Minnesota defeated an Ohio State university 84-71 at Williams Arena. The Gophers dominated the number three team in the nation for the entirety of the game. Marcus Carr had his best college basketball game ever to lead all scorers with 35 points.
Let us now sing the praises of a point guard playing at a high level. Marcus Carr has had an up and down season so far, but it has been clear that he has tons of potential. Tonight he showed what that potential might be, and it was wonderful. Those aforementioned 35 points is the most by any player in a win against a top 25 opponent this season. Besides, the points, Carr had seven assists. We will ignore his five turnovers because the rest of the performance was excellent. Carr was 12-17 on the day, 3-6 from behind the arc, and added two steals and a block on the defensive end of the floor for good measure.
Chris Holtmann said in his press conference that Minnesota was physically tougher throughout the game, and that the game was never in reach for the Buckeyes. That was an accurate assessment. The Gophers came out with intensity on both ends of the floor. Richard Pitino has mentioned that his team plays better on defense when they make shots. Tonight seemed to be a reverse of that formula. Defensive intensity led to offensive intensity. The Gophers ended with an efficient field goal percentage of nearly 70%. They were 7-19 from distance, but everyone not named Gabe Kalscheur was 6-12 from behind the arc.
The Gophers are now 1-1 in Big Ten play and have shown the gamut of performances that this team is capable, from horrific to astounding. Prepare for the bubble ladies and gentlemen.
Daniel Oturu had 14 points and 13 rebounds and it was so boring that I’m awarding him Jordan Murphy status. Oturu is a special player, and the gravity he creates makes the rest of the offense open up. On defense, Oturu had two blocks and forced at least five turnovers.
Gabe Kalscheur still cannot shoot from distance, but today he was willing to look for the drive. Kalscheur ended with 15 points on 7-15 shooting. He was a lockdown defender per usual.
Tre Williams had to play big minutes in the second half due to Payton Willis re-aggravating an ankle injury. Williams performed admirably in his stead with six points and strong defense. The freshman made some freshman mistakes, but getting extended minutes will help his development.
Jarvis Omersa and Alihan Demir combined to be a competent Big Ten forward. I love Omersa’s effort on defense and Demir provided some additional offense. Jarvis Demir finished with 8 points and 11 rebounds.
Next up, the Gophers travel to Tulsa to take on Oklahoma State as part of the BOK Center Basketball Showdown.