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Gophers Host Catamounts of Western Carolina - OPEN THREAD

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Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Where

williams Arena

When

6:00 PM

How

ESPN3

Pos. Minnesota Golden Gophers Pnt/Gm Pnt/Gm Western Carolina Catamounts Pos.
PG Deandre Mathieu 11.9 17.9 Rhett Harrelson PG
G Andre Hollins 14.9 12.4 Mike Brown G
G Carlos Morris 11.2 18.9 James Sinclair G
F Joey King 6.4 4.6 Kenneth Hall F
F Maurice Walker 5.9 10.8 Torrion Brummitt F
Bench Nate Mason 9.8 4.1 Justin Browning Bench
Bench Elliott Eliason 1.9 2.8 Tucker Thompson Bench
Bench Charles Buggs 7.4 0.6 Devin Peterson Bench

A strong backcourt for the Catamounts that combines for over 49 points per game. Point guard, Rhett Harrelson is an interesting study in that he averaged just 2.7 points per game as a sophomore but he has jumped to nearly 18 per game in this season. This backcourt can score and this will be a key for the Gopher defense to slow down. But the thing is these guys play a LOT of minutes and they don't play very good defense. But Brown, Sinclair and Harrelson all average 34 minutes per game or more.

Keys to a Gopher Win

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Wear Down Their Backcourt -
As mentioned this Catamount backcourt can score and will score. But we have enough depth and play enough defense that I think we will wear them down. Make these guys work for their points and eventually they will fade as we pull away down the stretch.

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Dominate the Paint -
We have a pretty significant size advantage in the paint. Offensively I'd like to see a gameplan that pounds the ball inside which will open up the rest of the offense.

KenPom has us a 94% favorite to win and the sad thing is, this is one of the better remaining non-conference opponents. Looking forward to the Big Ten season but need to stay focused and get these wins while we can.