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Gophers Look For Third Straight Win as They Host Northwestern - OPEN THREAD

With a full week to prepare, will the Gophers be able to get their first home win at the Barn?

Game Time: 3:00

Pos Minnesota (14-5) Pnt/Gm Pnt/Gm Northwestern (12-5) Pos
PG Julian Welch 10.1 8.2 Dave Sobolewski
G Joe Coleman 5.5 5.9 Reggie Hearn G
F Austin Hollins 8.7 17.6 Drew Crawford
F Rodney Williams 10.6 19.1 John Shurna F
C Ralph Sampson III 8.2 4.3 David Curletti F
Bench Andre Hollins 5.4 4.0 Alex Marcotullio Bench
Bench Maverick Ahanmisi 4.6 2.1 Nick Fruendt
Bench Eliott Eliason
2.5 6.3 Luka Mirkovic

NU has switched up their starting lineup recently so this might still be tinkered with. This may seem strange but everyone on this roster scares me. Marcotullio is averaging just 4.0 ppg this year after around 6 ppg last year but he averaged 13.3 against Minnesota last year. When the game was close on Wednesday, Sobolewski was getting to the basket and making some tough shots in the lane, I fear he could go off for 15+. Shurna and Crawford already score a lot of points so they obviously worry me.

Their offense is crisp and when executed it is tough to defend. I fear that we are going to be so concerned about watching out for the next weakside screen that we forget about help defense while Sobolewski walks down the middle of the lane for a lay-up. And then Shurna, Marcotullio and Crawford start draining threes on us.

KenPom Efficiency Stats Minnesota (51) Northwestern (58)
Record 14-5 12-6
Pnt / Poss 1.095 1.139 (14)
Def Pnt / Poss 0.953 0.996
Off eFG% 52.2%
Def eFG% 47.6% 49.1%
Off Reb % 36.9% (41)
Def Reb % 66.6% 65.1%
TO % 21.6% 15.8% (6)

Based on the efficiency stats NU is the complete opposite of Penn State. The Nittany Lions were awfully inefficient offensively and they are a very good rebounding team. NU is not very good on the glass but they take care of the ball and they score at a high rate of their possessions.

On paper I see that this is a game we should win. I believe that we have better athletes and we are playing much better over the last couple weeks AND we have had a full week to get healthy and prepare for this game. But Northwestern is a highly skilled team that is capable of scoring a lot of points if we aren't disciplined.

I'm starting to feel more confidence in this Gopher team again so I'm going to believe that we will win today.