But after careful thought and a lot of discussion, we decided that the opinion of some obscure blog about a team's relative attractiveness probably doesn't have any actual bearing on that team's future performance. So we're pressing ahead. We give you our 2013 adopted team, the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
The Gophers are led by sophomore Andre Hollins, who dropped 41 on Memphis earlier in the year, and scored 22 against the Spartans. Hollins, who almost went to Harvard, is a bouncy lead guard with top-flight athleticism. He averages 12.2 points and 3.5 assists a game as part of a balanced offensive attack.
Senior forward Rodney Williams is Minnesota's top scorer, getting 13.0 points on 56% shooting. Guard Austin Hollins, son of former NBA great Lionel Hollins averages 10.5 points and 2.3 steals, while Joe Coleman gets 10.2 points and 4.5 boards. 6'8", 245-lb local product Trevor Mbakwe leads the squad in rebounding with 7.2 per game, though his boards and points are significantly down from the previous two seasons as he recovers from a serious knee injury. Finally, all-name addition Maverick Ahanmisi leads the Gophers in three-point shooting, making 43.5% of his attempts from deep. The athletic Gophs are 15th in the nation in steals per game and 22nd in field-goal percentage defense.
All of that's interesting, and everything, but what really sold me on the Gophers is this:
Tubby Smith's new mustache screams leadership, with just enough devil-may-care whatfuckery to give opponents pause. You could see it in Tom Izzo's team down the stretch on New Year's Eve. Though they led deep into the second half, they came unglued in the face of the Tubstache's withering glare.
The Big 10(ish) is the best basketball conference in the country, so our Gophers have a tough task ahead of them. But nobody will relish the thought of traveling to Williams Arena, and Minnesota's an athletic, balanced, and versatile squad with lots of ways to score.
And there's that mustache.