Minnesota began the season in an aircraft hanger against Louisville. The Gophers lost to Louisville 81-68. The Gophers looked every bit like they were playing their first game of the season in the first half, fouling extensively and making poor decisions on the offensive end. While they settled down in the second half, it was too late to catch Louisville.
Final from Puerto Rico. pic.twitter.com/sqHkQtegO8— Minnesota MBB (@GopherMBB) November 15, 2014
THE RESULT: Minnesota struggled against Louisville's pressure all night. The Gophers turned the ball over 18 times, while shooting just 4-19 from 3 point distance. There will be a lot of film of what not to do on offense for the rest of the season.
THE STAT: 60.6%. Minnesota's free throw shooting percentage. Let's talk about Free Throws. For some reason, this 15 foot set shot was completely novel to the Gophers as they managed to shoot 20-33 from the line. Funnily enough, the Gophers lost by 13 points.
TURNING POINT: With around 8 minutes to go, Andre Hollins scored a layup off the break to pull Minnesota to within 8. The Gophers played excellent defense and forced a prayer corner 3 from Chris Jones of Louisville. The shot went in, and Minnesota never recovered.
HOT: Andre Hollins is back. The senior's jump shot looked fluid and confident throughout the night. More importantly, he was very confident driving to the basket. Last year after the ankle injury, Hollins was unable to effectively drive to the basket and that greatly limited his offensive game. Hollins finished with 20 points, 2 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 turnovers. Mo Walker had a quietly impressive game, finishing with 10 points on 5-7 shooting, 4 rebounds, and 1 assist.
NOTABLE: Jill Pitino yelled at the refs and it was glorious.
Nate Mason had a nice first game. He played very maturely and confidently led the offense while Mathieu was on the bench with foul trouble. While free throw shooting was an issue, Gopher fans are going to like his game. GopherNation and I were right in our preview.
UP NEXT: The Gophers play Western Kentucky at the Barn on Tuesday November 18th at 7pm CST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.