Gophers Host the Badgers at The Barn - OPEN THREAD

Loading Scores

The Gophers get to finish out the season with five home games in the final seven. Tonight is game one of this stretch and it is the first of the season against Wisconsin. The rivalry game is always a big one and it is one that would be a very nice resume boost for the Gophers who are clearly on the NCAA bubble and would like to stay there.

Game Time: 6:00
TV: ESPN

Pos Minnesota Pnt/Gm Pnt/Gm Wisconsin
Pos
PG Julian Welch 10.2 14.0 Jordan Taylor
G
G Joe Coleman 5.8 7.4 Josh Gasser G
G/F Austin Hollins 8.5 10.0 Ryan Evans
F
F Rodney Williams 10.5 6.7 Mike Bruesewitz F
C Ralph Sampson III 8.4 10.5 Jared Berggren C
Bench Andre Hollins 5.6 8.9 Ben Brust Bench
Bench
Chip Armelin 6.5 2.3 Frank Kaminsky
Bench
Bench
Eliott Eliason
2.5 2.4 Rob Wilson
Bench

Believe it or not the Badgers have more kids from Minnesota than they do who played their high school ball in Wisconsin. Five of the 10 starters tonight will be local kids so the familiarity on the court should be significant. But this little nugget is really more interesting to fans than it is relevant to the outcome of the game. Is Jordan Taylor going to be "extra motivated" to beat his hometown Gophers tonight? Maybe, but it isn't like his lights us up every time he faces the Gophers. Overall he is 1-3 vs. Minnesota and has scored over 5 points only once in those four games. Bruesewitz and Berggren are both 1-1 against the Gophers being fortunate to miss the two losses in the 2008-09 season.

I don't know that dominating the Gophers is really what is going to motivate those guys. Getting a Big Ten road victory to keep their hopes of a Big Ten title alive should probably be more of a motivator.

The Gopher roster is frustratingly inconsistent. It was the starters who carried the team to a win at Indiana and it was the bench who sparked the win over Illinois. And both groups stunk at Iowa. It is hard to know what you are going to get out of this roster when each night it is someone new who may (or may not) step up.

KenPom Efficiency Stats Minnesota (44)
Wisconsin (4)
Record 17-7 18-6
Pnt / Poss 1.084 1.105
Def Pnt / Poss 0.938 0.819 (2)
Off eFG% 52.5%
50.0%
Def eFG% 47.2% 39.6% (1)
Off Reb % 35.3% 31.0%
Def Reb % 67.1% 72.7% (23)
TO % 21.7% 14.8% (2)

Wisconsin's numbers defensively are really (REALLY) impressive. #2 in the country in points allowed per possession and #1 in defensive eFG%. It might be awfully hard for the Gopher offense to score tonight and it might be an ugly game where the bulk of our points come from the free throw line.

Defensively the Gopher's #1 priority is going to be getting out to the three-point line. Wisconsin gets 35% of their points from behind the arc which is 32nd in the country. As a point of reference the Gophers score only 22.4% of our points from three, ranking near the bottom of D1 basketball. But if we can get out and guard the three that might take the Badgers out of their offensive rhythm, allowing us to stay in the game.

The other key to the game, I think, will be rebounding. Wisconsin hasn't been hitting the offensive glass at a super high rate this year. Ralph and Rodney and the guards need to make sure that trend continues by ending possessions with a rebound. Keep offensive rebounds down, we will lose if we give them a number of second chances.

Scoring will be low and points will be hard to come by. Over the last few years this has been a good match-up for the Gophers and let's hope the trend continues at The Barn tonight.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Daily Gopher

You must be a member of The Daily Gopher to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Daily Gopher. You should read them.

Join The Daily Gopher

You must be a member of The Daily Gopher to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Daily Gopher. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker