Position Preview: Center

Possibly the most experienced positions for the Gophers is at center. Returning juniors Colton Iverson and Ralph Sampson III will look to continue to improve to give Minnesota one of the most formidable and imposing front courts in the Big Ten.

Starter:
Both Colton Iverson and Ralph Sampson III have an opportunity to start, with one of them taking the role of power forward. With that being said, both players are more suited for a role as a center.

The player who will spend the most time playing center is Iverson. At 6-foot-10 and 258 pounds, Iverson has gotten even larger since his freshman year. Last season as a sophomore, Iverson did not put up amazing numbers, five points and 4.4 rebounds but still played well.

Despite the average numbers, Iverson turned it on towards the end of the season, scoring in double digits in four out of his last five games. During this stretch he appeared more comfortable with the ball, showing an array of post moves that tore through defenders. He also looked better on the defensive end, getting in the lane and disrupting and blocking shots.

If Iverson can continue his improvement as a player, he should be one of the Gophers' most consistent players.

Iverson's front court partner will be Ralph Sampson III. Sampson had a solid season last year 8.2 points per game to go with 5.8 boards per contest. Sampson's game revolves more around a finesse set of skills compared to Iverson.

Sampson relies on his 6-foot-11 frame to toss hook shots over defenders. In the preseason, Sampson looked to have added a mid-range jumper to his game which will pull his defender away from the hoop, freeing up space. What Sampson can improve on is his tenacity in a game.

If Sampson can play mean, snagging rebounds and scoring with strong physical moves he could be a dominant force in the paint. Gopher fans should expect big things from the combination of Iverson and Sampson this season.


To share your thoughts on this article please go to Gopher Basketball Forum.

To follow GoldenSports.net on Facebook click HERE

Gopher Illustrated Top Stories