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Minnesota Basketball: Quick Thoughts The Morning After Gophers Lose at Penn State 77-86

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

So the Gophers have dropped to 0-3 after nearly pulling out a road win at Penn State.  This one was very different from the rest of our losses though.

Out of Character...Shooting - we struggle shooting and scoring.  This was our most efficient offense since the Clemson win and easily our best shooting night of the season.  We've shot around 47% as our effective FG% all year and exploded for 63.5% last night.  In raw terms they hit 55% from three, making 11.  That is unheard of from this roster.  Yet it resulted in a loss.

Expected Issue...Defense - Why was it a loss?  Because that was also one of our worst defensive performances of the year.  We may have scored 1.1 point per possession but we allowed 1.23

Out of Character...Turnovers - The one good think about this Gopher offense is the low turnover %.  They rank 33rd in the country turning the ball over on just 15.5% of our possession.  But last night that number jumped to 24.3%!  That's nearly a quarter of our possessions that ended in a turnover.

Expected Issue...Interior Scoring - sure we were hitting from deep last night but this team just has no options on the interior for scoring.  Jordan Murphy has been the pleasant surprise but his foul trouble last night really didn't help.  And then who else do you trust with the ball in the paint?

Expected Issue...Lack of Execution - when it mattered, we failed to execute while Penn State went on a 16-0 run in the final minutes to put away the Gophers.  With just over 6 minutes remaining Joey King hit a three to put the Gophers up 71-63.  Then the Nittany Lions scored the next 16 points over a span of 5+ minutes that was ended by a Bakary Konate lay-up.  But at that point is was 73-79 with 50 seconds left, Penn State went 7 of 8 from the free throw line and iced it.

Up next is a home game against Northwestern on Saturday.