|Pos.||Minnesota Golden Gophers||Pnt/Gm||Pnt/Gm||Northwestern Wildcats||Pos.|
|PG||Deandre Mathieu||11.7||12.0||Jershon Cobb||PG|
|G||Andre Hollins||15.2||16.2||Drew Crawford||G|
|G||Austin Hollins||11.4||3.9||Sanjay Lumpkin||F|
|F||Joey King||6.3||4.0||Kale Abrahamson||F|
|F||Elliott Eliason||6.0||8.0||Alex Olah||F|
|Bench||Malik Smith||10.1||10.8||Tre Demps||Bench|
|Bench||Oto Osenieks||6.2||1.0||Nikola Cerina||Bench|
|Bench||Maurice Walker||7.4||2.7||Nathan Taphorn||Bench|
Efficiency Stats (national rank in parenthesis if significant)
|Off PPP||1.153 (22)||0.966 (307)|
|Def PPP||1.006||0.924 (11)|
|Def TO%||18.5%||16.1% (306)|
|Off Reb %||33.9%||22.6% (348)|
|Def Reb %||69.4%||70.8%|
When we last talked about Northwestern I mentioned how bad this team is offensively but when they win, they get it done on the defensive end. Four of their five Big Ten wins came when they held their opponents to under 35% effective FG%. Again, they are not very good offensively. They don't create turnovers, they don't secure offensive rebounds and they don't shoot very well. There is more than one way to snag Big Ten wins, but this offense is really bad.
Since their Gopher win they have lost two in a row including Nebraska at home and then lost by 15 at Michigan State. Not that we've lit the league on fire, but this is a game we can win. Having Andre Hollins back is an important factor here, particularly as a guy who can generate some offense for the Gophers.
Keys to a Gopher Win
Take Care of the Ball - I feel like heading into most games I've been overly concerned with forcing turnovers to gain extra possessions. But lately, especially on the road, turning the ball over has killed this team. Three of our four recent loss have seen turnover % over 18%. I'm a big fan of Deandre Matthieu and his fearless attacking of the lane; but he needs to keep the turnovers down.
Make Some Shots - I like the fact that Andre Hollins is playing and hopefully he is getting stronger. His offense, his ability to make shots and take pressure off the rest of the offense is key. He and Malik and Austin need to make some shots which will open up everything else.
Big game for the Gophers tonight and a big opportunity for a road win. Northwestern is 2-5 at home this year, let's make it 2-6.