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Previewing Minnesota-UNCW

Minnesota plays its last non-conference game against UNC-Wilmington

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota (10-2) plays its last non-conference game against UNC-Wilmington. Everyone who is ready for meaningful basketball weeps with joy.

Game Details

Opponent: UNCW

When: 12pm CST

Where: Williams Arena

Watch: BTN

Listen: 1500 ESPN

Three Points

1. Energy

The Furman game, if it was good for anything, showed the Gophers that bad opponents can beat them if the Gophers do not come to play. As Herb Brooks might say, this team isn't talented enough to win on talent alone unless they're playing Furman. Brooks might use more flourishes. On paper, UNC-Wilmington is not likely to challenge Minnesota. The Seahawks turn the ball over frequently, like to play fast, and are not a major threat from behind the arc. In other words, exactly the kind of team that Minnesota should beat easily. That is, if Minnesota wants to play. If the Gophers have low energy and the Seahawks are allowed to stay in the game, we may have another repeat of the Furman second half.

2. Half Court Sets

This is the last time before Big Ten play that Minnesota will have an opportunity to work out kinks in its half court offense. When Minnesota plays well, the ball flies around the perimeter, entry passes are simple, and the team generates many open looks. When they do not play well in the half court, it looks like the second half at St. John's. In a perfect world, this is a blow out and a chance for bench players to get additional game reps.

3. No injuries

Please Jobu no injuries. The Gophers are already shallow, and will need every player for the Big Ten season.

Predictions

  • Gophers win 86-64
  • Andre Hollins bounces back to shoot 50% from deep
  • Elliot Eliason dunks the ball, makes a tree chopping motion, and draws a technical.