Gopher at #4 Michigan State - OPEN THREAD

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This one is for all the marbles apples! Now the Big Ten schedule gets real and the Gophers travel to East Lansing where we haven't won since 1990!

Time: 1:15 CST
Radio: AM 1500 ESPN

Pos. Minnesota Golden Gophers Pnt/Gm Pnt/Gm Michigan St. Pos.
PG Deandre Mathieu 11.6 15.9 Keith Appling PG
G Andre Hollins 15.8 17.8 Gary Harris G
G Austin Hollins 12.4 10.7 Branden Dawson F
F Oto Osenieks 7.1 7.3 Denzel Valentine F
F Elliott Eliason 6.5 16.2 Adreian Payne F
Bench Malik Smith 9.7 2.6 Matt Costello Bench
Bench Joey King 6.9 4.8 Kenny Kaminski Bench
Bench Maurice Walker 5.1 1.9 Alvin Ellis Bench

Adreian Payne is questionabe to play but I'm going to assume that he will go and if so, I am most looking forward to watching his matchup with Eliason.

This is a talented roster full of guys who can score a lot of points. Appling, Harris and Dawson could all carry Michigan State if we don't come ready to defend the entire roster.

Efficiency Stats (national rank in parenthesis if significant)

Minnesota Michigan St.
Off PPP 1.133 (20) 1.141 (29)
Def PPP 0.989 0.913 (10)
Off TO% 17.4% 16.6%
Def TO% 20.0% 20.1%
Off Reb % 36.7% (44) 32.8%
Def Reb % 69.2% 72.0%

In previous seasons turnovers have been the biggest statistical holdup for the Spartans. Last year they gave it up nearly 21% of the time and the year before that was nearly 20%. But this year's club has been limiting turnovers to go along with their very good defense and efficient scoring.

Keys to a Gopher Win

Mistake Free Basketball -
We cannot have a bunch of turnovers, we cannot give up offensive rebounds, we cannot give up easy points in transition and we basically have to play one of our best games of the season. Michigan State is a unique combination of a very talented team plus they are very good at executing their game. The simple fact is that Minnesota has to play a great game to win this afternoon.

There is no 2nd key, just play great. Easy right?

MSU is very good, not unbeatable but very good. They are a treat to watch. The new staff and this Gopher squad will get a taste of why the Big Ten is so competitive and deep, then they move on to more games against top 5 teams over the next couple weeks.

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