The Lions of Southeatern Louisiana are making the trip to Minneapolis to take on the undefeated and RANKED University of Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Now that Louisville is in our rear view mirror, the rest of the non-conference schedule is much more about the Gophers than it is about the opponent. Realistically SEL has very little chance of defeating the Gophers, unless the Gophers come into the game believing if they simply show up they'll win. This may prove to be true, but in college basketball if you don't take your opponent seriously, you may put yourself in serious jeopardy of losing.
The Facts are These...
|Off Reb %||28.6%||36.7%|
|Def Reb %||67.1%||63.5%|
SEL ranks very low in all offensive categories and are not much better defensively. Based on the numbers and the Pomeroy prediction formula the Lions have exactly a 1% chance of beating the Gophers (which is 1% higher than High Point's 0% chance on Sunday!).
|#3 - Kevyn Green||F (6-5)||27.2||20.0||3.5||0.9||50.7%||48.6%|
|#32 - Antonio Pope||F (6-7)||15.4||5.1||3.9||0.4||70.0%||0.0%|
|#4 - Patrick Sullivan||C (6-9)||24.7||11.9||8.2||1.1||55.6%||0.0%|
|#1 - Chris Cyprian||G (6-3)||20.9||9.1||2.5||2.2||45.7%||32.3%|
|#5 - Brandon Fortenberry||G (6-2)||26.2||6.6||2.5||5.3||41.0%||31.0%|
|#2 - Warrell Span||F (6-6)||28.9||12.0||7.3||1.4||54.9%||50.0%|
|#11 - Robert Tibbs||F (6-6)||18.6||7.4||3.0||1.0||56.0%||36.4%|
|#20 - DeShawn Patterson||G (6-4)||15.8||2.7||3.1||3.6||37.0%||50.0%|
The Lion's best player is Kevyn Green, who only has a couple games left in his career. He is in a unique situation coming into season with only enough eligibility to compete through the first part of the season. SEL petitioned the NCAA for the full season but were denied.
Glancing at the roster it is similar to Louisville in the fact that it is full of forwards, lacking a big bodied center. Expect an athletic group that will heavily rely on Green to score their points.
Matching Up With the Lions...
Once again I think you can expect to see DJ on their best player. And once again I think you'll see their best player neutiliized, at least a little. In the backcourt it looks like Fortenberry has turned the ball over quite a bit this season. I think you can expect he will be hasseled by Nolen all night and look for Absolute 0 to have another impressive defensive game.
The rest is hard to guage since I (and I'm assuming everyone reading this) have never seen SEL play. How playing time is given will be interesting considering Busch's play against L'ville, Carter possibly coming back from injury, Westbrook trying to make up for his bad game in Arizona and the freshmen in the middle.
I'm actually a little bit nervous about this game. SEL has taken Arkansas to OT, led Texas Tech at the half and is a fairly experienced team. I'm nervous that Minnesota is content to be ranked and are looking ahead to Michigan State on New Year's Eve.
IF we come ready to play we should put defensive pressure on them creating turnovers and burry them early. If we are sluggish this team hit some threes make the Gophers get their act together or experience an upset.
Although I'm nervous, I'm not exactly worried. DJ and Nolen have great games defensively. Westbrook has a great night offensively and we win going away.