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Gophers shoot for Puerto Rico Championship against West Virginia - OPEN THREAD

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After a great win over an overrated UNC squad the Gophers get a chance to earn the Puerto Rico Championship. Last year we notched an impressive win over Butler only to follow that up with a bad loss to the Portland Pilots. We can't follow up a win over a top 10 ranked team (even if they don't belong there) with a bad game against West Virginia. After this game the schedule gets easier and easier, getting this win would be huge and likely lead to an undefeated non-conference season.

Pos Minnesota Pnt/Gm Pnt/Gm West Virginia Pos
PG Al Nolen 8.5
15.9 Darryl Bryant
G
G Blake Hoffarber 13.5 18.3 Casey Mitchell
G
F Rodney Williams 9.3
10.3 Kevin Jones
F
F Trevor Mbakwe 13.5
10.7 John Flowers
F
C Ralph Sampson III 16.8 6.0 Deniz Klicli
F
Bench Colton Iverson 6.3 0.7 Cam Thoroughman
Bench
Bench Austin Hollins
4.5 7.7 Dalton Pepper
Bench
Bench Chip Armelin
4.5
8.0 Joe Mazzulla
Bench

Four starters in double figures for the Mountaineers is impressive and this is a roster full of guys who have Final Four experience. Mitchell's 18.3 average is largely due to his 31 point outburst against Vanderbilt. That means Mitchell isn't in line to hit 18 tonight, but it does prove that this lineup has a few guys capable of having a big night.

This team is experienced both in age and big games played. They are not supposed to be as good as North Carolina, but neither are we. This team is very good and very capable of beating us. We need to play well tonight, we need to get the ball in the paint and let Sampson and Mbakwe have the opportunity to dominate the paint. If they are not able to do so then we'll work from the outside in. But we get wins with defense so let's start there and see what happens. I want a championship, not contentedness with beating North Carolina.