The first game after the biggest win of the season has the potential to be scary. Are the Gophers set up for a let down game? I sure hope not
Game Time: 5:00
TV: Big Ten Network
|Pos||#20 - Minnesota||Pnt/Gm||Pnt/Gm||Iowa||Pos|
|PG||Al Nolen||8.8 ||11.0|| Bryce Cartwright ||G|
|G||Blake Hoffarber||14.1||13.2|| Matt Gatens ||G|
|F||Rodney Williams||6.6 ||9.9|| Eric May ||F|
|F||Trevor Mbakwe||13.0 ||7.0|| Jarryd Cole ||F|
|C||Ralph Sampson III||10.4||8.9|| Melsahn Basabe ||F|
|Bench||Colton Iverson||6.3||5.9|| Roy Devyn Marble ||Bench|
|Bench|| Austin Hollins ||3.4||7.6|| Zach McCabe ||Bench|
|Bench|| Chip Armelin ||3.8 ||3.1|| Andrew Brommer ||Bench|
So Iowa is clearly one of the worst teams in the Big Ten, they lost to South Dakota State earlier in the year. But that doesn't mean we should completely ignore the Hawkeyes. Remember how our football team lost to South Dakota, was one of the worst teams in the conference and managed to beat a good Iowa football team. Obviously there are different circumstances but this team is capable of beating us, especially if come out flat or play uninspired.
Iowa has a few young players who are improving. Melsahn Basabe is the best freshman in the Big Ten that you've never heard of. 8.9 points and 6.6 rebounds per game is solid but I don't fear that he'll dominate and carry the Hawkeyes to an upset win.
This should be a game where, even with Basabe and Cole, we can really take advantage of the interior. Trevor Mbakwe and if either of our centers decide to show up, they should be able to dominate the paint. I don't know what to expect on the perimeter. As usual I am comfortable with Al Nolen matching up with Cartwright and keeping him in check.
|KenPom Efficiency Stats||Minnesota (48)||Iowa (77)|
|Pnt / Poss||1.130 (32)||1.046|
|Def Pnt / Poss||0.943||0.925|
|Off Reb %||39.0% (15)||36.3%|
|Def Reb %||67.7%||70.2%|
|TO %||20.2%||21.7% (224)|
Iowa hits the offensive glass rather well and to be honest our defensive rebounding has been sliding a bit lately. Both teams turn the ball over more than they should. But this should come down to the fact that the Gophers are a bit more efficient offensively and they play better defense. Iowa is playing much better now than they were a month ago but I'm still rather confident.
I am afraid of a letdown game. I do fear that our execution will be lax and that our effort will not be what it needs to be in order to compete with a Big Ten team. If taken lightly Iowa can beat us, believe that.
Look for the Gophers to do their best to get Hoffarber going early and they'll give Mbakwe every opportunity to dominate the paint. Then watch everyone play off of that.