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Minnesota Pre Game Thread


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When: Wednesday, January 25th 9 pm EST 

Where: Williams Arena (The Barn), Minneapolis, Minnesota

TV: BTN

Minnesota is coming off 3 straight losses (2 at home, 1 on the road) after a surprising upset of Ohio State in Columbus, their only win in 8 Big Ten games...They played Michigan well yesterday, but ended up losing by 4 in Ann Arbor...

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Their leading scorer, Dawson Garcia, is a familiar one...He picked Marquette over IU during the Archie Miller era...Subsequently transferred to North Carolina...Spent a half a year with the Heels, before leaving school over family issues...Now resurfaced in his home state of Minnesota. He's a tough matchup at 6'11 with good ball skills, and a decent (32% from 3) outside shot. He's also their leading rebounder at 7 per game. Not the greatest defender in the world.

Jamison Battle is a nice 2nd option. He's come off of foot surgery back in October, and had just started to round into form when he hit a rough stretch...Averaging only 9 ppg on 33% overall shooting (3-21 from 3) in his last 4 games.

Morehead State transfer Ta'Lon Cooper is their point guard. 11 points and 6 assists per game...He's pretty good at going to the rim, and shoots an eye popping 49% from 3 on low volume, but he can disappear during a game and defers to Garcia and Battle a lot. Freshman Joshua Ola Joseph (7 ppg) is a high energy guy that can play out of control. Dartmouth grad transfer Taurus Samuels (3 ppg) rounds out the starting lineup.

Freshmen Pharrel Payne, Braeden Carrington, and Jaden Henley all see double digit minutes off the bench...Payne especially is a young player to watch...High motor, and decent post up skills, but he needs experience...

The Gophers don't do much particularly well...7th or lower in most statistical categories, except blocks (3rd). They are prone to turnovers (2nd in the Big 10) at 12 per game...Last on Big 10 ORtg, and next to last in DRtg...

That said, this is a HUGE trap game for IU...The Gophers have been competitive against a couple of good teams (Ohio State and Michigan) and historically IU has had their issues at The Barn. The raised floor and the sightlines cause visitors problems sometimes...

We cannot overlook this team. They have some talent, and 2nd year coach Ben Johnson (20-28 overall and 5-23 in Big 10 play) has them playing decent, if inconsistent, basketball...Gird up fellas, and lets lock em dow and get another Big 10 road win...

Edited by IUFLA
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They have been playing at least 7 deep in their last few games too when looking at minutes. 
The usual Starters:

F Garcia

F Battle

F Ola-Joseph

G Cooper (55.6% 3 point shooter)

G Samuels 

Bench (mainly 2 freshman):

F Payne

F Henley

Sometimes C Thompson

In their game against Michigan yesterday, they played only 6 deep against them (Henley had like 3 minutes)

 

Edited by Hoosierfan1901
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We've just got to keep it rolling. I think we all probably hate playing at that dump, but we are better than them pretty much across the board and need to go dominate for 40 minutes. 

In some ways this is as big of a test as the past 3, because the major eggs we layed were against PSU and Northwestern, not against teams that you would expect us to be up for (I mean we should be up for every B1G team, but I digress). I want to see us play as locked in and focused Wednesday night as we did in Champaign or yesterday against Sparty. 

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16 minutes ago, Hoosierfan1901 said:

They have been playing at least 7 deep in their last few games too when looking at minutes. 
The usual Starters:

F Garcia

F Battle

F Ola-Joseph

G Cooper (55.6% 3 point shooter)

G Samuels 

Bench (mainly 2 freshman):

F Payne

F Henley

Sometimes C Thompson

In their game against Michigan yesterday, they played only 6 deep against them (Henley had like 3 minutes)

 

I didn't see that Carrington was out with a leg injury for 4 weeks until just now...

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Never like playing up there and I agree with trap game thought. Hopefully our guys bring the same edge that allowed us to win these past 3. We know we'll lose again I just don't want it to be games like this. 

New week though. Great chance to go 2-0. Pound TJD, hopefully TG/TB 3 point shooting continues and I expect JHS have a big bounce back game here assuming injury free. Race coming home always means something to him too. 

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1 minute ago, DWB said:

TJD should take Garcia to school on offense. But with Garcia's height advantage, he could get TJD into foul trouble, especially with homer refs. 

I'd put Kopp on Battle at the start to see how that goes.

Garcia isn't much of a postup guy...he likes to hang out on the perimeter...Trayce should sag on him some...

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There are only so many winnable road games. IU is playing well and should have enough to take this game. But you never know what will happen on the road. Get in foul trouble, turn it over, settle for poor shots and the next thing you know it's a battle on the road. And as some noted, they have pushed some teams. Close with Wisconsin and Nebraska. Won at OSU. Close at Michigan. IU can't let up at this point.

I'd like to see JHS come back to life. He may be hitting the wall. He's also been banged up pretty good of late. 

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I think this is the 4th kind of "must win" game in a row.  Really I think the 2 games this week are.  We need to protect home court and get some road wins.  There are losses on our schedule still, but we need to avoid bad losses.  Minnesota would be a bad loss.  Ohio State at home would be a bad loss.

IF we keep the defensive intensity and approach to the games we have in the last 3, these next 2 games should be wins.  The team can't slack off on anyone though.  We aren't good enough to mail in games.

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While I'm not saying we are there yet, the thing that makes top teams great is their ability to maintain consistency at a high level for extended periods of time. If TJD is a microcosm of the team at large, his last few games have been spectacular; now delivering that production consistently, regardless of opponent, is a must.

They don't have to radically change their style of play or do new things. Just keep running the ball through their workhorse, cut hard, play tenacious defense, and we should be alright.

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1 hour ago, 02Hoosier said:

Looks like another feast game for TJD. Hopefully he can sit the majority of the 2nd half

I’ll take a win no matter how we have to get it. The way we played the last three, and given the fact we are better top to bottom, we should go win…. But I’m not confident this will be as easy as some think. This team did go on the road and win at OSU, and took UM to the wire on the road. I just want a win, don’t care how we get it.

Edited by kyhoosier29
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14 minutes ago, kyhoosier29 said:

I’ll take a win no matter how we have to get it. The way we played the last three, and given the fact we are better top to bottom, we should go win…. But I’m not confident this will be as easy as some think. This team did go on the road and win at OSU, and took UM to the wire on the road. I just want a win, don’t care how we get it.

It very well may be a hard fought game til the end. Just given TJD’s usage and minutes lately it would be nice to get him some rest this game if possible. Of course though I’ll take a win however it comes.

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1 hour ago, DWB said:

I'd put Kopp on Battle at the start to see how that goes

I think that's the way it'll shake out...

Geronimo on Ola Joseph 

Trayce on Garcia 

Trey on Cooper 

JHS on Samuels

Ola Joseph has a bit of an edge to him, and against Illinois got a T for some dirty play... Geronimo doesn't back down either...

Also, this will be Race's last game in his home state, with probably plenty of friends and family there... Hope his knee is better and he can have a good farewell... 

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8 minutes ago, IUFLA said:

I think that's the way it'll shake out...

Geronimo on Ola Joseph 

Trayce on Garcia 

Trey on Cooper 

JHS on Samuels

Ola Joseph has a bit of an edge to him, and against Illinois got a T for some dirty play... Geronimo doesn't back down either...

Also, this will be Race's last game in his home state, with probably plenty of friends and family there... Hope his knee is better and he can have a good farewell... 

I haven't watched Minnesota... I think maybe, there could be a chance TJD and JG guard the opposite of what you have on here. 

Reason I say that... Joseph has taken 9 3s all season.... TJD might be able to "rest" some defensively, catch drives, allow other defenders to go over screens, etc. If he is guarding a non threat in Joseph. Tell JG he doesn't get to help at all, allow TJD to come from the weakside. 

Again... "I think" we could see that. Unless Garcia is just a total mismatch for JG. I just don't like the idea of TJD chasing "shooters" if we can avoid it. 

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