Thursday, December 8, 2011

Watch MSU men's basketball differently this season

The Minnesota State men's basketball team hasn't played a home game in three weeks, and if you didn't see the Mavericks at the home opener in early November, you might be surprised by what you see.

The Mavericks are a young team, inexperienced in the ways of college basketball. The team has played more halfcourt basketball, a far cry from the explosively offensive teams of the last seven or eight seasons.

The Mavericks have yet to find their offensive identity. Shooting has been a problem, and there have been nights that it's been a struggle to score 50.

But while this season might be tough to watch, the future bodes well. The young players in the rotation have big-time skills. Connor O'Brien is clearly better than he was as a freshman, and freshmen Zach Romashko and T.J. Okafor look like a rock-star tandem in the post.

Sophomore point guard Jimmy Whitehead will have to elevate his game. Whitehead missed offseason time while healing a broken jaw so the extended minutes could help him to find a rhythm. He needs to be a distributer and scorer on this team.

Coach Matt Margenthaler has had to adjust his expectations of this team, which will test the patience of a highly successful coach. It will be interesting to watch him straddle the line of competitiveness with understanding.

The Mavericks have home games against Concordia-St. Paul and St. Cloud State this weekend, then host Upper Iowa and Winona State the following weekend. It's important that Minnesota State protect its home court.

Check out the live chat from all four games this weekend by clicking the link at or go directly to

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