|Pos.||Minnesota Golden Gophers||Pnt/Gm||Pnt/Gm||Purdue Boilermakers||Pos.|
|PG||Nate Mason||13.5||7.5||P.J. Thompson||PG|
|G||Dupree McBrayer||12.7||11.0||Carsen Edwards||G|
|F||Amir Coffey||12.3||10.1||Dakota Mathias||G|
|F||Jordan Murphy||10.6||17.8||Caleb Swanigan||F|
|C||Reggie Lynch||8.1||14.4||Isaac Haas||F|
|Bench||Eric Curry||6.5||12.0||Vince Edwards||Bench|
|Bench||Akeem Springs||8.9||6.9||Ryan Cline||Bench|
|Bench||Michael Hurt||1.3||4.8||Basil Smotherman||Bench|
Maybe the best team in the Big Ten and we face them on the road after they just pummeled Iowa. Very good on defense, dangerous on offense both inside and out. This Boilermaker club is balanced and I fear them. They have only two losses on the year. One to Villanova and the other to Louisville (both top 10 teams). Maybe we call in a favor to the Cardinals and get some help with a scouting report/ game plan.
Efficiency Stats (national rank in parenthesis if significant)
|Minnesota (49)||Purdue (12)|
|Off PPP||1.055||1.49 (16)|
|Def PPP||0.923 (18)||0.910 (11)|
|Off Reb %||29.9%||34.0%|
|Def Reb %||71.6%||76.5% (14)|
Any team that plays good defense and then locks down the defensive glass is going to be a tough one to beat. Also quite interesting how Purdue has been very good at not fouling opponents and putting them on the free throw line. We sort of make a living off doing that.
Keys to a Gopher Win
Make Threes - I think that the Gophers are going to have to make several shots from behind the arc this afternoon. Purdue is going to do what Michigan State did in the second half, which was fill the paint so we can't drive to the basket and I expect they'll foul us less. We need to make threes to open things up. Making 3/13 from behind the arc won't get it done.
Get to the Line - To win we will have to make Purdue be a little uncharacteristic. Making them foul us and getting to the line will certainly help. It is unfortunately our best offense right now, get some space and go to the rim hoping to pick up a foul.
Defense!!! - I've actually been pleasantly surprised with our team defense this year (amazing what a difference it makes when you remove one guy who had the slowest feet in all of D1 basketball and another guy who just had no clue what he was doing). Team defense has been very solid and needs to be even better today. Purdue is balanced, so nobody gets to take a breather.
I am not hopeful. I respect Purdue a lot and right now I might put them as my favorite to win the conference. We aren't going on to their floor and coming away with a win. Certainly possible, but doesn't seem likely. The good news is that we only have to face them once.
The first conference win will come soon.