Keys to a Gopher Win
Defending the 3 - The Illini are one of the better three point shooting team in the Big Ten at 36.5% as a team. Minnesota will need to defend the three better than they did against Maryland last Saturday. If they can't, it could be a long afternoon
Stay Out of Foul Trouble - Illinois can go three deep in the post with Morgan, Finke, and Thorn, Jr seeing action. Reggie Lynch must be disciplined and not get into foul trouble early or the Illini will have a definite advantage in the post.
Make the late play - Minnesota has faltered down the stretch in late close games. Penn State, Wisconsin, and Maeyland were all winnable games if the Gophers could just get a key stop, or make a key basket. In what appears to be another close hard fought games, Minnesota needs to be the team to make that play to win, not watch their opponents do it.
|Pos.||Minnesota Golden Gophers||Pnt/Gm||Pnt/Gm||Illinois Fighting Illini||Pos.|
|PG||Nate Mason||14.0||17.2 || Malcolm Hill ||G|
|G|| Akeem Springs ||9.9 ||8.6 ||Tracy Abrams||G|
|F||Amir Coffey||12.1||8.6 || Jalen Coleman-Lands ||G|
|F||Jordan Murphy||9.7 ||9.1 || Leron Black ||F|
|C||Reggie Lynch||8.5 ||10.2|| Maverick Morgan ||C|
|Bench||Eric Curry||5.7 ||7.0 ||Micheal Finke ||Bench|
|Bench|| Dupree McBrayer ||11.5 ||5.4 ||Mike Thorn, Jr. ||Bench|
|Bench||Michael Hurt||0.9||4.0|| Kipper Nichols ||Bench|
The Gophers will need to come out and set the tone. Once they set the tone, they need to keep the foot on the gas. Minnesota has struggled with playing a consistent 40 minutes, and with a tough road crowd they can't afford to get too flustered. Its not quite a must win, but its getting close. I think they find the wherewithal to get it done.
Minnesota Wins 74-69