There are many stats that would contradict my claim that Al Nolen is the most important player wearing a Golden Gophers uniform, but I think one says it all. Nolen’s assist to turnover ratio is 3.9:1. For every turnover he has, he comes back with almost four assists.
Yet that rest of his stat line does help my case. 8.5 ppg, 6,3 apg, 4 rpg, and 2.2 steals per game.
In the Gophers biggest win this season over then No. 9 Louisville, Nolen penetrated the Cardinal defense with ease and finished with 18 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and only one turnover. He was the Gopher that sealed the win from the foul line going 13 for 17 making eight foul shoots in the last 4:09 of the second half.
Nolen is a the perfect guard for Tubby Smith’s system. He is a pass first point guard who finds the open shot for other players in the flow of the offense and he also puts a ton of pressure on the other team’s ball handler. Nolen is a capable scorer when he is called on and can get to the rim going left or right.
I am not ready to call me the best point guard in the Big Ten, but Nolen must be in the conversation.