Gophers with a huge opportunity on their home floor to pic up a much-needed win.
|Pos.||Minnesota Golden Gophers||Pnt/Gm||Pnt/Gm||#20 Iowa Hawkeyes||Pos.|
|PG||Deandre Mathieu||11.6||7.9||Mike Gessell||PG|
|G||Andre Hollins||14.8||16.6||Roy Devyn Marble||G|
|G||Austin Hollins||10.9||7.8||Melsahn Basabe||F|
|F||Joey King||6.4||12.9||Aaron White||F|
|C||Elliott Eliason||5.8||5.7||Adam Woodbury||C|
|Bench||Malik Smith||9.1||8.2||Jarrod Uthoff||Bench|
|Bench||Daquein McNeil||1.7||6.4||Josh Oglesby||Bench|
|Bench||Maurice Walker||7.4||6.3||Zach McCabe||Bench|
In this season's previous meeting the Gophers held a small lead at halftime before getting dominated in the second half giving up 53 points in the final 20 mintues! It was Aaron White and Roy Devyn Marble doing the most damage in those final 20 minutes with 18 and 15 points respectively. Those two combined (COMBINED) for 1 point in the first half. Their first half scoring came from Josh Oglesby going 4/4 from three.
But this team has plenty of guys who can score. We have to defend all of them and take advantage of any opportunity to score. No single match-up stands out to me as particularly good or bad for Minnesota other than PF, but that one always concerns me.
Efficiency Stats (national rank in parenthesis if significant)
|Minnesota (58)||Iowa (10)|
|Off PPP||1.121||1.202 (4)|
|Def PPP||1.005||0.969 (45)|
|Off TO%||18.5%||16.0% (40)|
|Off Reb %||33.7%||38.4% (17)|
|Def Reb %||69.3%||71.5 (34)|
Those numbers are just not very encouraging for the Gophers. Our offensive efficiency continues to go down while our defensive efficiency goes up; above 1.0 for the first time all season. Iowa doesn't turn the ball over, they hit the offensive glass, they control the defensive glass and their offense scores over 1.2 points per possession. We are fighting an uphill battle tonight, this is a good team and we will need to execute well for 40 minutes.
Keys to a Gopher Win
Turnovers!! - One of the significant differences between the first and second half down in Iowa City was turnovers. The Hawks scored 16 points off turnovers in the second half to Minnesota's 2. In the first half things were much more even. That 14-point advantage wasn't the difference but getting easy baskets off our careless turnovers easily contributes to confidence and momentum. This is always important for us, no careless turnovers makes a big difference in our outcomes.
Avoid Long Scoring Droughts - Going 5+ minutes without a FG has been a major issue for the Gophers over the last several games. We just are not good enough defensively to survive droughts like that, and Iowa is talented enough to pull away when we do. Things that have contributed to lengthy scoring droughts? Andre Hollins not getting shots or him not beating his man for a good basket. Deandre Mathieu being closed off from getting into the lane. Malik Smith trying to score a 10-pointer while fading away and 24 seconds left on the shot-clock. Just run your offense, get the ball inside and score every once in a while when threes aren't falling. This is important.