What to Expect: Minnesota

  • 02/15/2017 8:48 am in

Indiana travels to Minnesota on Wednesday night for its first of four remaining road games. The Golden Gophers are 18-7 overall and 6-6 in Big Ten play.

The game will be broadcast on BTN at 9 p.m. ET with Cory Provus and Jon Crispin on the call:

Indiana’s 2016-17 season is officially in crisis mode. The Hoosiers have dropped five of their last six games and are no longer an NCAA tournament team.

So where do things go from here? Is this the bottom or could things get worse?

Four of Indiana’s five remaining conference games are away from Bloomington. Indiana is just 1-5 this season in true road games. The lone victory came four weeks ago when the Hoosiers beat Penn State on a buzzer beater by James Blackmon Jr. That was also the night the Hoosiers lost OG Anunoby for the season with a knee injury.

On the bright side, several of Indiana’s remaining Big Ten opponents have been vulnerable at home. Minnesota is just 2-3 at Williams Arena in league play. Ohio State also has three home losses in Big Ten games. But given the recent slide and Indiana’s inability to win away from Bloomington, the Hoosiers won’t be favored in any of these contests.

MEET THE GOPHERS

In year four of the Richard Pitino era, Minnesota is on its way to an NCAA tournament berth for the first time. The Gophers are closing in on 20 wins and are ranked in the top 30 of the RPI. Three more wins punches Minnesota’s ticket and two might get the job done.

Minnesota is playing a tight rotation as the Gophers usually go just seven deep with five guys averaging in double figures.

Junior guard Nate Mason is the team’s leading scorer (14.5 ppg) and distributor (5.3 apg). Mason’s efficiency has taken a dive in league play as he’s making just 36.8 percent of his 2s and 31.2 percent of his 3s. The poor shooting hasn’t affected his decision making as Mason is third in the league in assist rate and has the fourth lowest turnover percentage.

Joining Mason in the backcourt are newcomers Akeem Springs, a graduate transfer from Milwaukee, and freshman wing Amir Coffey (pictured). Minnesota is the third Division I school for Springs, who averages 10.2 points per game. He’s making 42 percent of his 3s in conference play.

Coffey is a difficult matchup because of his size (6-foot-8) and his ability to score in a variety of ways. Coffey can hit the 3-pointer (41.5 percent in Big Ten play) and also get into the lane and draw fouls. His free throw rate (FTA/FGA) is 15th best in the league.

Sophomore guard Dupree McBrayer comes off the bench and is the team’s third leading scorer at 10.6 points per game. He’s a high usage, low efficiency offensive player. His usage rate in Big Ten play is 21.7 percent, the second highest of any Minnesota player. McBrayer is making just 41.9 percent of his 2s and 28 percent of his 3s in conference play.

Minnesota’s roster makeover is also prevalent in the frontcourt as two of the three contributors are new to the roster. Illinois State transfer Reggie Lynch, who was arrested in the offseason, is the Big Ten’s best shot blocker. His block percentage of 13.9 is second in the country. Lynch averages 8.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

Sophomore forward Jordan Murphy is seventh in the league in defensive rebounding percentage and leads the Gophers with eight rebounds per game. Murphy’s 10.3 points per game are fourth on the team. Freshman forward Eric Curry, who is 6-foot-9 and 235 pounds, is a capable rebounder who gives Minnesota quality minutes off the bench. From a percentage standpoint, Curry is the Big Ten’s 10th best defensive rebounder.

TEMPO-FREE PREVIEW

Defense. Turnovers. Once again, these are the two areas to watch on Wednesday. Minnesota doesn’t turn the ball over and Indiana is being outscored by 62 points in points off of turnovers in Big Ten play. In losses, it’s 83 points or a difference of 10.4 points per game.

The Gophers aren’t a great offensive team, but Indiana is the Big Ten’s worst defensive unit. Big Ten opponents are scoring 1.11 points per possession against the Hoosiers. Indiana needs to put up a level of resistance similar to what it did at Wisconsin and against Purdue six days ago.

Finally, the free throw line is also likely to be a factor. Minnesota has the fifth best free throw rate (FTA/FGA) in the Big Ten at 33.5 percent while Indiana is 10th at 31.3 percent. The problem is the Hoosiers are last in the league in opponent free throw rate and the Gophers will try to exploit that weakness with the ball screen and straight line drives.

WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO

The Vegas line as of Wednesday morning is Minnesota by 5.5. KenPom likes Minnesota by four with a 67 percent chance of a win for the Gophers. Sagarin’s model likes Minnesota by two.

Of Indiana’s remaining five regular season games, this is their fourth best chance at a win according to Pomeroy. The Barn is always a difficult place to play as last year’s Big Ten championship team only won by six against a Minnesota club that was the second worst in the league.

After being beaten soundly on its home court on Sunday by Michigan, Indiana’s season is spiraling downward. Can the Hoosiers find a way to get a huge road win or will the collapse continue? We’re about to find out.

(Photo credit: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images North America)

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  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    The cupboard is bare…. I would be shocked if O.G. ,JBJ or TB stayed ..

  • pcantidote

    UCLA is in its second 20 year gap.

  • JethroTroll

    Well done Donald.

  • pcantidote

    You clearly don’t know the meaning of the word bust.

  • vicbert caladipo

    The TROLL has a hard time comprehending and retaining what he reads. He actually makes some good points worthy of upvoting, but then resorts to insulting people and then tells the next person he insults that he never insulted the previous people. He started by telling ForeverIU he sounded like a liberal upon Forever taking it as an insult of calling him a liberal. He then gets into it with Ole Man whereupon oleman calls him a troll. Then he gets into it with me and actually threatens me and I quote “this is a fight you won’t win”. Now it’s you, Koko and I probably left out a few more. He has a history of internet bullying which in definition is a TROLL. So I say let him boycott the games like a baby and just deal with his garbage after the game until he eventually crosses the line and ITH bans him. Such a pity cuz he actually makes some good points, but he can’t handle it if you disagree.

  • DonaldneedsAsafeSpace

    5 star recruit that has not gotten any better, has a negative assist/to ratio.. Will be a complete waste of draft pick if he somehow gets drafted=bust

  • pcantidote

    You clearly don’t know the meaning of the word bust.

  • DonaldneedsAsafeSpace

    JBJ sucks man, get over it. So what if he scores 15-20 ppg if he can’t play defense and can’t pass he is a BUST. He hasn’t improved, he’s just gotten worse as it’s shown his ligaments aren’t getting any stronger. With a single screen the guy falls yards away from his man. See you in the German Basketball Bundesliga!

  • Koko

    Jethro does need some people skill handling.

  • DonaldneedsAsafeSpace

    Who has been more successful? Luke Kennard, or JBJ? FYI LK is a Sophomore, 4 star recruit

  • vicbert caladipo

    These past few days have been crazy here with the main topic being CTC. I’m really tired of all the arguing because one person thinks you like CTC and they don’t. Or someone likes TB and you don’t. Or someone likes CH, JBJ, RJ, etc and you don’t so I thought I’d go off the rails a bit and do some research. We all have our pros and cons about CTC and the pros are fading away fast. One of the pros is his ability to recruit. I researched all his recruits since his tenure and came up with this. During his tenure(including the current class of 2017) .
    1. there have been 37 kids from in-state that were ranked in the top 100. CTC recruited five(and 2 left early)
    2. In the last 5 years IU has gotten exactly one recruit in the top 100 from our state
    3. CTC has NEVER gotten the top in-state recruit
    4. CTC has gotten 4 picks in the top 20(2 right at #20) and Zero in the top 10
    5. CTC has gotten 18 top 100 recruits(4 of those transferred) and 11 top 50

    Contrast to other teams in the NCAA…(since 2010 and again counting 2017)
    1. UK 23 top 20 recruits, 18 top 10
    2. PUKE 17 top 20, 11 top 10
    3. Kansas 9 top 20, 6 top 10
    4. Arizona 9 top 20, 5 top 10
    5. UNC 9 top 20, 4 top 10
    6. UCLA 7 top 20, 3 top 10
    7. Texas 5 top 20, 3 top 10
    8. Syracuse 5 top 20
    9. Florida 5 top 20
    10. MSU 4 top 20, 1 top 10

    Contrast to other bigten teams…(all CTC years)
    1. MSU 21 top 100, 12 top 50, 5 top 20, 1 top 10
    2.OSU 21 top 100, 11 top 50, 5 top 20, 2 top 10
    3. IU 18 top 100, 11 top 50, 4 top 20, zero top 10
    others of note Ill-13, Mary 11, UM-14, Peeyoo-9, Minn 6, Iowa 5

    Draw your own conclusions, but I’d say we ARE NOT blueblood as far as recruiting OR success under CTC. There are over 25 teams with better recruiting ratings. We are 3rd in our conference and if you weigh in just the past 3 years we are barely over middle of the pack I’ll let the rest of you battle on his other flaws.

  • TomEke

    For the players, I hope tonight is the night where they grow tired of being hit in the mouth and just beat a a team who has less talent than they do.

    For me, I hope tonight is a step towards eliminating my apathy towards the success of this program.

    For CTC, I can’t help but hope this is another step towards him finishing the season 15-17 with a starting lineup consisting of two 3-star players and two 4-star players and one 5-star player, forcing Fred Glass to finally consider firing him.

  • deez33

    In regards to the buyout, why would Glass allow the amount to go down on July 1? I understand why a coach would want that, it gives him leverage if an AD is on the fence about making a move. But Glass gave Crean a top 10 salary and extended him AND allowed the buyout date to be July 1? Crean must have a great agent!

    Seems like a lot of the disappointed fans forget about Glass when it comes to criticism. He ultimately guides the program and should be criticized a lot more if he doesn’t make a change after this season. Glass was all in on Crean but hopefully he realizes he was wrong and cuts his ties, sooner rather than later.

  • pcantidote

    You clearly don’t know the meaning of the word bust. If you need help:

    noun: bust – a worthless thing.

    If you need help translating that to sports I would suggest you look up Greg Oden’s NBA career or Ryan Leaf’s NFL career. But JBJ? Get real. Perhaps not what you hoped for? Fine. But I see no reason for so much negativity towards a college kid.

    Meanwhile, I suggest you look up another word which is the reason why you are disliked by most on this site:

    Definition of hyperbole: extravagant exaggeration.

  • IdahoHoosier

    I appreciate you compiling or finding those numbers Vic. That does support the many fans who are disappointed with recruiting, specifically in-state. IU hasn’t been “blue blood” for most of my lifetime (25+) years, and I am happy that in that stretch, Crean’s tenure has brought some degree of success back to IU. By all accounts as fans I think we can appreciate the progress, and move forward to give another coach a chance to continue bringing IU back toward “blue blood” status!

  • DonaldneedsAsafeSpace

    Aw now you’re trying to hurt my feelings 🙁

  • vicbert caladipo

    Thanks. This took me all morning to compile, but I’d rather do that than fight and argue. I’ll leave that to those more equipped than I.

  • JethroTroll

    Unfortunately Vicbert, you’re nothing but a petty uniformed liar. Almost everything you’ve just said has been exaggerated. For the record, I haven’t been on here stalking people (like you clearly are), nor have I been resorted to name calling (as you have), threats or anything else you just made up. You’re just an insecure idiot (sorry you’ve made me call someone a name, but you are what you are) who couldn’t handle getting questioned about something you said. And instead of having an informed discussion on it, you resorted to petty name calling, lies and gross exaggerations to prop yourself up on here. Apparently, the only opinion that counts on here is yours.
    And I challenge you and anybody else on here. Please show why I should be banned from here. I would wager a guy that’s stalking me and making things up is MUCH more worthy of getting banned than anything I’ve said. Look in the mirror Vicbert, you’re the problem here.

  • JethroTroll

    That’s funny, since I just made a post and look how you responded. But in this bizarre ITH world, Im the problem smh

  • pcantidote

    WOW. The 5/37 or 13% hit rate on in state top 100 recruits is so unacceptable on so many levels. That is 4 in state top 100 players per year!!!! You basically don’t even need to leave the state as the coach.

  • vicbert caladipo

    The more WOW is 3 of those 5 came in the same year with 2 of those 3 transferring(Hollowell and HMP). We were skunked in 7 of his 10 years(2017 inc.)

  • Arch Puddington

    Great research. The in-state recruiting thing is almost the whole story. Not only has he missed out on roughly 6 of every 7 top 100 recruits in the state, as you point out, the trend is worsening. If, as it appears nearly certain, he misses out on Romeo Langford next year, that will make not only 5 years in a row without a top 100 Indiana kid and 7 in a row without an Indiana Mr. Basketball, it will almost certainly mean 4 consecutive years that a McDonald’s All-American has left the state.

    The 10 national programs you list have won 19 of the last 26 national championships. (And of the 7 others, 4 were won by Connecticut, which has fallen off a bit of late. I’m certain they would have fit your profile in the ’90s and 2000’s.). So yeah, talent wins, and we aren’t getting anywhere near enough of it.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Correct me if I’m misunderstanding, but your numbers for “other NCAA teams” are showing how many Top 20 and Top 10 recruits nationally they are getting, right? I’d be interested to see how many in-state Top 100 recruits those teams are getting in their respective states.

  • John D Murphy

    In 9 years, TC hasn’t redshirted anyone. I know there is discussion of CH which won’t happen. Mo Creek got the extra year but not for IU. There is zero chance that TC would redshirt a non-hurt player.

  • John D Murphy

    I think we’ll drop all but maybe one of the remaining schedule and miss an NIT bid. No one cares about the NIT anyway. Well at least I don’t. I guess those that are satisfied with ongoing mediocrity (and I’m not implying you are) would be up for it.

  • Koko

    Why do you think you get so much attention ITH?
    Because you are a cuddly little fuzz ball? Or because
    you make comments that you know will create an effect
    and give you an opportunity to make yourself right and others wrong? Don’t start being a victim Jethro.

  • John D Murphy

    Thank you.

  • Arch Puddington

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: everything CTC has accomplished at IU is directly attributable to Cody Zeller. Take him away and we not only don’t win the B1G championship in 2013, we don’t win it last year, either, because Yogi committed specifically because of Cody. No Cody, no Yogi, and no Yogi, no B1G championship last year. Three of the four years since Cody’s departure have been lousy, and next year looks to be four in five years. CTC just has not been able to sustain the recruiting and appeal of the program since Cody left, and I don’t see how anyone can argue that the entire trajectory of the program isn’t on an extended slide.

  • IU84

    last in Big 10 in D. ouch, I’m not a coach or a sign maker by trade but D seems like effort is the main ingredient.

    I think we can get too caught up in player rankings. What was the Mcintosh kid at Northwestern out of Greensburg rated? I’d trade any guard on our roster for him. Lets get those Hoosier kids!

    Being an eternal IU optimist, I believe this team still has pieces. Time for a classic BK style shake up. Starting five: DD in the middle, Bryant, Morgan, Green, and Johnson. Tell Green to run the point. Don’t look to shoot, get the ball inside.

    First player off the bench is Blackmon then Curtis. Shoot the balls boys. shoot it. Be confident and let loose!

    The last 5 games show the value of Senior leadership. If Colin was available, we might have stuck together. Nevertheless . . .

    GOIU!!

  • John D Murphy

    Someone of high caliber will be available. With the pay, support, and prestige IU would be pick of the litter this offseason. None of the other high profile seats are going to be open. Not only is it time, but it is the right time…timing wise.

  • Arch Puddington

    I’ve done a bit of looking into that in response to other debates, and it can be tricky to make good comparisons. Kentucky not only doesn’t produce a lot of great high school talent as a state, UK obviously recruits nationally unlike anyone other than Duke. So they get almost no in-state recruits, but not because they are trying and missing. The real question isn’t how many local players are on a given roster, it’s how many local players does a school sincerely go after but lose to someone else. I can’t prove it with numbers (too much time…), but I bet we have pursued and lost more top in-state players than any other flagship program.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Indianapolis area kids don’t want to go to IU… so CTC stays away… but in the big picture Zeller ,Yogi, Hulls,JBJ isn’t bad for Indiana … The younger generation of kids don’t see IU as a very elite destination…IU hasn’t done much in their lifetimes ..more Indiana guys go to PU than IU it is what it is…I don’t care where the kids come from..Indiana kids are overrated for the most part from A.J. Ratliff to Jeremy Hollowell . Also lots of Indiana H.S. coaches run motion offenses very old school set in their ways while most colleges run open sets and pin downs …It doesn’t transfer well with guys that are 4 and 5 stars who only want to be around a year or two and used to the ball in their hands.

  • John D Murphy

    We would be paying a different coach that $3M so NO.

  • DonaldneedsAsafeSpace

    5 star recruit floundering to make waves in any reputable draft simulator = bust

  • DonaldneedsAsafeSpace

    And a junior none the less

  • John D Murphy

    That’s a pretty good list. I’ll add no continuous lineups for 4:00.

  • John D Murphy

    To your point, Louisville is the only area in Kentucky that consistently produces a number of high major players and it is UL territory.

  • pcantidote

    Cognitive dissonance.

  • John D Murphy

    The only way Romeo ends up at IU is if Pitino is fired for some scandal. But I can’t imagine anything he could do that wouldn’t be glossed over at UofL.

  • pcantidote

    I’ll go even further. You and I would have never even heard of CTC if it weren’t for Dwayne Wade, one of the best basketball players in the history of the world.

  • mharv2631

    I wouldn’t leave the state. You could almost recruit a FAB Five every year from the great! state of INDIANA

  • kennygeorge

    yes, nc state!!!! lol only kidding ole man, I got too much respect for you to wish bad karma.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    Oh…make no mistake, we will get someone of a high caliber. I just think that it may not be a coach of high caliber who has already proven how good he is. Crean has made a FF in the past. If that is our measure of a “high caliber” coach, there aren’t a ton of those guys out there who will be available to us (look at a list online…most of them make a ton of money, are already at a high caliber school, are entrenched/old, etc). It isn’t that we aren’t a good enough program to command a coach of similar talent. It is just that they may not be available.

    The thing is that I’m okay with that. There are a lot of good coaches out there who aren’t as well known. RMK was a relative unknown before we hired him. That worked out pretty good!

  • mharv2631

    So coach them up. Kentucky does pretty well with kids that are used to having the ball in their hands.

  • JethroTroll

    Saying Im not watching IU anymore is stirring the pot? LOL If anything, you’re the one that tried stirring the pot in this thread. But, in the bizarre ITH world, Im again the bad guy. That’s not acting like a victim. It’s stating the truth.
    I suggest you go and read the actual discussions Vicbert’s been on here lying about. They come nowhere close to his accusations.

  • mharv2631

    OH NO! we can’t stand up for ourselves. If one even starts to think about that, they immediately get pulled away.

  • JethroTroll

    And P.S. Vicbert’s the only one giving me ‘attention’. And I consider that to be a compliment.

  • BeatDuke

    I was at the Wisconsin game and DD was limping to get on and off the floor (no limp when the ball was in play). He is hurt, pretty bad I think. I think he has a minutes limit of around 17. Anybody else notice anything with DD during the last 2 games of a similar nature (when the ball was not in play?).

    I dunno, but with 3 starters out, DD on minutes limit, JBJ coming off injury, and possibly JM still not great with his ankle (was clear at the Wisconsin game as well) – not sure how many high division I teams we would beat? I suspect about none of the top 60-80 in our current state on a neutral court (unless we have a lucky shooting night). Not sure, but seems like we will likely lose all of our remaining games as we are just not fielding a high divisional I team at this point. Unrealistic to think we are going to win on the road as well (was hard enough when we were No. 1!), unless we get some luck in one of the games.

    Not a Crean hater or lover, but, he has won the Big Ten outright in the 2 of the last 4 years. Margins are slim enough that if he really were a terrible coach, there is no way we win these titles. Also, when the team was at its healthiest (only CH out and possibly DD on minute limits) we beat Kansas and smoked Carolina WITH CTC as the coach. Both those teams are good enough that they should have beaten us if CTC is such a terrible coach. We were looking like a top 5 team when most everybody was healthy. Kinda weird to be writing CTC off when we are in injury hell right now.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Show the fight you had as a team when you played against Kansas and Kentucky. Enough of taking the butt kicking while sitting down.

  • Arch Puddington

    Louisville has three players from Louisville on it’s roster — including Raymond Spaulding (ESPN #57) and Quintin Snider (ESPN #40) — and three other players from elsewhere in Kentucky.