|Pos.||Minnesota Golden Gophers||Pnt/Gm||Pnt/Gm||Southern Illinois Salukis||Pos.|
|PG||Nate Mason||13.4||14.6||Mike Rodriquez||PG|
|G||Dupree McBrayer||12.4||12.4||Leo Vincent||G|
|F||Amir Coffey||16.4||13.4||Armon Fletcher||G|
|F||Jordan Murphy||11.4||13.4||Sean O'Brien||F|
|C||Reggie Lynch||9.2||9.6||Thik Bol||F|
|Bench||Eric Curry||8.2||6.2||Sean Lloyd||Bench|
|Bench||Akeem Springs||7.6||3.8||Aaron Cook||Bench|
|Bench||Michael Hurt||0.8||2.4||Rudy Stradnieks||Bench|
It is rather unusual to have so many games with common opponents this early in the season. Arkansas, who we just beat on Tuesday, has played the Salukis and they also played UT Arlington last week as well. The Razorbacks beat Southern Illinois by 25 at their place earlier this season. But now it is our turn to host the Salukis and with how the season has gone thus far, this one should be a Gopher win.
Keys to a Gopher Win
Stay Balanced - This team has had balanced and unselfish scoring all season. Now they get a bit of a break after getting up for a couple of P5 opponents and I hope the same team-oriented offense and unselfish ball movement continues. Southern Illinois is really quite bad on defense. Good movement and executing our version of an offense should lead to a lot of easy buckets. Bad shots and trying to pad numbers will lead to keeping them in the game.
Just Get Better - Execute and continue to get better. No doubt this team is lightyears ahead of where they were a year ago, but it is not a finished product. The Big Ten is looming and that's when we'll see how they react against good competition. Games like this, they need to continue to progress and get better.
Make Free Throws - This is getting better. But missing free throws keeps teams you should beat in games and it prevents you from winning against good teams. Just make your free throws young people.
I fear this one is closer than it should be. We dominated Arkansas who dominated the Salukis. But this team is feeling good about itself after the St. John's and Arkansas wins. They have a couple more important games against Florida State and Vandy in the coming days. Easy to take a breather here and that's when Southern hits some shots to make this one closer than it should be. But the Gophers win, by 13.