Looking ahead to Thursday’s lone non-conference matchup against another Power 5 program.
KenPom Rank: 64
The Tigers have 2 wins over bad teams, much like the Gophers, but they also have a loss to a good Memphis team. Mizz used a 16-2 run in the first half to open up a big lead, but Memphis clamped down on defense to pull away and win comfortably.
Can the Gophers give them their 2nd loss?
KEYS TO A GOPHER WIN
Defend Sean East- The senior guard is averaging over 18 points per game and appears to be the offensive catalyst of this Tiger team. He dropped 14 in the first half against Memphis, leading his team to a 7-point lead at the break. Memphis then shut him down, he scored zero in the 2nd half and Missouri lost by 15. I’m excited to see how (if) we can defend him.
Dominate the paint - Missouri struggles inside and is still trying to figure things out down there. Really hoping for a healthy Payne and an active Garcia in the paint.
Get to the free throw line - Minnesota has actually been extremely good at getting to the line so far this season and Missouri has been adept at putting teams on the line. This could be a huge factor in Thursday’s game.
I’m enjoying the Gophers this season so far, but I’m not willing to put my impeccable reputation on the line by predicting a win over a good Power 5 team.
Missouri was a tournament team last year and even won a game. They did lose quite a bit from last year’s team and are trying to replace that production with some transfers. But until I see this Gopher team be fully healthy and play well against better competition, I’m still going to fall back on my PTSD from last season.
Minnesota - 69
Missouri - 74