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Minnesota Looks For First Big Ten Win Hosting Iowa - OPEN THREAD

This is just what the Gophers need, a home game against a team they should beat. I'm sure that is what Badger fans thought a week ago too, so maybe we better take this game seriously. We are 0-2 in the conference so we better be taking every game seriously.

Game Time: 8:00

Pos Minnesota Pnt/Gm Pnt/Gm Iowa Pos
PG Maverick Ahanmisi 4.8 11.1 Roy Devyn-Marble
G Julian Welch 10.3 7.3 Eric May G
F Austin Hollins 8.5 13.3 Matt Gatens F
F Rodney Williams 9.7 7.1 Zach McCabe F
C Ralph Sampson III 9.1 10.1 Melsahn Basabe F
Bench Andre Hollins 5.9 9.6 Aaron White Bench
Bench Chip Armelin 5.9 6.9 Josh Oglesby
Bench Elliott Eliason
2.7 6.7 Bryce Cartwright

Fran McCaffery has himself an entire roster of 6-5 to 6-7 forwards. No real big men, not a true point guard. I like this game from the standpoint that we should hold an advantage in the paint again and Iowa does not boast a roster of great three-point shooters. What does give me pause and concern is their ability to penetrate to the paint and score.

KenPom Efficiency Stats Minnesota (46) Iowa (99)
Record 12-3 9-6
Pnt / Poss 1.088 (47) 1.076
Def Pnt / Poss 0.943 0.998
Off eFG% 52.6%
Def eFG% 47.2% 50.2%
Off Reb % 37.1% (48) 33.0%
Def Reb % 67.4% 71.0% (50)
TO % 22.0% 16.4% (12)

Looking at the numbers it is obvious that Iowa does some of the little things right, which is probably how they were able to play Purdue to within 3 points and then beat Wisconsin on the road. As you can see Iowa ranks in the top 50 in both defensive rebounding and turnovers. When you stop opponent possessions with a rebound 71% of the time and don't turn the ball over you give yourself a chance to win if you can make some shots.

Between these two teams you probably won't see a lot of threes attempted or made. Iowa gets only 19.3% of their total points from behind the arc and Minnesota gets just 20.7%, both ranking in the 300s nationally. The Gophers will have to play some perimeter defense by moving their feet and helping on penetration. And our big men had better be prepared to step up on penetration without fouling. There is a strong possibility that Ralph and Rodney get into foul trouble because every time an opponent comes into the lane their eyes get wide anticipating a massive blocked shot. They need to be big, stay on their feet and stay out of foul trouble. They won't get as many blocked shots but they'll get more minutes to rack up points on the other end of the floor.

In the end I still believe Iowa is a lower tier team than the Gophers. They got their surprise win of the year already. Iowa beating Minnesota won't be nearly as shocking as beating Wisconsin (some might not be shocked at all) but I just don't believe it will happen tonight.