Hindsight review: 2014-15 Minnesota Predictions
We had nailed Minnesota’s Big Ten finish for the first few years we made predictions, but failed this past season. They underachieved. We’ll have more prior to the start of the 2015-16 season, but the reality is the defense failed. From a turnover and steal perspective, Minnesota was elite. However, we knew that wouldn’t be enough and it wasn’t even close. The opportunity for young kids to make their mark has never been greater for this program – and there are many new faces. 2015-16, if nothing else, will be entertaining.
Bold: Our preseason comments
The Gophers have a veteran core. Their offensive efficiency can be similar to last year and their defense can improve substantially, but they’ve got a ways to go to compete for a Big Ten title.
Minnesota’s kenpom adjusted offensive efficiency was ranked #43 in 2014-15, which was similar to the previous year’s ranking of #40.
However, the Gophers saw their adjusted defensive efficiency ranking fall from 82 to 106. We talked about it before, during and after the season: Stealing was not the answer. Indeed, Minnesota’s steal rate of 13.6% and defensive turnover % of 24.7% were both elite and far above the previous year (11.5% and 18.7%, respectively), but their defense had bad issues that offset the good.