Minnesota defeated Mount St. Mary’s 71-53 at Williams Arena. With the win, the Gophers finish non-conference play (and the stupid first two Big Ten games) 11-2. Dupree McBrayer led Minnesota with fifteen points.
Dear reader, you will be shocked to know that Minnesota did not appear to be particularly engaged in this game. There was never any doubt that Minnesota would win, despite the Gophers’ best efforts in the middle of the game. Richard Pitino rolled out extensive bench lineups for large parts of the game. Ten different players saw minutes, and a lineup that consisted of Isaiah Washington, Brock Stull, Michael Hurt, Jarvis Omersa, and Eric Curry was on the floor on purpose.
The biggest positive from this game, besides winning and no injury, was the return of Eric Curry. Curry made his debut on the season and moved well. He scored four points on the night, missing both of his three point attempts, and seemed comfortable on offense. The Gophers will need him to return to form soon as the real Big Ten season begins.
The elephant in the room, no make that the blue whale in the room, is that the Gophers continue to be about as accurate as I am from the three point line. Minnesota was 4-19 from behind the line. Gabe Kalscheur was 1-6, and looks to be forcing his shot. Mount St. Mary’s went to a 2-3 zone for extended periods, and we should expect every Big Ten team to do so until the Gophers prove at least mildly competent from behind the line.
Daniel Oturu followed up his Freshman of the Week performance with another double-double. Oturu had 12 points and 10 rebounds and added three blocks and a steal. I’m not entirely sure what the return of Curry will mean for Oturu’s starting spot, but the freshman continues to make a strong case to be the starter at center.
Amir Coffey had two more awesome dunks.
My New Year’s Resolution is for the University of Minnesota to sell me a great looking quarter zip.