Trevor Mbakwe is a beast so I am thinking we may see Mitch/Jordan/Horford all have opportunities against him to see who can contain him the most.
A Short Minnesota MBB Preview
Record: (15-2, 3-1 Big Ten)
Wins vs top 100 opponents
|Wins (RPI 51-100)|
|65||Nov. 27||@ Florida State||77-68|
|90||Dec. 4||South Dakota State||88-64|
|63||Dec. 11||North Dakota State||70-57|
|Losses (RPI 1-50)|
|13||Jan. 12||@ Indiana||81-88|
SR(6th year). Trevor Mbakwe. F. 6'8" 245lbs
9.5 ppg. 8.1 rpg. 1.5 blk.
SR. Rodney Williams. F. 6'7" 205lbs
12.5 ppg. 5.9 rpg. 1.5 blk.
JR. Austin Hollins. G. 6'4" 185lbs
10.9 ppg. 4.5 3pa. 3.5 rpg.
SO. Joe Coleman. G. 6'4" 200lbs
10.9 ppg. 4.1 rpg. 1.5 stl
SO. Andre Hollins. G. 6'1" 200lbs
14.4 ppg. 4.6 3pa. 43% 3pt.
What I make out of all of this
This is the best team we have seen so far this year and they are extremely athletic. If we want to steal a win at their place, we need to beat them on the glass. They lead the Big Ten in offensive rebounds, so we need to box out. They are an above average 3pt shooting team and fourth in the Big Ten in FG%.
I hope we got our road game jitters out of the way on Sunday, because "The Barn" is not going to be a very friendly atmosphere for us.
Prediction Michigan 63, Minnesota 61. In a game that goes down to a missed Minnesota three in the final seconds.
He still seems a bit slowed by injuries this year. He is not the player he was before he got hurt. That being said Minnesota has a lot of players that can hurt you. If they are to get a win tonight they can't get off to a slow start like they have in so many games this year.
I see this game as more important that the OSU game. We get the chance to give a loss to Ohio when they come to Crisler. This is the only time we play Minny, so this is the only chance we have to give them a loss.
We definitely weren't given any favors when it came to BIG scheduling. Our home one and dones are Iowa and Nebraska and our aways are Minnesota and Wisconsin.
for Michigan. Minny isn't no joke. Coach Smith will have these boys pump and with a plan. I'm looking for a close affair with Michigan pulling away with the d leading to a victory.
Hopefully,the pick and roll is working,along with a fast start!!
Also,hand checking is called moreso than the last game. Please tell me Hightower isn't working this game...??
They seem like an extremely balanced and long team. This is going to be a great game to watch.
I also never realized that Mbakwe is a 6th year senior. I cannot wait until he graduates.
It was discussed some yesterday, but we're fairly closely matched in some important respects in this game and one of the keys might be in playing that disciplined, efficient game that Michigan can play. Even looking at defensive points per possession, for example, we average 0.94 and Minnesota averages 1.01, so exploiting little things like taking advantage of the fact that Minnesota fouls more than we do will perhaps play a role in this game.
Keep Mitch on Mbakwe as much as possible. Gives us our best chance at keeping him off the glass.
I don't think McGary can handle him in the post. He's not strong enough yet. I think Morgan's the key, he's a really good post defender, even if he doesn't contest.
We're going to need big time production from Hardaway and Robinson, as well as Morgan and McGary on the glass (the good news being that we're 2nd in the nation in defensive rebounding and that McGary does do a very good job of finding bodies to block out when the shot goes up.)
I think Minnesota is a lot better than Ohio State, and given that we shit the bed only to scoop most of the shit off but still lost at OSU, I've got to think that Minnesota takes this one.
We really haven't looked good at all in our last two outings, shooting under 40% both times against Nebraska and OSU. Stauskas' regression to the mean makes me sad, he's missed 15 of his last 22 3-point attempts. Perhaps my pessimism stems from our absolutely disastrous first half at OSU, but this game is going to be a lot harder, and well, we lost the easier one, so..
That said, I'm open to being completely wrong.
If we are to win the Big Ten we have to steal a couple of these huge road games.
Rebound. the. basketball.
That's the key. If Minny's offensive rebound % is below 30, I feel really good about this game. Above that, I get nervous. If they hit their average, an absolutely crazy 48%, we'd have to shoot +65 eFG% to win or get a boatload of turnovers (and we don't really turn teams over much).
Big game for McG, Morgan, Timmy, and GRIII on the glass. The good thing is that Minny commits so much effort to the offensive glass that, if we can get the defensive boards, there should be opportunities to run.