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Gopher Basketball host Easter Kentucky - OPEN THREAD

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It is a blizzard here in Minnesota so one can assume The Barn will be fairly empty this afternoon but we can all talk about here and actually get to see the game on TV. It is also worth noting that Blake Hoffarber is 20 points away from 1,000 for his career. It is possible he hits that mark this afternoon.

Game Time: 12:00
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: WCCO

Pos #20 Minnesota (8-1) Pnt/Gm Pnt/Gm Eastern Kentucky (5-4) Pos
PG Devoe Joseph 13.3
10.0 Joshua Jones
G
G Blake Hoffarber 15.1 11.9 Josh Daniel
G
F Rodney Williams 5.6
8.8 Justin Stommes
F
F Trevor Mbakwe 13.8
4.6 Jeff Johnson
F
C Ralph Sampson III 11.4 12.9 Spencer Perrin
F
Bench Colton Iverson 6.6 5.2 Devin McDonald
Bench
Bench Austin Hollins
4.8 1.7 Taylor Filipek
Bench
Bench Chip Armelin
5.1
9.9 Willie Cruz
Bench

Interesting that last year's leading scorer, Justin Stommes, is fourth on the team in scoring this year. But the Colonels have some pretty balanced scoring. The Gopher defense is the one and only thing I'm interested in watching today. We haven't played great defense this season, especially with Nolen out. But today is another opportunity for our perimeter defense to show that they can defend guys one-on-one and stop an opponent. I don't want to see another guy (or two) go off for career highs again this afternoon.

Ken Pom Efficiency Stats, ranks in parenthesis.

KenPom Efficiency Stats Minnesota (43) Eastern Kentucky (208)
Pnt / Poss 1.115 (28) 1.024
Def Pnt / Poss 0.939 1.070
Off eFG% 52.9% 51.2%
Def eFG% 46.6% 50.6%
Off Reb % 38.7% (42) 28.0%
Def Reb % 67.2% 67.0%
TO % 20.4% 22.5%

This should be a win and I keep waiting for one dominating win where we put a team away early and win by a significant margin. Is this the game? We are clearly the better team, even without Nolen. So the questions I have are...

Will Mbakwe have another double-double?

Will we show some desire to play some perimeter defense?

Can we finally win a game comfortably?