In case you hadn't heard, Illinois just upset #1 Indiana earlier this week. Now they come to The Barn looking to see if they are hot or not.
Game Time: 5:00
Radio: AM1500 and the Gopher Radio Network
|Pos||#18 - Minnesota||Pnt/Gm||Pnt/Gm||Illinois
|C||Trevor Mbakwe||9.5||6.5||Nnanna Egwu||C
|Bench||Maverick Ahanmisi||3.9||8.7||Joseph Bertrand||Bench|
||Julian Welch||3.3||4.1||Sam McLaurin||Bench|
I want to boil this down to a few key points.
PACE - Illinois plays at a fast pace and that is typically a good thing for the Gopher's offense. We play better at a fast pace. I am looking forward to some scoring (for a change). Expect plenty of turnovers but as long as they are aggressive turnovers I can live with that. The turnovers that kill us are the lazy, half-court passes that are stolen for dunks (I'm looking at you Mav and Julian). Push the ball and score some points.
DEFENSE - defend the three, defend the three, defend the three. Do not double-down on the post and stay out on shooters. Illinois can beat anybody, anywhere when they are shooting well from deep(see Indiana win a few days ago). Get out to shooters and make them hit difficult shots.
OFFENSE - please utilize our post players. Our offense works best when 2 things are happening. The first is when we are generating turnovers and turning them into points. Secondly, we operate well when we are playing inside-out. I don't anticipate we will be pressing and forcing a lot of turnovers, so please get some shots for Mbakwe and Williams. Operate the high-low and then knock down the kick-outs.
(Screw the stats that typically occupies this space. The numbers are often interesting but this one isn't about the numbers.)
Play with some passion and get this important home win. Illinois is currently sitting behind us in the standings and it is important to keep it that way.