|Pos.||Minnesota Golden Gophers||Pnt/Gm||Pnt/Gm||Wisconsin Badgers||Pos.|
|PG||Nate Mason||9.6||7.6||Bronson Koenig||G|
|G||Andre Hollins||14.7||7.1||Josh Gasser||G|
|G||Charles Buggs||3.8||12.9||Sam Dekker||F|
|F||Joey King||9.1||12.1||Nigel Hayes||F|
|F||Maurice Walker||11.7||18.1||Frank Kaminsky||F|
|Bench||Deandre Mathieu||8.5||4.7||Duje Dukan||Bench|
|Bench||Bakary Konate||2.0||2.1|| Vitto Brown ||Bench|
|Bench||Carlos Morris||11.3||2.2|| Zak Showalter ||Bench|
Just a couple weeks ago the Gophers went to Madison and were beat by the Badgers in a game that was never really all that close. Bronson Koenig scored a season high 17 points and Frank Kaminksy dominated. Surprisingly the Gophers did a find job limiting Sam Dekker and Nigel Hayes to just 14 combined points.
Now the Gophers get to host the Badgers coming off a week break and a very nice road win over Michigan State. In that win the Gophers got big contributions from Morris, King and Hollins. I do not expect we will see a big night from King but we need Hollins to produce along with someone else.
Efficiency Stats (national rank in parenthesis if significant)
|Off PPP||1.092||1.222 (1)|
|Def PPP||0.974||0.949 (48)|
|Off TO%||17.9%||12.5% (1)|
|Def TO%||25.0% (6)||17.0% (297)|
|Off Reb %||30.0%||31.6%|
|Def Reb %||66.8%||76.7% (2)|
Those numbers for Wisconsin are just incredible. The most efficient offense in the country and a very good defense. They just don't beat themselves and win possession after possession. You rarely see them turn it over, you will struggle to get any offensive rebounds and then by not giving you extra shot attempts they will do a better job of executing their offense than you do. And when they have a talented roster, like they do, they become really difficult to beat.
Keys to a Gopher Win
Backcourt Scoring - Hollins, Mason, Morris and Mathieu need to find a way to contribute to scoring tonight. I just don't see any of our forwards having a big night against the likes of Kaminsky, Hayes and Dekker so we need the perimeter to lead the way. Must hit open shots, must find ways to get penetration and hopefully find a few easy one. Anyone remember last year when Matthieu was finding penetration lanes through the Badger defense possession after possession? That would be nice to see again, followed by made threes from guys camping outside.
Get To The Free Throw Line - Last game we attempted one free throw. ONE! You cannot sit back and be passive because the Badger defense is pretty good. Get by guys, get the ball in the paint and get yourself to the foul line. Then make them please. I'm willing to bet we will see a more aggressive offensive gameplan tonight and being at home I also suspect we will see some fouls called
Somehow Force Turnovers - It isn't easy but they must find a way to generate some turnovers that turn into points. Baskets are not easy to come by on this defense, so getting a few turnovers that lead to easy baskets are really beneficial. They always help, but against a team like Wisconsin they help even more.
Going to be a tough task tonight but the Gophers are playing better. Be aggressive on both ends and try to dictate tempo a little bit.