The championship game of the Old Spice Classic. Can the Gophers win their early season tournament for the second year in a row?
Game Time: 6:00
Radio: 1500 AM
|Pos||Minnesota (6-0)||Pnt/Gm||Pnt/Gm||Dayton (4-1)||Pos|
|PG||Andre Hollins||9.0||12.2||Kevin Dillard||G|
|G||Austin Hollins||9.7||12.6||Paul Williams||G|
|F||Rodney Williams||8.3||10.0||Chris Johnson||F|
|F||Trevor Mbakwe||14.8||10.2||Josh Benson||F|
|C||Ralph Sampson III||7.0||8.8||Matt Kavanaugh||F|
|Bench||Julian Welch||6.7||7.4||Josh Parker||Bench|
|Bench||Chip Armelin||5.8||6.4||Luke Fabrizius||Bench|
|Bench||Elliott Elliason||3.0 ||2.4||Devin Oliver||Bench|
Dayton heavily relies on the three point shot. 35% of their points scored come from behind the arc, by contrast the Gophers have 16% of our points from threes. Granted we are not very good from deep so that isn't a fair comparison but the Flyers rank 43rd in the country in % of points scored from three. That is not a good thing for the Gophers, we have not been very good defending threes, particularly in the first halves of games. Indiana State hit 8/13 first half threes and DePaul was 5/10. Dayton has a number of guys who can consistently make three-point shots but the ones we absolutely need to guard SG-Paul Williams who is making 52% of his threes and SF-Chris Johnson who made 77 threes a year ago. What Dayton does not do well is score in other ways. They rank near the bottom of all D1 teams in scoring points from the free throw line.
Without a doubt this is the best team we have played yet this season. Dayton is a solid team. They are athletic and they can shoot the ball. But we do some things well. We rebound as well as anybody, especially offensively. We get to the free throw line a lot scoring nearly 25% of our points from the line. And we tend to force a fair amount of turnovers. We will have to do all of those and play a good defensive game to win this game. I'm not suggesting that Dayton is a heavy favorite, but we have played poorly enough on defense that they may be able to score quite a few points.
KenPom says we are a 63% favorite to win, I believe it is closer to 50/50. I'm still looking for some defensive mentality and passion from this team. What I'd like to see is some full-court pressure that generates some offense or at least takes time off the shot-clock. Even if we are mediocre in the half-court but do well in full, I'll take that.