Minnesota lost against Iowa 72-52 to open the Big Ten season. Daniel Oturu led all Gophers with 22 points.
The entire story of this game can be summed up by the fact that Michael Hurt had more made threes than Gabe Kalscheur and Marcus Carr combined. While we are the subject of comparisons, Oturu had more travels than Kalscheur, Carr, and Willis had more points from distance. Had any of those players shot their average from distance, this game would have been competitive.
Start with Gabe Kalscheur, who will want to promptly flush this game from his system. Kalscheur was 0-10 from the field and 0-8 from distance. Of those eight attempts, four of them were wide open, and three of the remaining four were solid looks. Marcus Carr was 0-4 from distance and 1-10 from the floor. Payton Willis was 2-7 from distance and 2-9 from the floor. Daniel Oturu cannot do everything by himself, but as long as the starting back court remains mired in a heinous shooting slump he will have to try.
Richard Pitino has been maligned for many different reasons, but tonight was not a coaching problem. His offense put shooters in positions to have wide open shots. The shooters just could not hit the broadside of a barn. I have no idea what the answer for this team is going to be until that changes. Iowa smartly packed the paint and doubled and triple teamed Oturu because Minnesota’s guards are MIA.
Michael Hurt made a three! He looked good doing it as well.
Alihan Demir was the second leading scorer with 13 points. He had a solid game on offense, but his defense needs serious work. I continue to hope that Jarvis Omersa improves such that Demir can become a major weapon off the bench against reserve bigs in conference play.
Tre Williams continues to fire from distance, which is great, but did not make a shot which is not.