Minnesota: Conference Shooting Splits

Minnesota: Conference Shooting Splits

In Richard Pitino’s first season, the Minnesota Golden Gophers shot an impressive 52.3% eFG in Big Ten games (#3 in conference). This year that figure is down to 48.4% (#9) and is the primary reason they’re not scoring as well in 2014-15 (on a points per possession basis).

The team’s 3-point shooting isn’t the issue.  This year’s squad is shooting better (35.1% vs. 34.5%) and more often behind the 3-point stripe. (37.7% 3FGA/FGA vs. 34.6%).

Minnesota’s 2-point shooting has taken a significant dip from 52.5% (#2 in B1G)  to 45.9% (#10).

At home things have been just fine. On the road, it’s been another story.

2FG% 53.5% 39.8% 45.9%
3FG% 38.0% 32.4% 35.1%
eFG% 54.9% 43.0% 48.4%

The overall 45.9% 2FG% is simply too low for this team and the issue is pervasive throughout the roster. Things haven’t been worse than Minnesota’s recent trip to Nebraska when the Gophers shot 25.0% 2FG. They’ll try to right things when the Huskers visit Williams Arena Saturday late afternoon (1/31/15 – 5 p.m. CT).

Selected Player Examples –  Last season 2FG% vs. Current Season Conference 2FG%:

M. Walker 62.6% – 51.2% (and many more attempts in current year)
D. Mathieu: 52.4% – 37.5%
J. King 56.8% – 47.4%
E. Eliason 56.8% – 66.7% (and fewer attempts in current year)
An. Hollins 40.6% – 36.2%

Last season Austin Hollins was one of three Gophers who shot 56.8% 2FG in conference games (the only guard/wing). Carlos Morris has been good at 53.7%, but freshman Nate Mason’s 36.6% is weak.

Fewer shots near the basket and more shots being blocked (2.1% higher blk% by defenders in conference games this year) have both worked against the Gophers.

This team isn’t far off and with certain changes/corrections they should be able to double or better-than-double their conference wins in the second half of the Big Ten schedule as compared to the first half.

For that to happen, 2FG% must improve.

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