Eight games into the 2011-2012 season, one thing has become clear about the Timberwolves: For the first time in several seasons the team has generated excitement regarding its young nucleus of players.

After letting go of former coach Kurt Rambis and hiring Rick Adelman, the team has a veteran coach that knows how to deal with young players. The “Triangle Offense” is gone and Adelman is shaping his offense to match the strengths of his players.

One of the new faces of this year’s team is point guard Ricky Rubio. Despite the fact that he was originally drafted by the Wolves a few seasons ago, he spent additional seasons in Europe to continue to work on his skills. Rubio is only 20 but has been playing professional basketball since he was 15.

Rubio’s maturity has been apparent since his debut this season. He loves to spread the ball around and get the entire team involved in every possession. Rubio has wowed crowds with his no-look passes and his ability to see the entire court. But arguably the most impressive thing about his season so far is the amount of minutes he is playing in the 4th quarter in every game.

Rubio has been getting his fair share of assists, but has also been shooting the ball well when he plays. While he has been coming off the bench for the beginning part of the season, it won’t be long until he is starting if he continues to play at the level he has been. While the Wolves still don’t have many answers defensively, which speaks to their 3-5 record, there is hope that the Wolves finally have the pieces in place to rise to prominence once again.