascot jokingly stood in my way (I was wearing Gopher gear of course) on my way into the arena and I pushed him out of my way.

Even more fun than watching the 1998 Vikings I have to say.
Two (y) for the Slave Raider pic.
 

Lincoln gopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
1,263
Reaction score
124
Points
63
Watching the 1997 team was probably the highlight of my MN sports fandom, through the entire season. Just an incredibly deep, PHYSICAL, intimidating and talented team. I remember going to watch them in Lincoln and play a really tough road game against the Huskers but physically had their way with Nebraska in the Corn Crib. Stupid Husker mascot jokingly stood in my way (I was wearing Gopher gear of course) on my way into the arena and I pushed him out of my way.

Even more fun than watching the 1998 Vikings I have to say.
I was at that game in Lincoln also.
 

GVBadger

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
1,399
Reaction score
120
Points
63
‘77 team and it isn’t close. They would destroy the ‘97 team inside and still had Williams, Lockhart and Saunders. Williams was a fantastic player.

I remember as a kid not understanding that whole ticket deal. What a shame they couldn’t go to the tournament.
 

Atl Gopher

Member
Joined
May 28, 2010
Messages
543
Reaction score
9
Points
18
I thought he sold his complementary tickets.
I guess you are right:

"Today they are known as “the team that never was” because all its games were later forfeited when Mychal Thompson and David Winey were ruled ineligible after they sold their complimentary season tickets to fans. The NCAA and Big Ten list that team officially as 0-27 overall and 0-18 in the conference."

Seemed pretty petty still back then when we knew that other schools were doing far worse and getting away with it. Seems even much more petty 45 years (yikes) later.
 


Mulligan

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2009
Messages
3,674
Reaction score
1,166
Points
113
Showing my age, but I'd have the 64-65 Gopher team at least in contention for the best team. You had Lou Hudson, Archie Clark, and Don Yates on that team. All 3 were drafted by NBA teams and Hudson and Clark made All-Star teams. Mel Northway was a hell of a center. In addition, Terry Kunze and Dennis Dvoracek were also nice ball players. I remember a close loss against Cazzie Russell and Bill Buntin at Williams that cost us a shot at the Big Ten championship. It was one of 5 games they lost that year. That was when only conference champions went on to the national tournament. Had to look it up and we finished 7th in the final poll.
 




Top Bottom