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.”

Filed to:

  • SCHoosier

    Murphy sat out most of the first half up @ MN with foul trouble..which made a huge difference. Gophers are still a dangerous team IMO.

  • Adam 01

    If we hold them under 70 points, I think we win.

  • HoosierEconomist

    I know what to watch for; but what should I be expecting?

  • HoosierEconomist

    ^ dumb joke sry fam

  • Colt

    IU needs to contain the Gopher guards. Mason is as streaky as they come. The frosh they have is very talented.

  • N71

    Even if Minnesota gets hot and has 70+, as long as we score more points than them we should win.

  • Adam 01

    Yeah, that usually happens when you score more than your opponent;)

    But seriously, I don’t have much faith in us in a shootout. We don’t have the shooters for it. MINN averages around 76 I think .To me, holding them under 70 is very important. When was the last time we scored more than 70 in a B10 game?

  • Adam 01

    Agreed. DG and RJ should take turns chasing Mason around like they did with that player from Rutgers .

  • bpw97214

    Has “What to Watch For” replaced “What To Expect”?

    Thanks for all the great coverage, ITH!

  • vicbert caladipo

    I’m guessing this is one of a just a few games we should be kenpom favored. And I hate to say it cuz my predictions are horrible, but this game SHOULD be a win. I would think we would have to play really bad or Minn their best game all year to lose. I have seen all the bigten teams play a few times and Minn looks unconnected….lost…..no confidence and playing in Assembly Hall shouldn’t help. I hope the crowd brings it if not for any other reason but watching the crazy PU hoopla Wednesday. Folks around the country are now saying they are the loudest most engaged fans. We used to have that title. Only 3 left at home and we have to win every one. No prediction(kiss of death) but if ya can’t win this one………well…..you know

  • vicbert caladipo

    I think they switch off and use both. GO IU

  • vicbert caladipo

    On a different topic…..Wondering how many of you watched the PU/OSU game? And I’m talking watched from pregame to post game. The BTN set this game up like it was the greatest broadcast ever shown in their existence. Copied elements of the super bowl and espn gameday. Talking heads at center court discussing the game hours before the start, bringing back all the Peeyoo hasbeens on the big screen firing up the crowd, glow sticks everywhere and the PA announcer going nuts. Wasn’t sure if I was watching a college basketball game or a U2 concert. I have never seen that much hoopla for an early Feb game. It was built as PUs superbowl. I was waiting for Bruno Mars to come out and sing 24k with PU Pete with Gene Keady working the beat box. Great for the fans but I found it way over the top. Luckily the Karma gods rewarded them with a loss. They will lose again at MSU and the title will be up for grads. Sometimes it’s better to just sit back and be humble and not celebrate until the season is over or you’ve actually done something. I think all that nonsense contributed to them losing

  • vicbert caladipo

    He currently works the PU Pete costume. Rumor has it Brutus Buckeye was seen face down in a trashcan

  • vicbert caladipo

    I’m not wishing bad…they are bad enough without my help

  • Arch Puddington

    I watched all of it, but only listened to some of it. Turned off the volume, because TV announcing is mostly too horrible to take. I opined recently that I am not sold on either PU or MSU as Final Four favorites because both are flawed. In Purdue’s case, I argued that they just aren’t athletic enough, and the game against OSU did nothing to make me question that concern. OSU was longer and quicker, and even though PU led for a good bit of the game, to me OSU just looked better. On a neutral court, OSU wins probably 7 out of 10 against them. I’m not saying PU can’t make it to the Final Four, but it will take the right draw.

  • vicbert caladipo

    I knew all along if PU wasn’t making 3’s they are beatable cuz they rely on Haas too much and VE seems to disappear a bit when Haas is the focal point. They’ll get it together but trusting them to win the NCAAs is like trusting the Cleveland browns. As for MSU I can never count out Izzo. They have so much talent. I think they are similar to Duke in that they may have too much talent. Both play shaky D at times. I’d take MSU going further than PU and OSU reaslly has me scratching my head. Are they really that good? Or could they get bounced first or second round? My eye test says they are really that good, but you look at their lineup and ya say MEH

  • vicbert caladipo

    No…you’re probably holding your hand over a lit candle laughing maniacly(sp) talking to your voodoo dolls

  • vicbert caladipo

    Only if I can title it CRAZY JOE DAVOLLA. Did I spell it right this time teacher

  • vicbert caladipo

    Ahhhhhhhh………..one L. Wish I could say that about our big ten record

  • vicbert caladipo

    So how much snow yall have on the ground today? I’m sitting at about 14 and counting. Can ya guess my location?

  • PS IU

    Either Northern Illinois or Northern Indiana.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Since I’m snowed in and bored, I was wondering if some of you would offer your input on a question.

    It’s no secret about the trouble surrounding the MSU and UL athletic departments. While similar in some ways(involving exploitation of women), the circumstances and events are vastly different. My question is…..are the 2 situations comparable when it comes to the responsibility of the coaches involved namely Izzo and Pitino? Do you believe neither knew what was going on as they proclaimed? Do you think either is in anyway responsible? And lastly do you either believe Izzo will be or should be gone after this season?

  • vicbert caladipo

    Yes..very northern

  • Adam 01

    Good post! Thanks for all that info. Was it the Illinois game we lost scoring over 70? Man it would be nice to have a redo on that game!

  • Sandra Wilson

    Okay, both MSU and Purdue are both flawed. Name me a team that isn’t. Did you watch Duke, Kansas and Villanova recently? Who are your locks for the Final Four? Every NCAA tourney is the same. The team that gets a favorable draw (and benefits from upsets around them) has a huge advantage. Purdue is in a bit of a slump now, but has plenty of time to recover. To say a team that just won 19 in a row would lose 7 out of 10 to OSU is ridiculous. OSU just recently lost to PSU at OSU. Would PSU win 7 out of 10 against them? I doubt it since PSU has a total of just 7 conference wins. Don’t give me the ability excuse either. PSU has plenty of talent. It’s easy to point at any team and say they likely won’t get to the Final Four. After all, 64 out of the 68 won’t make it there. If you really want to prove you are a great judge of basketball teams, give us your Final Four picks right now. I’ll remember them and remind you what they were come April.

  • Arch Puddington

    You must be great fun at parties.

  • N71

    They seem different. UL’s misdoings were with the purpose to recruit, in other words, gain a competitive advantage. MSU, football and basketball, not the gymnastics thing, was a personal conduct issue with existing players and then the coaches and administration looking the other way. The UL thing seems malicious, MSU seems wimpy where they just wanted to close their eyes and make things go away. I suspect the MSU thing is more common then we want to admit, if its happening there its probably happening at a handful of other schools.

  • ForIndiana

    I wondered if that was their intro program for every game…and their PA announcer….wow was he really trying hard. Not sure what he was trying hard to be, but man, he was trying so hard.

  • HoosierEconomist

    55, Sunny, and a 100% of sending Duke home with an L.

    Can’t complain about life in Chapel Hill.

  • Ms hoosier

    I can’t predict the final four but I will agree that I don’t know a team that isn’t flawed. As far as that goes college basketball as a whole is flawed. It was much better in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s before the one and done rule killed it. These teams today would get destroyed by those teams of yesteryears

  • Arch Puddington

    Her outbursts are more like those I would associate with politics or religion. It wasn’t even the Hoosiers I was doubting, it was our arch rival, but her response was to go full limbic. She’ll have to carry on without me.

  • Ole Man

    Actually guys, and you know me and underdogs, I didn’t think she was really out of line.
    Have to defend her and her right to post an opposing opinion.
    I thought it one of her more lucid opinions as a matter of fact.
    In fact, I thought she actually added to what you were saying, Arch; not so much attacking it.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    No and absolutely no to not knowing. Vicbert enjoy this game tonight. IU needs all next 5 to be wins.

  • Jim Miller

    14? thats it? Anytime you want to see snow feel free to visit upstate NY in February. My yard is waist deep and I am 6’3″.

    Go Hoosiers

  • vicbert caladipo

    I wasn’t even thinking about the recruiting advantage…so good point and I agree. Just most of the media is calling for Izzo’s head and most of us have no clue what part if any he played in the scandals involving his players. What really makes me think is Adrien Payne was involved in one case. If I’m not mistaken he was the kid who spent his entire senior year spending time with a little sick girl with cancer. He seemed like a good kid with a big heart. Thanks for the response

  • vicbert caladipo

    Nebraska and OSU and at Iowa are going to be very very tough. I wouldn’t be surprised if we lost all 3. I do want badly for extra games(NIT) so I hope I’m wrong. Thanks #34. You enjoy too. I think you live relatively close to me so be safe in all this snow

  • vicbert caladipo

    Actually when I whine and complain about my weather…I often think about those around Rochester and buffalo and think…well at least one areas gets it worse. Feel for Ya Jim. Go IU

  • vicbert caladipo

    My thoughts exactly. There is no way that crap is orchestrated for every game. BTN had a lot to do with it. They treated that game like it was the reincarnation of Elvis. Part of me is jealous we don’t have that, but hopefully in time we will…just not as cheesy

  • vicbert caladipo

    Wow…..you sure hit my boy Arch hard there. You sure you aren’t olemans wife? For gosh sakes can’t anyone make a point without being attacked….called a drunk….post is ridiculous. Guess you have to have those types to create a well rounded world. I just wonder if those types treat their family and friends like that. It’s ok to be wrong once in a while. Heck 3/4 of my predictions have been wrong this year. Being wrong builds character and I hate to see others bring you down just cuz they feel you’re wrong…SHEESH.

    Where’s the love???

  • vicbert caladipo

    I would say UVA is about as good as it gets. Beat Duke on the road. North Carolina. Destroyed Clemson. In arguably the best conference they have no peers. Bennett has yet to prove himself in the post season but if any year they can cut down the nets it’s this year. It’s amazing they haven’t gotten complacent yet

  • vicbert caladipo

    I never laughed harder than our resident nice guy #34 said he wanted to have a get together with me Sandra and oleman. Cold day in Hades I’d ever be a part of that. It’s like putting your hand into a cobra basket except I’d be ripping the heads off the cobras. And Arch P. of all people. He is like EF Hutton. When he types I read. Guess if you’re going to go….go big. I’m crawling back under the snow

  • vicbert caladipo

    I love it when someone here makes me laugh. I just broke a rib. I vote for more laughter and less I’m smarter and better than you so let’s insult you to take you down a notch. She or he actually replied better than some. I don’t think she called you a name or told you that you should quit posting

  • vicbert caladipo

    Dude I am more fun than a barrel full of monkeys. I try…like you……at times to just have a little fun here. It’s winter…I have 15 inches of snow and our team is going nowhere. Lighten up…have fun………buzz killing is over rated……CHATTY very astute observation bb @nicks…..see I even called you your current name

  • vicbert caladipo

    For Sandra:

    UVA
    Kansas
    Nova
    Xavier

    Nat’l champs KU

    Feel free to rip me in April…..and I want it worse than Arch

  • Arch Puddington

    No one is questioning her “right to post an opposing opinion”. I don’t even know what that means, so I’ll leave it at that.

    “If you really want to prove you are a great judge of basketball teams, give us your Final Four picks right now. I’ll remember them and remind you what they were come April” is a personal taunt, plain and simple. Rest assured that if Purdue DOES make the Final Four — which, for the record, I have said they might; all I have said is that I don’t see them as a #1 seed — she will show up with the same triumphant grandstanding that you recently faulted someone else for doing to you. And if she does, so be it. Her noise is more amusing than off-putting, and means about as much to me as the yapping of a neighbor’s dog.

  • Arch Puddington

    The taunting Sandra does is pretty sour,but the taunting between you and bball at nick’s is great. Sometimes kinds/sorta serious, sometimes not, always wiling to recover and move on as friends (or at least as friendly rivals). I salute you both.

  • Arch Puddington

    And we are such nice guys! Well, one of us is, the other deserves her attacks. I just don’t know which is which.

  • Arch Puddington

    I LOVE “go pound sand.” I have no idea what it means, even after the explanations were offered. But it just sounds like a great tell-off, and that is enough for me.

  • vicbert caladipo

    I appreciate that ARCH. BBAN and I are going to hit the gym one day. Do some bench presses…rep out some curls….hiut the starimaster then go out and crush some beers or Whiskey or Pinot whatever he’s drinking

  • vicbert caladipo

    That was Colt that told you to pound sand