Minnesota defeated Georgia Southern tonight at Williams Arena by a score of 86-49. Minnesota held Georgia Southern to 17 points in the second half. The Gophers are now 9-1 on the season, which eclipses their win total from last year. Richard Pitino has now also won 60 games as a head coach at Minnesota. Dupree McBrayer led all scorers with 18 points.
Minnesota opened up with a barrage from deep. The Gophers made eight three pointers in the first half, and were shooting above 70% from the field for an extended period. Admittedly, their opponent was not a defensive juggernaut. With that said, it was good to see the guards open up and hit shots. Eventually the Gophers came back down to earth, but by that point the game was a laugher.
Nate Mason continues to play at an extremely high level. He had 14 points to go along with 9 assists and 6 rebounds. Beyond his offensive output, the point guard also did an excellent job directing the defense during his time on the floor. Part of the improvement on defense has been an infusion of talent, but that talent is still young. Mason did an excellent job tonight communicating.
Akeem Springs briefly could not miss from deep. The graduate transfer brings offense off the bench that is sorely needed, and while he takes a lot of shots they tend to be good looks. Springs is a dramatically better version of Malik Smith, and so far this season appears to have been an excellent off season get.
Dupree McBrayer had an Austin Hollins like statline of 18 points, five rebounds, five assists, and three steals. The sophomore has improved across the board, and has a lot of confidence right now. As long as he plays under control, that confidence is going to lead to a lot of points the rest of the season.
Michael Hurt made his first three of the year. His teammates were extremely excited about the make.
Amir Coffey had a relatively quiet night with just six points, however, he had six rebounds and seven assists. In the first half, he threw a near perfect bounce pass to set up a Mason three pointer. Coffey is so fundamentally sound that he should be on an instructional DVD.
Jordan Murphy is playing a lot more on the perimeter, and seems to be struggling a little bit to find his offensive game. It will come because the sophomore is too talented not to impact the game on the offensive end, but I hope for his sake it comes soon. He did make a three pointer, which would be a nice addition to his game if he continues to play on the perimeter.
Minnesota shot 10-16 from the free throw line, which drops their overall season average. I have a feeling that we will be copying and pasting the majority of that sentence into these recaps for the foreseeable future.