Minnesota Golden Gophers Archive

2015-2016 ITH Season Preview: Minnesota Golden Gophers


With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we’ll be taking a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster over the next month. Today, we continue our look at the Big Ten with the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Minnesota won the NIT in Richard Pitino’s first season and had high hopes entering his second year in Minneapolis.


Film Session: Minnesota


The story of Indiana’s win over Minnesota on Sunday evening was its 18 3-pointers, both a school and conference record. But Indiana also crashed the boards well, only allowing the Golden Gophers to rebound 16.7 percent of their misses. It was another key to IU’s victory.

We’ll take a look at some of Indiana’s quickest 3-point scores against Minnesota, often aided by the Hoosiers’ strong rebounding, in the latest edition of Film Session:

Though Elliott Elliason has position on this rebound, Emmitt Holt battles him from behind:


The ball bounces around and Nick Zeisloft gets a hand on it:



Notebook: IU scorches Minnesota defense in 90-71 win


In many of Indiana’s games this season, the Hoosiers have had concerns on how they will match up against bigger opponents — especially those active on defense, as well. They struggled against the likes of Purdue and Wisconsin.

Coming into Sunday’s game against Minnesota, one of the top defenses in the country in forcing turnovers and a team that has the 13th-best effective height in the nation, there was additional cause for concern.

But on the other side of things, the smaller Hoosiers have posed several match-up threats for their opponents. That was epitomized in Indiana’s 90-71 win over the Golden Gophers on Sunday.

“They’re so tough to guard,” Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said. “They put you in so many binds with the way that they play because they play small. And we don’t have a whole lot of depth to go blow-for-blow with them when they’re playing small.

“They just kicked our butt. Flat-out kicked our butt.”

For much of this season, the Golden Gophers have prided themselves on their size and their defense. They press, they play tough half-court defense with their length and force turnovers. A lot of them. They came into Sunday’s game ranked No. 3 in the nation in forced turnover percentage at a 26.0 percent rate.

On Saturday, Indiana coach Tom Crean said the key to the game would be recognition — knowing when and how to attack the Golden Gophers based on the defenses they were showing, whether it be zone or man-to-man off misses. And to start the game, the Hoosiers struggled with that.


Video: Tom Crean reacts to win over Minnesota

Tom Crean met with the media following Indiana’s 90-71 win over Minnesota at Assembly Hall on Sunday night. Crean was joined by Bloomington resident Brian Jones, who is suffering from ALS.

Watch the full press conference below:

The Minute After: Minnesota


Thoughts on a 90-71 win over the Golden Gophers:

Minnesota’s press had the Hoosiers a little skittish to start the contest. The Golden Gophers got out to the early lead and they held an advantage over the Hoosiers as late as the 7:33 mark in the first half. But thanks to some strong offensive rebounding, a parade of 3s and a phenomenal tip-in from Robert Johnson at the buzzer, the Hoosiers found themselves up six (44-38) at the half.

Despite the lead, Minnesota had turned the Hoosiers over on 26.2 percent of their possessions. They were shooting it well and you got the feeling a W wasn’t going to come easy. Another single-digit game appeared ahead on the horizon.

But Indiana was so masterful from beyond the arc, Minnesota simply had no chance at an upset bid. Shot after shot from 3-point range kept going up in the second half, and more often than not the Hoosiers were banging them home. Eighteen in total found the bottom of the net this Sunday evening. The performance set a new school record for makes in a game. Those came on 32 attempts, good for 56.3 percent from distance. It aided in an effective field goal percentage of 75.9 and the Hoosiers scoring a strong 1.37 points per possession.

James Blackmon Jr., after a forgettable shooting performance against Maryland on Wednesday night, led the charge from distance (6-of-10) for a team-high 24 points, as a total of six Hoosiers hit from 3-point range on this historic night. Fellow freshman Robert Johnson, who also shot it poorly against the Terps, went 5-of-8 from beyond the arc and also had a couple nice passes in the pick-and-roll to Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Emmitt Holt. Nick Zeisloft went 2-of-4. Yogi Ferrell was 1-of-6. Collin Hartman hit both his attempts.


Photo Gallery: Indiana vs. Minnesota


Check out 26 photos by Jamie Owens from Indiana’s 90-71 win over Minnesota at Assembly Hall in the embedded photo gallery after the jump. See more images and purchase prints from J. Scott Sports.


Video: Richard Pitino reacts to loss at Indiana

Richard Pitino met with the media following Minnesota’s 90-71 loss to Indiana at Assembly Hall on Sunday night.

Watch the full press conference below:

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