Saturday, January 24, 2009

Indiana Game Preview

#21 Minnesota Golden Gophers (16-3, 4-3) at Indiana Hoosiers (5-12, 0-5)

There could not be a better time to face Indiana. The Gophers need to get their rhythm back and get a win on the board and they get to try against the doormat of the Big Ten this year. Here is Indiana's resume:

Wins to showcase
  • vs TCU 66-56
  • vs Cornell 72-57
Losses to hide from
  • vs Lipscomb 69-74
  • vs Northeastern 42-55
  • Tom Crean: Has coached Marquette to a Final Four
  • Tom Pritchard: 12.4 ppg, 7.4 rebs, 1.1 ass
  • Almost everything: They are last in the Big Ten in scoring, and last in defense. Opponents shoot 46.7%. The next highest is 43.3% . They shoot 29.3% from 3. The Gophers have been struggling but they still shoot 36.1%. They commit 18.5 turnovers per game. The next highest is 14.4.
Indiana is brutal. They are the worst team in the conference and is not even close. I would be shocked if they win a conference game this year. They don't have any talent and this team would finish last in a mid-major conference. I know this seems harsh but when your best wins are TCU and Cornell at home you are in trouble. Northeastern and Lipscomb have gone into Indiana and won so the Gophers better be able to do the same.

Interesting things to watch
  • Verdell Jones III: The freshman appeared to be headed to Minnesota but went to Indiana because he is able to start at point guard since day one. He has 8.5 ppg and 2.6 ass. It should be fun to see Al Nolen match up with him.
  • Gophers Offense: They should be able to turn it around today. Indiana plays poor defense and turns over the ball a lot. The Gophers should be able to get out an running and get some confidence going on the offensive end.

If the Gophers lose this game, the sky will be falling and the NCAA tournament chances will be in serious jeopardy. Indiana just does not have the players to compete. Despite it being a road game, the Gophers shouldn't be facing a hostile environment and as long as they come out with intensity and reasonable shooting this should be a quite enjoyable game.

Gophers 83, Indiana 68

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