Lafayette Leopards (5-8) at #13/#16 Minnesota Golden Gophers (11-1)
Saturday, December 22, 2012 | 6:00pm CT | TV/Online: BTN
On Saturday the Gophers play their final nonconference game of the regular season against the Lafayette (Pa.) Leopards of the Patriot League. The Pards have a strong sophomore class and shoot well and often from 3-point range, but will be severely outmatched by Minnesota.
Defensively, Lafayette has no answer for the athleticism and skill of the Gophers. Against Maryland, the Pards made 15 of 32 3-point attempts, had 15 offensive rebounds and only turned the ball over 7 times, yet never got closer than 8 points in the second half.
Saturday is a good opportunity to get reserves like Wally Ellenson and Mo Walker extended minutes before another long break leading up to the Big Ten opener against Michigan State on New Year’s Eve.
In case you missed it, on Thursday we looked at Minnesota’s schedule in the second half of December as compared to other Big Ten teams and also broke down historical attendance figures for the Gophers through the first seven games of each season during Tubby Smith’s time at the ‘U’.
Minnesotan #12 Seth Hinrichs (14.3p, 4.3r, 37.3% 3FG) is a 6’7” sophomore guard who attempts half of his shots behind the arc where he’s shot 42.1% for his career. Hinrichs hails from Clara City, Minn., two hours west of Minneapolis.
Australian #20 Dan Trist (14.8p, 4.2r, 55.0% eFG%) leads Lafayette in scoring average and can knock down a mid-range jumper. He’s fairly versatile for 6’9”, 230 pounds, but isn’t much of a rebounder. Trist, a sophomore, doesn’t get out behind the 3-point line on offense.
Senior #3 Tony Johnson (11.0p, 3.0r, 5.0a, 2.1s) mans the point efficiently and is a pass-first guy. Doesn’t shoot a lot, but will capitalize on good opportunities when they are present. Johnson is only 6’0”, but a very good defender.
Other players to watch:
- #24 Levi Giese (6.5p, 3.9r). 6’9” senior forward who likes the long ball (15/49 for 30.6% 3FG).
- #5 Joey Ptasinski (9.6p, 35.4% 3FG) is a sophomore sharp-shooter from the Denver area. Should be given the green light against Minnesota.
- #14 Bryce Scott (6.4p, 42.9% 3FG) is a left-handed freshman combo guard capable of scoring at all levels.
- Austin Hollins, playing through a groin injury, was 2/10 from the floor (1/5 3FG) and had only one rebound against NDSU. His 4 assists and zero turnovers made it a decent night overall, but Minnesota needs his shot to fall.
- For the season, Austin’s eFG% of 48.6% is down from 54.4% in 2011-12.
- For the Lafayette game the ‘U’ is again offering a $15 promotion that includes a game ticket and $5 voucher for the concession stands. See www.gophersports.com for more information.