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Gophers vs. Tar Heels in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off - OPEN THREAD

The game we all were hoping to see has become a reality. We now at least have a really good team on the actual schedule, can we get a win to boost that RPI? It will be tough but it is possible.

Pos Minnesota Pnt/Gm Pnt/Gm North Carolina Pos
PG Al Nolen 9.0
4.0 Larry Drew II
G Blake Hoffarber 11.3 6.5 Dexter Strickland
F Rodney Williams 10.3
16.5 Harrison Barnes
F Trevor Mbakwe 14.0
11.0 John Henson
C Ralph Sampson III 18.3 13.0 Tyler Zeller
Bench Colton Iverson 6.0 11.5 Leslie McDonald
Bench Austin Hollins
5.0 6.5 Justin Watts
Bench Chip Armelin
7.0 Justin Knox

This should be a fun match-up of two Tournament teams. UNC is no mystery team, we all know what to expect. They are a transition team that when running efficiently scores a lot of points on anybody in the country. So far in this early season Roy Williams has his team running efficiently and that is not a good thing for the Gophers.

The match-up of future lottery picks, Rodney Williams and Harrison Barnes should be an interesting one. If Williams ever wants to show the world that he can defend, tonight is a great opportunity to do so. But I really expect that we will see a lot more zone from the Gophers tonight. It proved effective last night and for different reasons it has the potential to be effective tonight. The zone will conceivably force our guys to get back quicker as they just need to sprint back to the lane and then find their area. North Carolina is masterful at beating teams in transition and then running offensive sets quickly before the defense can find their guys and defend. The zone potentially mitigates having to find your man and get to him before drains a three or blows by you for a lay-up.

On the other hand I expect UNC will get a number of open looks at threes. Last year when we were playing zone we gave up a lot of open looks. This year's backcourt is different and more athletic so we'll see if we can keep the Tar Heels from raining threes on us all night long.

To win this game we'll need to win on the hustle board. We need to control the rebounds, not turn the ball over and get some steals and blocks that lead to points.