Minnesota returns home after losing a heartbreaker at Michigan on Tuesday. Up next is Iowa. The Hawkeyes are ranked and have won 10 of their last 12 games, but were recently taken to task by Michigan State at home. Are they primed to go down on the road? Of course they are, here is how it will happen.
KEYS TO A GOPHER WIN
Jordan Murphy time (or another big man) - Iowa is 2nd to last in the Big Ten in 2 pt FG% defense. In their loss to Wisconsin Ethan Happ was 6/10 shooting. Nick Ward of Michigan State had 26 points on 10/10 shooting in their first matchup with Xavier Tillman matching his season high off the bench. Even Matt Harms came off the bench for Purdue to score 14 when the Boilermakers win by 16. What is that common denominator? All are big men, all scored a lot of points in the paint. Isaac Copeland of Nebraska is another, albeit in an Iowa win. Feed the big men!
Do Not FOUL! - These are the top two teams in the Big Ten at getting to the free throw line. It is an important key to each team’s offense. Combine this fact with Key #1 and you can quickly see how not fouling is going to be imperative. We need to get to the line while keeping them off the line (and our best big men in the game).
Paging Gabe Kalscheur - Time for the freshman shooting guard to make an impact. I want to see Kalscheur hit 4 threes today, opening up the offense for the big men to dominate.
The path to winning looks like this...
- Murphy gets going early by scoring in the paint
- Kalscheur or McBrayer then make a couple kick-out threes
- Coffey and McBrayer then start to see wide open lanes to the rim
- And all the while we are making penetration difficult for Iowa and not fouling when they do.
Easy enough right? I hoping we get some home court love, the shots drop and we roll to a win over a ranked team.
Minnesota - 79
Iowa - 74