What to watch for: Minnesota

  • 02/09/2018 9:05 am in

With Indiana’s second matchup this season against Minnesota tipping later today, we’re taking a look at three things to watch for in the rematch in lieu of our traditional game preview.

The matchup with the Gophers will be broadcast on FS1 at 7:30 p.m. ET with Rich Waltz and Donny Marshall on the call:

· Who will Minnesota have available? No team in the Big Ten has been more decimated by injuries and off the court issues than Minnesota.

An NCAA tournament team last year, the Gophers were picked to finish in the top four of the league, but look destined for a Wednesday appearance in the Big Ten tournament.

Reggie Lynch is inexplicably still on Minnesota’s roster, but will clearly never play again for the program. Amir Coffey, one of the league’s best sophomores, has played just two times in the last 10 games because of a shoulder injury and has not practiced, according to Richard Pitino. And a third starter, Dupree McBrayer is considered day-to-day because of a stress reaction in his left shin. McBrayer played just 14 minutes in Minnesota’s most recent game.

Minnesota is 1-9 over its last 10 games and breaking a six-game losing streak becomes even tough if Coffey and McBrayer are unavailable in Bloomington.

· Who wins the battle between Jordan Murphy and Juwan Morgan? Murphy and Morgan are two of the best power forwards in the league and both will likely claim a spot on one of the All-Big Ten teams.

Morgan won the first matchup in Minneapolis as he went for 20 points and 12 rebounds in 38 minutes as the Hoosiers prevailed, 75-71.

Murphy battled foul trouble, but still managed to finish with 18 points and 10 rebounds in 30 minutes. However, he was visibly frustrated at times around the basket as Morgan blocked four shots. He shot just 4-of-11 on 2s in Minnesota’s loss.

· Can Indiana do a better job on Nate Mason? Mason is in the midst of his best season yet in Minneapolis, but nobody is talking about him because of the lack of team success.

But dive into the numbers and it’s clear that Mason is one of the best point guards in the league. In conference play, he’s shooting 40.5 percent on 3s and is seventh in assist rate with the fifth lowest turnover percentage. And that’s with opposing defenses putting a ton of attention on him with Coffey sidelined.

In the first meeting in Minneapolis, Indiana struggled to contain Mason. The Georgia native went for 22 points, nine assists and just one turnover in 35 minutes. He’s coming off of a monster performance (34 points) in Tuesday’s 91-85 loss to Nebraska.

As a senior and Minnesota’s leader, Mason is still battling despite just one win in the team’s last 10 games.

“We still have a chance to win — we’re not just counting this season out,” Mason told The Star-Tribune recently. “We have five regular-season games ahead of us and the Big Ten tournament. So I feel like we’re in good shape and getting better every game.”

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  • vicbert caladipo

    It got me called little Vickie. That’s the first time since I was a kid that I have been called little or Vickie. You do know if you ad R & A to the word sand ..what do you get?

  • Arch Puddington

    70 is actually a pretty good line to draw. We are 4-1 when we score above 70, 2-6 when we score below 70. With the exception of the 85 MSU put up in East Lansing, no B1G team has scored more than 74 against us. And in the six games since that blowout at MSU, we have held teams to an average of 65 ppg. So if we play defense the way we have been for the last few weeks, scoring more than 70 will likely result in a win.

    Threes and frees, baby. Gotta hit’em.

  • vicbert caladipo

    by pounding it…and colt said that to you not me…I stole it from colt after I was told I was drinking and posting nonsense and I should quit posting when I asked but was not told what I said that was wrong…..

  • vicbert caladipo

    People that rip others usually will support the rippers not the rippees as long as the ripping is on a poster and not a player

  • vicbert caladipo

    venom…cobras….snakes…I think we have a theme going

  • vicbert caladipo

    Forever…aka crazy joe DAVOLA…..and I am nicer than both of you…for the record she/he doesn’t like me either

  • vicbert caladipo

    and why your new name should be crazy joe davola…if I remember correctly forever iu was banned when you were clownier than usual….you have come a long way since than and it explains why you don’t like it when I call you that and call me creepy…..the tragic clown…get you pollyochee!!!!

  • vicbert caladipo

    very close to you..tinley…I agree

  • vicbert caladipo

    At least you oleman and arch ran off the troll named Jethro….I think the newbie realized who he was arguing with and ran and hid…another chest thumping know it all. Anyone seen Bankshot?

  • coachv

    ha ha. running my ac as it’s 80 degrees and sunny in florida.

  • coachv

    i don’t think so. kids are playing ball all year round now. plus better competition in aau. that wasn’t the case back then. point taken about experience, though.

  • inCMitrust

    I’m from Louisville and do have a little insight on that situation. In regard to the dancers, I have never heard for sure that Pitino knew and I know board members and people in the AD department. I would say willfully ignorant at the least. Izzo was aware that a couple of his players and a coach were charged and most likely guilty of assault and rape. One is recruiting violation and the other I consider more serious situation. I’m not going do get into the morality of strippers.

  • Ole Man

    I know Arch; I’ve read the same posts you have. LOL!
    I just thought this one was one of her milder ones and actually made sense, even if I disagreed with a lot of it.

  • Ole Man

    If ya have something to say Vic, be direct, not obtuse.
    Otherwise, ya know…

  • just a fan

    just went for an easy four miler to enjoy the 58 in So. Ind.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Looks like I’m going to miss my first game in FOREVER…storm has knocked most of my satellite. out…funny thing is the BTN is coming in fine…..my luck it’s on fox….maybe I should be more nice…or more mean…not sure…bad karma

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Naperville. You take care. This winter weather sucks.vicbert, Noah Vonleh to the Bulls. You likey!!!