Cheers to the Fisher Robotics Team, Jeers to Gopher men's basketball...
Cheers...to some smart students
Cheers to the Fisher High School Robotics team for their recent accomplishment! At the Dream It, Do It Northern Minn. VEX Robotics Tournament this past Saturday in Bemidji, the Knights received a high award, the Judges Award, for the day's competition.
The award recognized a team that brought uniqueness and something different to the competition. There were 23 teams total from around the state, and for a small school to get the top honor is rather special.
They may have had some technical difficulties during the day, but they didn't let that stop them from showing the judges the teamwork they had as well as the knowledge of science and art of mechanics that went into building their robot.
They have been able to do this without any money from the school. The program at Fisher, which is relatively young, has been funded wholly by community support. What they have done so far is excellent and here's to more success for them in the future.
– Amanda Wagner
Jeers…to an opportunity lost, almost
After yet another disastrous loss, this one 71-45 to the 18th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus, one can’t help but wonder if the awful question is now going to surface: Has the Gophers men’s basketball team quit on coach Tubby Smith?
It seems silly that that they would; they have their whole lives and careers ahead of them, some of them maybe still playing basketball, so it would seem foolish that they’d want their lack of effort and desire listed as a reason for the debacle of the past several weeks.
But who knows? Everyone keep saying this is Smith’s most talented team. They were supposed to be a contender for the Big Ten title, even, and that’s saying something, considering how rock solid the conference is this year. The Gophers skyrocketed all the way to #8 in the national college basketball rankings, but they’ve been in a free-fall ever since. A sports columnist earlier this week wrote that the team would have to continue its “epic” collapse in order to not make the “Big Dance” known as the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, but that was before Wednesday’s colossal dud to a decent but far from great Buckeyes team.
When Smith’s Gophers are playing smothering defense, stealing the ball and getting transition baskets, they are very, very good. But when they have to play a slowed-down, half-court game on both ends of the floor, it’s another story. They were ahead of Iowa 21-5 in Iowa last Sunday in a key contest. The Hawkeyes called a timeout, changed to a zone defense, and the Gophers were lost for the rest of the game, losing by 21. How does that happen? It happens because Smith, despite his pedigree at Kentucky, seems to get out-coached regularly.
The season’s not entirely lost yet, obviously. But it’s very close. Is it worth it getting to the Big Dance only to be one and done, or maybe win one and then get smoked in the second round? It doesn’t seem worth it when this team just a few short weeks ago was considered something special.
– Mike Christopherson