GAME INFO / HOW TO WATCH:
When? Saturday, January 30th, 2:15 PM, BTN
Vegas? INDIANA -20
Pomeroy? INDIANA by 20, 95% chance of Indiana victory
DIDN'T WE JUST DO THIS?
We sure did, dear reader! The Hoosiers will take on their second repeat opponent of the season and if you need a refresher on our northern opponents, take a look at our last game preview, most of the information contained is still applicable and good!
Both teams have reshuffled their statistics in the last two weeks, but have more or less maintained their overall profiles. Minnesota remains winless in the Big Ten while the Hoosiers took their first conference blemish up in Wisconsin. A win on Saturday would give the Hoosiers an 8-1 record at the halfway point of the conference season, and for all the blubbering about Indiana's conference opponents, to get through half the season without some insanely dumb loss is a good thing that some other title contenders can't say they've done. That said, Minnesota is coming into town to give Indiana one final chance to really screw things up for their conference title chances before the midpoint.
HERE WOULD YOU LIKE SOME FACTORS?
|INDIANA (#18 Adj. Offense)||60.8% (2nd)||20.8% (308th)||39.0% (11th)||34.1% (238th)|
|MINNESOTA (#196 Adj. Defense)||50.1% (190th)||17.8% (210th)||31.4% (237th)||32.9% (92nd)|
|INDIANA (#52 Adj. Defense)||48.5% (124th)||20.7% (52nd)||29.2% (132nd)||31.6% (69th)|
|MINNESOTA (#201 Adj. Offense)||47.4% (271st)||16.3% (49th)||25.1% (300th)||40.2% (97th)
As you can see, Minnesota is not particularly great at anything outside of ball control on offense. If the Hoosiers protected the ball like the Golden Gophers can, they'd be close to unstoppable. Minnesota's biggest issue, and there are many, is that they are among the worst in the nation at actually putting the basketball through the hoop and sufficiently below average at preventing their opponents from doing the same thing. Despite all of the wonderful analytics at our disposal, basketball is still a game won by the team with the most points, and if you're struggling to score and, in turn, make it very easy on your opponents to score, winning is going to be a tremendously difficult thing to do.
STUFF TO WATCH FOR:
- Please come back, Troy Williams. Here is Troy's game-by-game offensive ratings during the conference season, (an average performance is 100): 64, 76, 69, 143, 84, 190, 106, 94. Outside of incredible performances against Ohio State and Illinois, Troy has had some issues getting it going in the Big Ten season. I'm on record saying that Troy Williams is most likely to have the greatest impact on this team's success and I still believe that. His skill set and style of play do not have an equal on this roster and when he is on his game, the offense becomes far too multi-faceted for just about any team to deal with. His ability to knife into the lane from all points on the court and dominate the baseline off the ball can really give this team a lift when the shots aren't falling.
- Also paging Nick Zeisloft. The senior sharpshooter is shooting a practically unfathomable 27.7% from distance in conference play. This is particularly unexpected after hitting 51.4% of his threes last season during the conference slate. Nick had the opportunity to put Indiana into the lead with a wide-open trey with 80 seconds to go in overtime against Wisconsin and bricked it, which accurately summarizes how the conference season has been going for him. Granted, in the first go-round with the Gophers, Nick canned 5 of 8 deep jumpers in his finest conference performance this season. Perhaps the familiar walls of Assembly Hall combined with an opponent he's already succeeded against will get Snipesloft back on track.
- How does this team respond, as a whole? This squad had not lost in awhile and, thankfully, have the perfect chaser scheduled to get the bad taste of "loss in the Kohl Center" out of their mouths. To be able to return home and play a game against the #196-ranked team on KenPom is about as good a setup as one could hope for to shake off any lingering frustrations with Tuesday's game. But if Indiana mopes around or tries to mail this one in while they think about the bigger opponents ahead, Minnesota will be happy to torpedo the Hoosiers' title hopes.