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Gophers Hit the Road in B1G/ACC Challenge at Florida State - OPEN THREAD

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Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Where

MInneapolis

When

6:00 PM

How

ESPNU

Pos. Minnesota Golden Gophers Pnt/Gm Pnt/Gm XXX Pos.
PG Nate Mason 13.0 9.8 Xavier Rathan-Mayes PG
G Dupree McBrayer 12.2 18.2 Dwayne Bacon G
F Amir Coffey 15.8 8.3 Terance Mann G
F Jordan Murphy 11.0 15.3 Jonathan Isaac F
C Reggie Lynch 9.2 5.3 Michael Ojo F
Bench Eric Curry 8.2 7.3 CJ Walker Bench
Bench Akeem Springs 6.7 8.2 Trent Forrest Bench
Bench Michael Hurt 0.7 5.5 Christ Koumadje Bench

Not shown above are the sizes of players but it should be noted that Florida State boasts one of the tallest teams in the country. The 6'10" Isaac against Jordan Murphy might be the key matchup of the night. I'll also be very interested in watching McBrayer or Coffey defending Bacon and his 18 ppg.

After losing to Temple early last week, the Seminoles bounced back and beat the Fighting Illini by 12. This team was previoulsy ranked 25th in the AP Poll, but will surely drop out after going 1-1 last week. But this is the premier test of the non-conference season for the Gophers. We play Florida State a LOT for the Big Ten / ACC Challenge, 6th time in 18 years of the challenge. We have won 3 of the 5 matchups and currently hold a 5-game win-streak in this Challenge.

Efficiency Stats (national rank in parenthesis if significant)

Minnesota (60) Florida St (38)
Off PPP 1.069 1.129 (16)
Def PPP 0.955 0.974
Off TO% 16.4% 14.9% (18)
Def TO% 18.9% 18.0%
Off Reb % 29.7% 35.0%
Def Reb % 69.5% 68.5%

Florida State is very efficient offensively. As you can see above they are averating 1.129 points per possession and rank 16th nationally, to that end they are also 17th nationally in effective FG% which is more from having an incredibly high 2-pt FG% rather than making enough threes to bump up their eFG%. But conversely the Gophers are pretty good defensively against field goals inside the arc. Our defensive eFG% ranks 11th nationally and it's really good against the 2. This is strength on strength in the paint here.

Keys to a Gopher Win

Maroon_key_medium Stay Out of Foul Trouble - This is a big team and they will run their offense through their big men. While I really like how Reggie Lynch, Jordan Murphy and Eric Curry have played in the paint, but there is a very good chance that one or more of them could get in foul trouble tonight. Lynch may get block happy and pick up a couple early ones. Murphy may as well, but then we lose his offense. These guys need to stay out of foul trouble, cause the more minutes Bakary Konate plays, the slimmer our chances.

Maroon_key_medium Crash the Boards - The one loss experienced by the Seminoles this year came from Temple. The Owls hit the offensive glass to snag 17 offensive rebounds (a rate of 47%). That is the stat that jumped out from the box score and therefore I'm going to use it as a key to the Gophers coming away with a road win.

Maroon_key_medium Free Throws, Young People - Once again I'll play up the road angle to this. I've actually been to a game down in Tallahasee and this is not an atmosphere that should rattle the Gophers. But this is a good team, likely an NCAA Tournament team, and we are playing away from Williams Arena for the first time all year. Making your free throws helps a LOT when you are trying to win on the road.

Prediction

This is going to be a tough game. It is the team's fist road game and the opponent is a talented one. I'm going to say that we drop this game and will have to regroup quickly before facing Vandy later this week in a neutral sight game.

Gophers drop this by 6.