San Juan Capistrano
I hear these Larry Johnson and Stacey Augmon kids are pretty good, right?
Mascot: Runnin Rebels
KenPom Rank: 91
Good news / bad news here for the Gophers. The bad news is that UNLV is pretty good, with really good scoring guards. The good news is that we have Jamison Battle back for his second game of the season, presumably after shaking off the rust in the Cal Baptist game.
But what do we have to do to get a win?
KEYS TO A GOPHER WIN
Perimeter defense - I knew that UNLV had 3 really strong guards, but then I went to look at their KenPom profile and saw that this team is #1 in the country in percentage of points that come from three. So defending the three against this team is going to be paramount. And they will take a lot of threes. They have 3 games of taking over 25 threes, the Gophers have not yet taken more than 18 in a game.
Take care of the ball - Generating turnovers is the other thing that the Rebs do well. Currently 2nd in the country at defensive turnover %. So this will be the first real challenge for Ta’Lon Cooper and the Gopher backcourt. And frankly, we haven’t been great about taking care of the ball this year.
Rebound - The Cal Baptist game was the best rebounding that we have seen from the Gophers and I’d love to see getting around 80% of UNLV misses again tonight. Especially considering how much they like to shoot threes, don’t give them extra opportunities to make one.
I am really curious about how this game is going to go. David Mouka, for UNLV, is a nice big who appears to be more valuable defensively than offensively. But it’ll be interesting to see how he handles a big like Pharrel Payne.
But it is really going to come down to how well we defend the perimeter.
I’m going to suggest that the Gophers shoot much better tonight from three and they are able to pound the ball into the paint. But UNLV shoots better and does not have as long of a scoring drought in the 2nd half to get a win in a high scoring game.
Minnesota - 77
UNLV - 81