We listed four teams who had a chance to dance, but that group did not include Penn State. To date, some projection models really like Penn State after the Nits have put together some impressive offensive performances. However, we still don’t seem them as a team who has a real chance of making the tournament this season.
The following illustration shows where KenPom.com had the Big Ten’s top teams ranked at the beginning of the year and where KenPom has them ranked today. The current ranking is now in line with Late Night Hoops’ preseason rankings.
Gophers: Stats through 5 games & other notes November 24, 2013
Before getting into the year-to-date numbers there are a few miscellaneous items to cover:
Can Minnesota beat Syracuse tomorrow? Of course. But they’ll need to make 3-pointers.
The Gophers have taken some monster leads early in their games this season. They’ll face more adversity in Maui and probably find themselves trailing at times – how they handle it is of great interest. Do they jack up 25 foot 3-point attempts? Get careless with the ball and turn it over? Get it in the hands of Dre Hollins and Austin Hollins and let them lead?
Minnesota’s 19-0 run to close out this game made the final score look different than how the game flowed. With just over 7 minutes left, Richmond led Minnesota by 4. Nonetheless, it was a nice win for Richard Pitino and the Gophers in what is their only road game in the nonconference portion of their schedule.
Below are miscellaneous comments and insights you may not find elsewhere: Four Factors
Similar to what we saw many times last season, Minnesota’s performance on the boards was dominant. Ultimately most games get down to shooting and both teams struggled Saturday night. The Gophers were just a bit better. Continue reading →
In looking ahead to Montana we mentioned 3 players who were 3-point shooters to watch. They combined for 5/12 3FG shooting (41.7%). However, the rest of the Grizzlies were only 1/10. Even a solid effort from star Kareem Jamar (18 points, 6 boards) wasn’t enough to keep this one even a little bit close.
Below are some miscellaneous stats you may not see elsewhere… Four Factors
It’s a very close call between Ohio State and Michigan State, but we’re giving the Buckeyes the nod.
Once you get past the big names of Craft and the now-pro Thomas, there are a lot of guys who now have age and experience that can be strong contributors this season. Ross (scoring), Smith, Scott (5.1% steal rate), Williams (size, rebounding, shot blocking) and one of our favorites – Sam Thompson (ORtg may decline a bit, but we would like to see his %Poss up to 19% from 15.6%). Continue reading →