After the Gophers won in Madison to open up 2019, they come home to host the Maryland Terapins. The Terps are a very talented team and one that will be a significant test for the the Gophers. This is yet another game that could prove to be valuable if they want to make a serious run at an NCAA berth. The good news is that the Gophers have 2 additional days of rest with the Terps having played on Saturday, where they beat Rutgers on the road. Will those extra 2 days make much of a difference?
KEYS TO A GOPHER WIN
Rebound - Interestingly, this is probably Mark Turgeon’s best rebounding team in his 8 years at Maryland. They hit the offensive glass and they box out on the defensive end. The Gophers are also pretty good on the offensive glass, but they will need to win rebounding tonight. On the bright side, we held Wisconsin to just 2 offensive rebounds last week, that kind of defensive rebounding will prove significant tonight.
Shoot the Ball Well - When there is a Gopher perimeter player or two who is making threes, this offense is so much better. Gabe Kalsheur has been ice cold, Dupree McBrayer seems to shoot poorly every other game and as a team the Gophers rank 270th in the country in 3-point FG%. Now that they are home, coming off a nice road win I would love to see one hot-shooting night from three and bury Maryland.
Jordan Murphy > Bruno Fernando - Double-double machine meats another double-double machine. Daniel Oturu may end up on Fernando more, but the point here is that Fernando cannot control the paint. He has been averaging 13.5 rebounds per game against P5 opponents.
Well, after that Wisconsin win I have renewed confidence in this team. Which should give me pause and likely means a let down at home. But since day 1, I have liked the construction of this team. I like the balance and depth. And I feel like they really haven’t put things together yet. I’m actually very impressed with Maryland and think that this is a very dangerous team. I also think that we shoot well from three and open up the offense a bit.
Minnesota - 72
Maryland - 68