Ann Arbor, MI
|Pos.||Minnesota Golden Gophers||Pnt/Gm||Pnt/Gm||Indiana Hoosiers||Pos.|
|PG||Nate Mason||12.3||10.6||Derrick Walton Jr||PG|
|G||Dupree McBrayer||4.3||6.1||Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman||G|
|F||Ahmad Gilbert||2.4||9.8||Zak Irvin||F|
|F||Jordan Murphy||10.5||12.1||Duncan Robinson||F|
|C||Bakary Konate||4.8||6.8||Mark Donnal||F|
|Bench||Joey King||12.9||8.1||Aubrey Dawkins||Bench|
|Bench||Carlos Morris||10.8||3.7||D.J. Wilson||Bench|
|Bench||Kevin Dorsey||6.4||4.0||Ricky Doyle||Bench|
This is maybe the worst matchup of the year for this particular Gopher team. Not because Michigan is the most talented team we will face, but because what they do really well (shoot the three) we really struggle at. MAYBE Iowa is a worst matchup but the point is, this is not a good one for Minnesota right now.
Keys to a Gopher Win (yes, I realize the futile-ness of this exercise)
Defend the Three - I said this against Indiana and it becomes even more important tonight against Michigan. This team does not try to beat you with more possessions, they beat you by doing more with the possessions they have. They will be a much better three-point shooting team than their opponent meaning to beat them you have either not let them hit a bunch of threes or you have to accumulate a LOT more possessions than they do. But they limit that with defensive rebounding and low turnovers. They and Iowa are the best in the Big Ten at being efficient offensively from three. If we don't get to shooters, we will get destroyed.
Figure out a Way to Get More Possessions - As stated, they will hit a lot of threes and for us to beat them we will need more possessions. Offensive rebounds and turning them over is the answer but accomplishing that is going to be the challenge. This will help, but ultimately the first key is the real key. Can we turn them over? Yes, I believe that is more realistic than accumulating offensive rebounds.
As I said, it really comes down to slowing down their offense. When they lose it is usually because the other team clamped down and dropped Michigan's eFG% dramatically. In all of their wins, their worst eFG% was 56.5%. In four of their five losses it was 50%, 39.3%, 43.3% and 46.7%. The other loss was to Iowa and that was a battle of similar styles where they still shot well but Iowa pulled out the win. The point is...get them to under 50% eFG%...much easier said than done, especially for this Gopher team.