Gophers: Love / Hate – 2FG Defense / Turnovers

Gophers: Love / Hate – 2FG Defense / Turnovers
January 19, 2014

Let’s get the hate part over with first. Minnesota has been turning the ball over on 21.8% of their possessions in Big Ten play. That’s the worst in the Big Ten and only one other team is above is above 18.4% (Indiana – 20.4%).

Things started off so well for the Gophers. As the turnover % chart below illustrates, there were a couple of hiccups but for the most part turnovers were kept in check prior to the Big Ten season’s start. New Orleans stands out and it may seem odd to lose the ball a lot to them, but they are actually good at turning opponents over.

Turnover chart

This next chart better illustrates how much higher Minnesota’s turnover rate has been in conference play. ┬áIt’s been a team “effort”, but DeAndre Mathieu’s turnover rate has been over 25% since conference play began and must come down.
TO comp 011914


Onto more pleasant thoughts… 2-point field goal defense! It’s key for Minnesota this season. Through the first nine games of the year opponents were shooting converting nearly 50% of their 2FGA’s despite getting swatted often by Eliason and company. Since then it’s been a different story as can be seen in the graphic below:
Def FG Chart 01192014

…and in Big Ten play? So far, so good:
Def FG comp 01192014
Both the love and the hate topics of today were at extremes in this week’s victory over Ohio State. The Gophers turned the ball over 18 times for a turnover rate of almost 29%. There’s no way to sugar coat that figure – it’s awful. Disgusting.

The Buckeyes came into the game having shot 54.7% 2FG in their first 4 Big Ten contests. Ohio State had not shot under 50% in any of those games.

Minnesota held Ohio State to just 34.3% 2FG (12/35), easily the best result for the Gophers all season long.

These trends will both reverse a bit, but pay close attention especially to the defensive 2FG%.

PS – in case you missed it, see our notes on 2014 Gopher recruit Djuan Piper.

@LateNightHoops is on Twitter.

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