The Washington Huskies are projected to finish somewhere in the top 3 in the Pac 12 with a couple of All-Pac 12 caliber players in their lineup. This promises to be a very good test for Minnesota and should be an important game for NCAA Tournament consideration down the road. What will it take for the Gophers to remain undefeated and get this win?
KEYS TO A GOPHER WIN
Win the Paint - Besides a good match up of quality teams, the head to head match up of Jordan Murphy and Noah Dickerson promises to be a good one in the paint as well. Of course Daniel Oturu will play a role here as well, but Dickerson was 1st team All-Pac 12 a year ago and should be a handful in the paint. Neutralizing him would be huge.
Offensive Rebounding - This is not a particular strength of the Huskies and when they were blown out by Auburn, they were killed on the offensive glass. This may be a critical stat to watch for tonight (along with turnovers). Get some extra possessions because our bigs are active and our forwards do a better job of getting involved here and we should be in good shape.
Contain Jaylen Newell - The sophomore point guards is shooting over 50% from three and averaging over 20 points per game. I’m not sure who will be guarding Newell, but giving him some trouble will be significant. He is a 6’4” point and very well could draw Coffey on him, which would be interesting to see if Coffey’s length can create problems and if his foot speed can keep up.
I have no reason to believe that Minnesota cannot win this game. With any luck we will be hitting three, crashing the boards and showing this Pac 12 team how the Big Ten plays defense. I’m going to predict a 74-68 win.