IU comes into tonight’s contest playing extremely well in their last few games. Minnesota is trying to defend their home court but they have looked like dog poo their last couple of games. Why does this sound familar? Because it was very similar to the scenario Indiana faced when traveling to Champaign, Illiniois to face the Fighting Illini. Now, Illinois wasn’t playing nearly as bad as the Golden Gophers have been lately but my point is, anything can happen in this game.
Saying that, I highly doubt this Hoosiers team will allow a slip up in the same fashion as the Illinois game. Just use last week’s win in a hostile Breslin Center as clear evidence to just how mature this team really is. Victor Oladipo had a week to rest his bum ankle but already showed he doesn’t have to be at 100% to completely change the outcome of a game. If you remember back to the first game between these two teams this year, IU came out on fire and took a 23-point lead with them into halftime. However, Minnesota’s second half press turned the Hoosiers over and allowed the Golden Gophers to make it interesting near the end. I won”t expect the same start from the Hoosiers to happen in The Barn on Tuesday night but I don’t see Minnesota pulling off the upset either.
With that, here is the scouting report for tonight’s game:
Game time: 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, Febuary 26, 2013
TV: ESPN (Mike Tirico, Dan Dakich & Samantha Ponder)
Minnesota Golden Gophers: 18-9 (6-8) Rank: 19 KP
#1 Andre Hollins: 6-1 200 So. G 13.6ppg 3.3apg 3.3rpg
-Andre is Minnesota’s main source of offense and leading scorer. However, the last handful of games Andre’s shot has been broke. In four of the team’s last five games (all losses) Andre averaged 8.3ppg. In their lone win out of those five games he put up 21 in overtime against Wisconsin. Last game against the Hoosiers, Andre put up 25 but took 20 shots to get there.
#20 Austin Hollins: 6-4 185 Jr. G 11.1ppg 2.6apg 3.3rpg
-You pretty much know what you are going to get with Austin night in and night out. He will put up about 10 points a game and grab 4 or 5 rebounds a game. He is their best perimeter defender and his length allows him to get a lot of steals. Last time out against the Hoosiers, Austin finished with 13 points and 5 rebounds.
#11 Joe Coleman: 6-4 200 So. G 9.0ppg 1.6apg 4.0rpg
-Joe has lost his offensive game as of late. In the last ten games, he is only averaging 5.8ppg. Interesting stat: When Coleman scores in the double digits, Minnesota is 10-1 this year. That one loss was against the Hoosiers in Assembly Hall when he put up 11 points and 3 rebounds.
#33 Rodney Williams: 6-7 205 Sr. F 10.9ppg 1.5apg 5.2rpg
-Rodney is coming off his worst game of the season against Ohio State (0 points in just 8 minutes). The Golden Gophers are gonna need a huge bounce back effort from him in order to keep up with the Hoosiers this time around. On Jan. 12, Rodney recorded 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks against Indiana.
#32 Trevor Mbakwe: 6-8 245 Sr. F 9.5ppg 1.1apg 8.5rpg
-Trevor came back for his 14th season wanting to make a deep run in the tournament. Right now he sees his team slowly dropping in seeding and, at its current pace, possibly even NIT-bound. One big win in The Barn tomorrow night can change that.
Coming off the bench:
#10 Oto Osenieks: 6-8 220 So. F
#15 Maurice Walker: 6-10 289 So. F
#0 Julian Welch: 6-3 194 Sr. G
#55 Elliott Eliason: 6-11 260 So. C
#30 Andre Ingram: 6-7 213 Sr. F
Keys to the game:
- The Hoosiers shot lights out in the first half last game but kind of played for the clock to run out in the second half. If the Hoosiers do see the opportunity to finish them on the road, I wanna see IU go all Sub-Zero on them Golden Gophers.
- I didn’t realize last game against Minny that the Hoosiers’ bench only scored 3 of the 88 total points for IU. While I don’t normally care who scores as long as the team wins, that is still kind of alarming.
- For this game, I foresee a much closer game throughout. The Barn is one of toughest places to go into and steal a win in this conference. When the game is in the balance, I see the Hoosiers making the plays down the stretch.