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Gophers continue on the road to Michigan State - OPEN THREAD

The brutal start to the Big Ten continues with a trip to East Lansing to face the #19 Michigan State Spartans. The Gophers are coming off a loss in Madison while the Spartans have had more than a week to prepare for Minnesota.

Game Time: 3:00
TV: Big Ten Network

Pos #13 - Minnesota Pnt/Gm Pnt/Gm #19 - Michigan State Pos
PG Al Nolen 7.9
14.7 Kalin Lucas
G Blake Hoffarber 13.8 15.5 Durrell Summers
F Rodney Williams 6.3
6.5 Keith Appling
F Trevor Mbakwe 13.1
12.5 Draymond Green
C Ralph Sampson III 11.7 5.5 Garrick Sherman
Bench Devoe Joseph 12.1 7.3 Korie Lucious
Bench Austin Hollins
3.9 6.8 Delvin Roe
Bench Colton Iverson 6.6
3.4 Austin Thornton

The PF match-up should be fun. Draymond Green was nearly a Golden Gopher and he is a lot of fun to watch. The other match-up that I look forward to every year is Kalin Lucas and Al Nolen. These are a couple very quick point guards that defend well. And the other thing I love watching is a Tom Izzo led team and watching them execute their offensive sets.

This year the Spartans are off to a rough start losing four games already but they were all to good teams. This team is still finding it's groove, which it WILL find, so hopefully catching them earlier will be to our benefit.

Ken Pom stats below, national ranking in parenthesis. I basically only put ranking if it is in the top 50 or a significantly bad ranking.

KenPom Efficiency Stats Minnesota (58) Michigan State (20)
Record 11-2 8-4
Pnt / Poss 1.100 (48) 1.001 (47)
Def Pnt / Poss 0.939 0.870 (14)
Off eFG% 52.0% 51.6%
Def eFG% 46.5% 44.5%
Off Reb % 39.7% (15) 36.8%
Def Reb % 69.4% 69%
TO % 20.3% 23.0 (269)

Michigan State is good and the numbers show it but they are vulnerable. We are a better rebounding team and they have a tendancy to turn the ball over. Imagine Tuesday's Wisconsin game if the Badgers had just 8 or 9 turnovers, that easily would have translated into 4-6 points and a Gopher win. On the other hand I may have nightmares of Korrie Lucious, Durrell Summers and Kalin Lucas draining three after three on us one their way to a Spartan 15 point victory.

We all know the formula for a Gopher win.

  • A - Force turnovers, dominate the paint and win the rebounding battle.
  • B - We know that we'll give up some open looks and we know that we won't hit a high percentage of our free throws.

I could copy and paste those last few sentences into every single game thread for the rest of the season. Some games A will be greater than B and other games it will be the other way around. MSU isn't unbeatable, especially at this point in the season, but this will be a tall order for the Gophers.