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Minnesota Basketball-Previewing Missouri State

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After a loss to Temple, The Gophers enter the Losers' bracket of the Puerto Rico Tip Off.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

After yesterday's loss to Temple, Minnesota now takes on Missouri State. The Bears lost to Butler 93-59, so will provide very little positive benefit to Minnesota's strength of schedule.

Provide me the Essentials to View this Game

Who are the Gophers playing? Missouri State Bears

Where are they playing? Puerto Rico

When are they playing? 9:30am CST

Can I watch it on television? You can. ESPNU and WatchESPN

What about the wonder of sound? This game is on the radio 1500ESPN.

Tell me more about the Opponent

Missouri State is 0-2 on the year with the aforementioned loss to Butler and a loss to a bad Oral Roberts team. The Bears' average less than a point per possession and give up more than a point per possession. In addition, so far this year they do not appear to be good at shooting the ball from any distance.

On the defensive side of the ball Missouri State is horrific so far against the 3. This is a bit of a small sample size, but Missouri State returned most of its players from last year's poor defensive squad. Minnesota will certainly have the opportunity to take wide open 3s. If they make them, this game will be a blowout in a hurry.

Keys to the Game

We have returned to the land of meaningless non-conference games. Consequently there are only two keys.

  1. Win the Game
  2. No one get injured

Additionally, while not explicit keys, it would be nice to see Bakary Konate play extensively without fouling, Kevin Dorsey make some shots, and general improvement on defensive spacing.

Predictions

  • Minnesota wins 72-60. KenPom has this as a 82% chance of a Minnesota win with an expected score of 74-65.
  • Gaston Diedhiou takes an ill-advised long 2.
  • All 10 people watching this game will be doing so stealthily at work