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Golden Gophers travel to St. Joe's to face the Hawks - OPEN THREAD

And we have a true road game for the Golden Gophers. Maybe getting away from the cozy confines of home will help them to focus and come out playing well from the tip.

Game Time: 6:00
Radio: WCCO (possibly you can listen live to the St. Joes radio broadcast HERE)

Pos Minnesota Pnt/Gm Pnt/Gm Saint Joseph's Pos
PG Maverick Ahanmisi 1.3
17.5 Carl Jones
G Blake Hoffarber 15.3 10.9 Langston Galloway
F Rodney Williams 6.0
4.9 Daryus Quarles
F Trevor Mbakwe 14.0
9.9 Idris Hilliard
C Ralph Sampson III 11.6 7.3 C.J. Aiken
Bench Colton Iverson 7.4 4.0 Ronald Roberts
Bench Austin Hollins
4.6 1.4 Patrick Swilling
Bench Devoe Joseph
3.1 Justin Crosgile

Another game that makes me very nervous because their best scorer is a point guard and our best defender will not be playing. I'd feel MUCH better if Absolute Zero were defending Jones instead of a combination of Ahanmisi, Joseph and Hoffarber. With that said we should have yet another sizable size advantage in the paint. If we see aggressive Ralph to go along with the always aggressive Mbakwe then we should dominate the middle, especially on the glass.

KenPom Efficiency Stats Minnesota (42) Saint Joes (175)
Pnt / Poss 1.112 (30) 0.985
Def Pnt / Poss 0.932 0.989
Off eFG% 52.6% 45.6%
Def eFG% 47.2% 49.2%
Off Reb % 39.2% (36) 27.3%
Def Reb % 67.3% 65.9%
TO % 20.5% 20.8%

Statistically this is a win for the Gophers. KenPom's prediction algorithm says we are 81% likely to win this game. We do have one common opponent already this year as the Hawks we dominated by Western Kentucky 98-70 earlier in the season.

This game being on the road might not be ideal but in the long run I think this is probably a very good thing. This is the only road game on the non-conference schedule and St. Joe's is looking forward to having a Big Ten team on their court. I like the opportunity for these guys to get on the road, get into a hostile environment and execute away from the Barn.

All signs point to a win unless Carl Jones has an unbelievable night without a Gopher perimeter player able to slow him down. We really should be able to dominate the paint, control the boards and execute our offense. Defensively we need to be focused on Jones and close out strong on their shooters.