Minnesota’s Team sheet; Hoping for PSU x2 March 9, 2014
Below is Minnesota’s official team sheet heading into Friday’s games (click for larger view). If the Gophers beat Penn State tonight, they will play the Nits again on Thursday in Indianapolis. Win both games against Penn State, then lose the next, and Minnesota’s RPI projects to be approximately the same as it is today (around 50).
Should Nebraska fall at home to Wisconsin this afternoon, we would like the Gophers chances better than the Huskers. As noted on the team sheet below, the two “bad losses” Minnesota has were with Dre Hollins injured. His first game back was Purdue and he did log a lot of minutes, but statistically and visually it wasn’t even close to being the real Dre. The committee can and should take this into consideration and is a reason why we wouldn’t count the Gophers out of the tournament even if they lose on Friday of next week (i.e., only win one in the Big Ten tournament).
A loss today would be painful and require a run in the conference tournament. Instead of Penn State at 5:30 p.m. CT on Thursday, Minnesota would play Indiana at 11 a.m. CT. A win and the Gophers are very much in the conversation.
Games don’t get much bigger than this. Penn State should have a few fans in the building to support Minnesotans Ross Travis (Chaska HS, 43 Hoops) and Graham Woodward (Edina HS, D1 Minnesota), but The Barn will be packed and loud for the Gophers. (Game time is 4:15 p.m. CT / TV: BTN)
Gophers Scale Back Outside Attack in Big Ten March 8, 2014
Minnesota will finish the regular season with a higher 3FGA/FGA percentage than has been seen over the last decade. However, in Big Ten play the Gophers have noticeably trended away from the 3-point shot as compared to their offensive attack in the nonconference portion of their schedule.
Today we take a look at what other Big Ten teams have done and how Minnesota’s trend compares to their peers.
“[W]e believe the Gophers will have a higher 3FGA/FGA percentage in 2013-14 than has been seen over the last decade.” – LateNightHoops.com, August 5, 2013 Continue reading →
Gophers Fall to Michigan, Set Season-High Mark March 1, 2014
Minnesota lost in Ann Arbor Saturday night by a final score of 66-56. The team has work to do in order to make the NCAA tournament and they have a long time to think about that fact. The final regular season game for the Gophers is a week from Sunday when Penn State visits Williams Arena.
Things started out fine for Minnesota as Michigan struggled to find their shot. With 10:23 left in the first half, Minnesota held a 13-7 lead and Michigan was just 3/14 from the floor.
From 10:22 through the rest of the game, the Wolverines would shoot an effective field goal percentage of 72.2%. We’ve talked several times about Minnesota’s 2FG% defense – most recently in an article from last month… it’s now time to revisit – a “new bar” has been set. Continue reading →
NCAA Tourney Talk: AWP & the Minnesota Gophers February 24, 2014
The Minnesota Gophers welcome the Iowa Hawkeyes to the Barn on Tuesday night. A win would help their cause greatly, but there would still be work to do for the Gophers.
The RPI’s Strength of Schedule (“SOS”) is a misnomer. When fans, media, coaches, etc. use the RPI’s SOS as a synonym for “challenging”, “difficult”, “hard” or “tough”, they are being silly at best. Do the NCAA tournament committee members understand this? Perhaps not.
Either way, Minnesota’s RPI – particularly due to the SOS factors – is keeping their name in the NCAA tournament bubble conversation. Today we look at their adjusted winning percentage (“AWP”) and how it may look at season’s end. In addition, we’ll look at teams who have received at large bids despite weak AWP’s in the past couple of years.
As a reminder, we think a wild card in Minnesota’s tourney hopes is Dre Hollins’ ankle. Many things are possible so the team must continue fighting for wins with everything they’ve got. Continue reading →
Minnesota’s Second Half Struggles Continue February 23, 2014
The Minnesota Gophers took a 10-point lead into half at Ohio State last night, but lost the game by 18. This game is an extreme example, but the trend has been present throughout the year (see also: Minnesota Winning, Losing in Second Half – 1/21/14).
In the previous game, the Gophers led Illinois at Williams Arena after 20 minutes of play. The Illini would outscore the home team by 16 points in the second half and cruise to victory.
Last night in Columbus was even worse. Ohio State’s adjusted their offensive attack at halftime and looked like a completely different team in the second half of the game. Let’s take a closer look at some statistics from last night. Continue reading →
On paper, Minnesota is expected to beat Illinois and then drop three in a row before finishing the regular season with a win over Penn State.
If actual results follow probabilities, Minnesota’s resume would include a 2-8 record against 1-50 RPI teams and 2-2 against 51-100 (0-6 and 1-2 away from home, respectively). In addition, the Gophers would have 2 losses to teams with triple-digit RPI’s.
Besides the “eye test” issues, the Gophers face downward pressure on the RPI from a “strength of schedule” (a misnomer) perspective over the next few weeks. In addition, their adjusting winning percentage would take a significant hit if they do finish the year as described above. Continue reading →
Dre Mathieu: Another D-I to JUCO to Minnesota Success February 15, 2014
In March of 2011 the Gophers received a commitment from rising junior guard Julian Welch from Yuba Community College (CA). He had played there for one year after starting his collegiate career at D-I UC-Davis.
This past summer, Dre Mathieu opted to join the Minnesota program after a year at Central Arizona College. Mathieu had spent his first season playing for D-I Morehead State.
Like Welch did two years ago, Mathieu has made important contributions to the team in his first year. When Dre is at his best, his play has been phenomenal. Now more than ever the Gophers need consistent, steady play from the 5’9″ point guard. Continue reading →