Thursday, February 5, 2009

Well That Was Interesting

That folks is what it looks like when a Final Four caliber team plays angry. MSU was an absolute buzz saw. Even if the Gophers played great (which they happened to do the opposite of) they still would have lost by double digits. Michigan State was fast and aggressive on both ends of the court and got and did whatever they wanted to do.

There was nothing the Gophers did well in this game. They shot 29%, 25% from 3. They turned the ball 15 times and only had 6 assists. They were outrebounded 38-21 (although it is hard to win when you are missing and the other team never does). There is nothing the Gophers can hang there hat on except that they played even in the second half when the game was over and that Devoe Joseph made some shots.

While this game was extremely hard to watch, in the larger picture this game means little. A loss to Michigan State on the road does nothing to hurt our NCAA chances or seeding. It ends our chances to win the Big Ten but those chances were never real. It was just a bad game. The Gophers aren't the only ones to have letdowns on the road. Duke lost to Clemson by 27 and Wake Forest also lost to Miami by 27 last night. If 'elite' teams can get blown out on the road it is ok that Minnesota lost to a Top 15 team on the road. The difference is how they bounce back. Duke and Wake will come back and play very well in there next game just like Michigan St. bounced back from a loss to Penn St. to lay the wood to Minnesota. This just makes the Ohio State game more important.

Stats of the Day
  • 17 - 16: Points scored by Durrell Summers in the first half versus points scored by the entire Gophers team in the first half. He ended with 21 points in 21 minutes.
  • 32.6%: 3-pt shooting percentage for the Gophers in Big Ten games. Only Illinois and Michigan are worse.
  • 39th: The ranking of the Gophers recruiting class by Rivals. Last years was 17th.

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