NCAA Preview: Minnesota Golden Gophers

Posted by rtmsf on March 18th, 2009

Minnesota (#10, East, Greensboro pod)

vs. Texas (#7)
Thur. 3/19 at 7:10 pm
Vegas Line:  +4

General Profile
Location:
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Conference:
Big Ten, at large
Coach: Orlando “Tubby” Smith, hired 2007. Record at Minnesota = 42-24.
08-09 Record:
22-10 (9-9)
Last 12 Games:
5-7
Best Win:
vs Louisville, 70-64, 12/20/08
Worst Loss:
at Northwestern, 65-74, on 1/18/09.
Off. Efficiency Rating:
106.5 (88th)
Def. Efficiency Rating:
90.6 (20th)

Nuts n Bolts
Star Player(s):
Lawrence Westbrook (6’0″ junior guard), 12.4 ppg.
Unsung Hero:
Ralph Sampson III (6’11” freshman center), leads team with 4.4 rpg and second in blocks at 1.5/game.
Potential NBA Draft Pick:
Sampson has some teams interested.
Key Injuries:
No significant injuries.
Depth:
40.7% mins. (13th nationally)
Achilles Heel:
Guarding the three. Opponents shoot 32.7%, 236th in the nation in that category.
Will Make a Deep Run if…:
…their defense can frustrate. They’re 20th nationally in Defensive Efficiency and 4th nationally in blocks.
Will Make an Early Exit if…:
…their interior defense breaks down. Despite being poor in defensing the three, they’re in the top 30 as far as guarding shots inside the arc.
Last Year Invited:
2005
Streak:
One year.
Best NCAA Finish:
1997 Final Four.
Historical Performance vs. Seed (1985-present):
n/a

Other
Distance to First Round Site:
1143 miles
School’s Claim to Fame:
A notable alumni list too long to list, but it includes 18 Nobel prize winners.  Bob Dylan went here but dropped out.
School Wishes It Could Forget:
Yanni is an alumnus.
Prediction:
Minnesota doesn’t wow you with statistics but with Smith at the helm you know at the very least they’ll give Texas a ballgame, and maybe win it outright. Minnesota will be a popular 1st round upset pick, but they have to find a way to corral Pittman. If they can…who knows, after that.
Major RTC stories:
Big 10 Wrapup and Tourney Preview

Preview written by: John Stevens, Rush The Court.

rtmsf (3773 Posts)


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