January 25, 2012; East Lansing, MI, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers forward/center Ralph Sampson III (50) looks to pass against the Michigan State Spartans during the second half at Jack Breslin Students Events Center. MSU won 68-52. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-US PRESSWIRE
Ralph Sampson III won the sportsmanship award while the rest of the Minnesota Golden Gophers were shut out when the All-Big Ten Team was announced on Monday night.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers didn't have a very good season, but anyone that watched basketball during their recent six-game losing streak could probably infer that anyway. To put a cherry on top, however, Tubby Smith's team was nearly completely shut out in the post season awards when the 2011-12 All-Big Ten Team was announced on Monday night.
There weren't any Gophers on the first, second, third or even honorable mention teams; none on the defensive or freshman teams and nobody who wore a Minnesota jersey this season won the Coach of the Year, Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year, Coach of the Year or even Sixth Man of the Year -- and they had two opportunities since the media and coaches both released separate lists.
No, the only Gopher that was included on Monday afternoon's press release was senior big man Ralph Sampson III ... at the bottom of the list, under all of the other awards, there was a heading for Big Ten Sportsmanship Award Honorees.