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Minnesota Defeats Drake 68-67

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NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Arkansas Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota, a team that is supposedly good at basketball, defeated Drake 68-67 at Williams Arena. Drake is not a good basketball team. Jordan Murphy led all scorers with 24 points.

Richard Pitino described this game as like going to the dentist. I think that’s unfair to most dentists. This game was like watching this scene from Marathon Man.

Is it safe to watch Minnesota basketball if they play like this? Honestly, I’m not sure. Jordan Murphy had another double double because that is what Jordan Murphy does. He finished with 24 points and 18 rebounds, though tonight had five turnovers because sure that was the game tonight.

Non Jordan Murphy started the game 4-21 from the field. Indeed, excluding Amir Coffey’s second half, non Jordan Murphy was garbage tonight. Non Jordan/Non Amir was 11/36 from the field. Dupree McBrayer was 2-11. Nate Mason was 4-13. One could forgive them somewhat if they were taking good shots that just did not fall. There are nights like that in basketball. That was not tonight.

Amir Coffey scored all of his 16 points in the second half by being active and attacking the basket. Coffey is a standout player who needs to be more integrated into the offense. Whether that is because he steps up and takes control like he did in a key stretch in the second half or they run offense through him I don’t care. For most of this game, he was also the only player who looked for the WIDE OPEN roll man.

6’2”,6’0”, 6’2”, 6’1”, and 6’8”. That was Drake’s starting line up. It’s the kind of line up that might make one think “Give the ball to Jordan Murphy in the post on every possession. Back screen to get him a post touch every possession.” You would be wrong. That line up was apparently the lineup to jack up partially contested rushed threes with plenty of time on the shot clock.

Notes

The crowd booed the team at halftime.