Gophers Host Wisconsin Badgers

USA TODAY Sports
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Where

williams Arena

When

8:00 PM

How

BTn

Pos. Minnesota Golden Gophers Pnt/Gm Pnt/Gm Wisconsin Badgers Pos.
PG Deandre Mathieu 11.2 11.2 Traevon Jacckson PG
G Andre Hollins 16.9 13.2 Ben Brust G
G Austin Hollins 11.8 9.1 Josh Gasser F
F Oto Osenieks 7.0 13.8 Sam Dekker F
F Elliott Eliason 6.8 13.5 Frank Kaminsky F
Bench Malik Smith 9.6 6.8 Nigel Hayes Bench
Bench Joey King 6.4 3.5 Bronson Koenig Bench
Bench Maurice Walker 4.9 3.6 Duje Dukan Bench

Finally a Badger without a single Minnesota kid on it. Technically Riley Dearing is on the roster but hasn't played yet this year so I'm assuming he is redshirting. But this Badger lineup, especially the starting five, is really good. Nearly all five starters are averaging double figures and there is a potency in all five of them. Brust is making nearly 43% of his threes, Kaminksy is nearly 47% (albeit fewer attempts) and Dekker has become a real go-to player for the Badgers. A dangerous and balanced lineup. We should fear the PF match-up, this should keep Richard Pitino up at night.

Efficiency Stats (national rank in parenthesis if significant)

Minnesota Wisconsin
Off PPP 1.143 (30) 1.192 (4)
Def PPP 0.982 0.952 (33)
Off TO% 17.9% 12.9% (2)
Def TO% 19.1% 16.2% (301)
Off Reb % 35.4% 29.7%
Def Reb % 69.0% 72.1%

They don't turn the ball over, they don't give up offensive rebounds and they don't foul you. This makes it really difficult to win unless you shoot an extremely high percentage. A team that just doesn't beat themselves and is talented enough offensively to still score at an efficient clip. Tough to beat a team like this, hopefully this is where The Barn plays a factor.

Keys to a Gopher Win

Maroon_key_medium
Don't Help Them Out -
You'll notice that the Badgers do not force turnovers, they are happy to let you make mistakes without trying. Their defense is not designed to pressure you into turnovers, this helps keep opponents off the free throw line. But they'll be happy to let you do it on your own. We cannot let this happen! Do not help them out with careless turnovers. In addition to that, take good shots. This is a good defense that will also be happy if you take a bad shot early in the shot-clock. Be smart, take good shots and you'll see your FG% rise up.

Maroon_key_mediumGreat Defense From Our Power Forwards - This scares me very much, but we absolutely have to get some defensive contribution out of Oto Osenieks and Joey King. Sam Dekker is a likely 1st team All-Big Ten forward. And out power forwards have struggled throughout much of the season, and I'm being kind. This is a dangerous match-up. Not so much that I fear Dekker will be unstoppable and we'll simply lose because he is amazing. But if the Oto/Joey combination cannot slow him down to some degree the entire Gopher defense will be required to make other arrangements. I don't like having to abandoned what may be our best defense for something else because we have to collectively account for a certain guy or two.

I'd also like to see a good game out of Austin Hollins as well, but that is more of a wish than a key.

This is a huge opportunity to notch another really nice win for the resume without much downside if we lose.

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