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Minnesota II Pre Game Thread


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When: Sunday, February 27th 6 PM EST

Where: The Barn, Minneapolis, Minnesota

TV: ESPN 2

Record: 13-13 (4-13, 13th in Big Ten)

Last 5 games

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Box Score from our last game

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Last game against us, Jamison Battle and Payton Willis were the players to worry about. Both can create their own shot, and are good ballplayers. Sean Sutherlin has supplanted a struggling Willis in the starting lineup, and they've been getting better production out of Luke Loewe and Eylijah Stephens. 

I don't want to say they're "better than their record indicates" because they're really not. They lack depth and are very inconsistent at 4 of their starting position, with Battle being the one exception. Curry, Loewe, Sutherlin, and Stephens can have good games (Loewe had 24 in their win vs Northwestern) and come back with a stinker. I think if we hold Battle down, and play our normal defense, we'll be fine. Historically, we've not played well in The Barn, but we really need this one.

 

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1 hour ago, RoadToZion said:

It's literally a must win. Lose and our season is toast. 

Be nice to build momentum going into that Rutgers game which will be a test at home. Having confidence after a nice 3 game win streak going into Mackey might be the difference in a blood bath or putting up a tough fight. We always play terrible at the Barn but no excuse to not win. We have the talent and a big advantage with Trayce inside....hope to get a couple of our guys back...Rob and Trey are huge for our defense.

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9 hours ago, kyhoosier29 said:

Going to be a struggle in their gym. Hope everybody shows up. We need this one badly. 

They don't have a gym. They have a Barn, and you can still smell the cow$hit in it. I lived in MN for 10 years, and went to a few games. Horrible venue. Elevated floor over a hockey rink, a steel I-beam every 10' to restrict your view if you're not courtside, and on and on and on....

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5 minutes ago, DWB said:

They don't have a gym. They have a Barn, and you can still smell the cow$hit in it. I lived in MN for 10 years, and went to a few games. Horrible venue. Elevated floor over a hockey rink, a steel I-beam every 10' to restrict your view if you're not courtside, and on and on and on....

Plus terrible sight lines for opposing teams. May be the one benefit of IU not relying on perimeter shooting 

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Minnesota really has no answer for Race and Trayce down low. Eric Curry can't guard either and whoever he doesn't guard has a huge mismatch going against Jamison Battle. Battle is a really good offensive player, but he's not a good defender overall, and he's least effective guarding in the post.

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Preview per CBS:

 

Indiana looks to keep its NCAA Tournament hopes alive and build some momentum when it visits Minnesota on Sunday night in Minneapolis.

The Hoosiers (17-10, 8-9 Big Ten) snapped a five-game losing streak with a 74-64 win over Maryland behind a season-high 24 points from Xavier Johnson.

"We want to play in the tournament," Indiana forward Race Thompson said. "None of us have ever played in the tournament. And that's a goal we're all trying to reach as a unit."

 
 
 

To get there, the Hoosiers will need to continue to play strong defense while improving their offensive efficiency. Entering Saturday's games, Indiana leads the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense (34.8 percent) while ranking second in scoring defense (64.8 points per game) and blocked shots (5.4).

Indiana's offense clicked in the second half of the Maryland game. The Hoosiers made 15 of 20 shot attempts in the final 20 minutes against the Terrapins, with nine of the 15 baskets coming off of assists.

 
 
 

"When you lose five games in a row, man, you're searching as a team," Indiana coach Mike Woodson said. "These guys are not quitting. I'm telling you that now. They just -- they're competing every night. And that's all we can ask for, man. We try to put them in the best position possible. And I thought tonight they answered the bell big time."

The Hoosiers head to the road, where they are 2-7 on the season. Indiana beat Minnesota 73-60 at home on Jan. 9.

Minnesota (13-13, 4-13) is coming off a 68-67 home loss to No. 13 Wisconsin. The Golden Gophers have lost 12 of their last 15 games and will end a three-game homestand with their final contest of the season in Minneapolis.

 
 
 

The Gophers have been led this season by forward Jamison Battle (16.6 points per game). Guard Payton Willis, who is averaging 15.5 points per game, returned from sitting out the Northwestern game due to COVID protocols to score 13 points against Wisconsin.

Minnesota will look to do a better job on the boards against Indiana after being outrebounded 38-19 by the Badgers.

"The ones that really get you are the weak side rebounds off of misses," Minnesota coach Ben Johnson said. "Or it's the end of shot clock, you've done your job, you've forced a tough 2, a tough 3, a late shot clock shot and now it's a loose ball rebound that we don't get. Those are the rebounds that you've got to go get it."

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