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).
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Minnesota’s 2FG% Dooms Them at Nebraska
Free throws (9/19 for 47.4%) get the attention from many, but they weren’t the primary issue in Minnesota’s loss at Nebraska.
Although the Gophers could have used some more made free throws in the 52-49, there were more important factors to them losing.
The biggest one factor was 2-point field goal shooting. Their mark of 25.0% (8/32) was the program’s worst performance going back at least five years. Had Minnesota made slightly less than the D-I average of their 2-point attempts (D-I average is approximately 47.5%; Minnesota averages better than 50.5% on the season), they would have scored an additional 14 points.
Free throw percentage is nearly irrelevant to a team winning or losing a basketball game.
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