Mascot: Goldie the Gopher
Line: Minnesota by 11.5
Typical Rotation Depth: 9
KenPom rank: 42
Players to watch: Liam Robbins
The Drake transfer received a waiver to play this year and has slotted into the starting center spot with Daniel Oturu going pro. Robbins leads the team in block and rebounds and is second on the team in PPG. Oddly he has had success from 3 after being pretty poor his first two years at Drake.
Players to watch: Marcus Carr
Carr picked up where he left off last year as one of the best assist men in the conference and leads the team in scoring. The 3 level scorer also leads the team in FT makes and attempts.
- Kalscheur is a shooter who has lost his touch, shooting a mind boggling 23.3% from 3 this season
- Utah transfer and Minnesota native Both Gach is also a shooter struggling with his shot though he does chip in with rebounds
- Western Michigan transfer Brandon Johnson slots in well as a 4 man with a nice combination of rebounding, shooting and rim protection
- Jamal Mashburn Jr, son of the former NBA small forward, seems like he might be the PG of the future for this team. Right now he slots in as a secondary ball handler as Carr rarely leaves the court. Makes plays but the shot isn't there yet.
- 6'9" 240# Eric Curry at one point was the PF/C of the future but injuries have robbed him of 2+ years of playing time and some of that ability. Mostly slots in as Robbins backup.
- Tre' Williams is some bulk backing up Both Gach at 6'5" 200#
- Isaiah Ihnen is a stretch 4 from Germany. His lack of aggression and poor shooting this season makes him the poster boy for Nebraska's strategy to pack the paint to the point of daring guys to shoot.
Things seems bad but anyone remember the last time we went to Minnesota? Dachon Burke and Cam Mack got sent home and not to be left out, the rest of the team also got smoked to the tune of 107-75. This year's Minnesota has been up and down, enduring an almost 30 point beat down by Illinois while also dealing Ohio St one of their 4 losses. The Gophers have lost to and beaten Michigan by double digits. If there is any pattern to their up and down play it tends to be that they play better at home. Minnesota is 11-1 at home, 0-6 on the road.
In some regards playing this Gopher team will be like looking in the mirror for the Huskers as both squads sport starting lineups built on transfers and struggle to shoot. As much as you're probably sick of watching teams jack up 3s against the Huskers, turning Minnesota into a jump shooting team that doesn't get to the foul line is a sound strategy that Nebraska likely employs yet again. How sloppy will the Huskers be in this one. If the Huskers can somehow not personally fuel Minnesota's transition and make them earn their points in the half court, they have a great shot in this one. At this point with Nebraska playing so sloppily and leading scorer Teddy Allen barely able to jump higher than a piece of paper, it doesn't look like this squad is up to the task in the Barn against a Gopher team that would love to run them off the court.
Prediction: Minnesota 88 - Nebraska 66