Game 9: Gophers Host Kentucky (12-7-22)

Belzx009

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That went to Rose because that’s what the defense was giving up.they were running flair screens for Braun
But credit Kentucky defense for taking that away. Rose needs to make bunnies…. Gophers win this game and Wake game if she does.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Gophers guard Katie Borowicz has grown tired of the narrative.

You know, that the Gophers women's basketball team is talented, but young. That the ups and downs are due mainly to inexperience by a team that starts Borowicz, a redshirt freshman, true freshmen Mara Braun, Mallory Heyer and Amaya Battle and sophomore center Rose Micheaux.

Enough.

"I don't like people saying, 'Oh, you're young, is this why?' " Borowicz said after Wednesday's 80-74 loss to Kentucky at Williams Arena. "No.''

She was referring specifically to some crucial missed free throws Wednesday, just days after the team made 28 of 32 from the line in a double-overtime victory over Penn State.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Braun, one of only two freshmen in the Top 20 nationally in scoring average before Wednesday’s game, was 5 for 13 from the field and still made some big baskets to keep the Gophers close. She also found teammates for easy layups. But it was a slog for the point guard from Wayzata. The Wildcats were committed to letting anyone but Braun beat them.

“I feel like they’re always throwing a tough guard, physical guard, at me,” she said. “But you’ve just got to adjust and each game, find new ways to score and distribute the ball.”
 

Chico Gopher

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Katie played well but some of her choice making in the 4th was not great.. and imho playing through Rose and Katie in the 4th wasn't the greatest choice..

Mara HAD zero SHOTS in the 4th until that final 21 seconds..

going to rose when she is struggling to make layups and free throws late in games and you go to her back to back in those spots..
Pretty obvious that Kentucky's game plan was to not let Braun get any open looks out of the offense. With a couple of exceptions, most of her looks came from something she tried to create. Kentucky seemed pretty focused on making sure she wasn't the one to beat them. A well executed game plan is always capable of keeping the other teams best player from getting the looks they're used to out of their offensive sets. Make that player do something different, unusual, to get their game going. That's what Kentucky did to Braun. They also counted on their ball pressure to create some ball-handling/passing mishaps (which it did) and get the Gophers in a hurry, which is also did. To Minnesota's credit, they also were able to beat the press more than a few times for easy buckets.

One of the things Kentucky was willing to give up was Heyer, Rose, the bench having a chance to get looks. Earlier in the game, pretty sure I saw Rose take the ball on the dribble drive from the FT line, downhill to the rim for a couple of lay-ups. In the 4th quarter, she had the same opportunity. Got her shoulder past the defender, two downhill power dribbles to the rim for a decent look for a lay-up. I'll take that opportunity for my post every time. Unfortunately, she missed both lay-ups. Still, that's a look you want for your post, and when they're going to give you that instead of letting your best shooter have a look, you take it.

Ultimately, the game did not come down to that. The game came down to defensive stops in the last 5 minutes of the game. Gophers played quite a bit of the 1-3-1 zone with some man mixed in. Too many times, Gophers failed to get a stop and there were 5-6 times that they did get a defensive stop, mostly with the zone, they failed to get the defensive rebound. Of course, when you're in a zone, it's harder to rebound. Thought the zone looked better last night that it did in the short time they used it against Penn St. but rebounding is one reason a lot of coaches would rather stick to man-to-man. Zone can limit penetration to the lane, but also opens up offensive rebounding lanes. Especially for weakside rebounds.

Even with the loss, I see progress. They're playing hard, staying positive, active on defense and seem very coachable. If they can cut down on the careless turnovers (telegraphed entry pass, trying to pass where there's no room, traveling with nobody around you) and I believe they will, They'll be all right.
 

BBJones

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gopherdudepart2

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I love Katie's energy and self confidence, but she needs to slow down. Too many unforced errors and questionable shot attempts. The team will play better when she cuts back on the "hero" ball.
That comes with experience and maturation. Keep in Mind 5 of these kids were mostly playing against HS and AAU competition a year or 2 ago. They will learn these things, as will Katie to be more under control, find more open looks for teamates. Katie has gutts to take chances and is a vocal leader, i like that stuff. She is a pit bull on defense, and tough. We need more post players to step up and help ROSE. These young kids have a lot of talent and are really competitive, if anything they are ahead of schedule in the competition and want to department. Now we need the crafty and wise.
 

Gophers112233

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That went to Rose because that’s what the defense was giving up.they were running flair screens for Braun
But credit Kentucky defense for taking that away. Rose needs to make bunnies…. Gophers win this game and Wake game if she does.
yes but at the same time.. you have to figure out how to get your BEST player a shot in the 4th quarter, yes?

Rose needs to work on her ft 57% isn't great if she is going to go to the line 4-6 times a game..
 

PhiloVance

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Stats show Kentucky had 49 rebounds to MN 33. Is this a misprint?
 




Chico Gopher

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I love Katie's energy and self confidence, but she needs to slow down. Too many unforced errors and questionable shot attempts. The team will play better when she cuts back on the "hero" ball.
Of course she's shooting 45% and 42% from 3 and she's one of the 3 players who's able to create offense off the dribble in traffic. Right now, her % is the best of the 3 perimeter guards who can do that. They all are having issues with turnovers. Remember, her actual college basketball experience is only about 10 games or so more than the true freshmen playing.

I referenced a Lindsey Whalen video that I saw earlier this year back on page 1 of this thread. If you can find it, watch it and tell me how many of those spectacular lay-ups featured on that video had that "Oh No, what are you thinking? Great Shot!" look to them? Not putting Katie B into the Whalen category, but I have a feeling that some of her runs to the rim look kinda familiar to the coach.
 

ecoperson

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They missed 5 free throws and lost by 6, so no. But they do need to get to the line more.
Making FTs is often more than the actual points themselves. Making FTs builds confidence. Making FTs brings the score closer which means MN has an opportunity to calm down and make up a 2 point versus 6 point deficit. Making FTs tightens the game up for KY so that they get more nervous and are prone to more errors.

I think @walleye is saying that the outcome of the game could have turned based on some of these factors.
 

Ragnor

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That comes with experience and maturation. Keep in Mind 5 of these kids were mostly playing against HS and AAU competition a year or 2 ago. They will learn these things, as will Katie to be more under control, find more open looks for teamates. Katie has gutts to take chances and is a vocal leader, i like that stuff. She is a pit bull on defense, and tough. We need more post players to step up and help ROSE. These young kids have a lot of talent and are really competitive, if anything they are ahead of schedule in the competition and want to department. Now we need the crafty and wise.
I agree, we have been able to get more production out of the freshman and Rose this year than I thought we would and I include Maggie in this group too. I have been more disappointed with the offensive production from Gradwell, Cayton and Oberg. Gradwell has been inefficient offensively although that is the way she was in her previous stop, I had hopes that the coaches saw some reason that she would have improve while here. Cayton was productive in the 2017-2018 year but the injuries or the yips have taken their toll since and that doesn't seem to have come back this year. Oberg didn't get much run in Arkansas and I really thought she would flourish here but her lack of athleticism or reluctance to take tough shots seems to be holding her back. She has nifty footwork and a good short/medium range shot. I would like to see her take more step back jumpers close to the basket. With the lack of bench production it will be a tough year.

Overall there was some improvement on the team yesterday. Most notably the the ball movement was much better with 21 assists to go with 21 TOs. That is a phenomenal amount of sharing the ball but 21 TOs is still too many and cost them the game along with poor FT shooting and poor defensive rebounding. I also still don't think we make it difficult enough for teams to score inside.
 

Bfan

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Pretty obvious that Kentucky's game plan was to not let Braun get any open looks out of the offense. With a couple of exceptions, most of her looks came from something she tried to create. Kentucky seemed pretty focused on making sure she wasn't the one to beat them. A well executed game plan is always capable of keeping the other teams best player from getting the looks they're used to out of their offensive sets. Make that player do something different, unusual, to get their game going. That's what Kentucky did to Braun. They also counted on their ball pressure to create some ball-handling/passing mishaps (which it did) and get the Gophers in a hurry, which is also did. To Minnesota's credit, they also were able to beat the press more than a few times for easy buckets.

One of the things Kentucky was willing to give up was Heyer, Rose, the bench having a chance to get looks. Earlier in the game, pretty sure I saw Rose take the ball on the dribble drive from the FT line, downhill to the rim for a couple of lay-ups. In the 4th quarter, she had the same opportunity. Got her shoulder past the defender, two downhill power dribbles to the rim for a decent look for a lay-up. I'll take that opportunity for my post every time. Unfortunately, she missed both lay-ups. Still, that's a look you want for your post, and when they're going to give you that instead of letting your best shooter have a look, you take it.

Ultimately, the game did not come down to that. The game came down to defensive stops in the last 5 minutes of the game. Gophers played quite a bit of the 1-3-1 zone with some man mixed in. Too many times, Gophers failed to get a stop and there were 5-6 times that they did get a defensive stop, mostly with the zone, they failed to get the defensive rebound. Of course, when you're in a zone, it's harder to rebound. Thought the zone looked better last night that it did in the short time they used it against Penn St. but rebounding is one reason a lot of coaches would rather stick to man-to-man. Zone can limit penetration to the lane, but also opens up offensive rebounding lanes. Especially for weakside rebounds.

Even with the loss, I see progress. They're playing hard, staying positive, active on defense and seem very coachable. If they can cut down on the careless turnovers (telegraphed entry pass, trying to pass where there's no room, traveling with nobody around you) and I believe they will, They'll be all right.

Thanks for that insightful post.

I would like to see the Gophers continue at what they are working on and to remind myself as a fan to be patient. What they are working on now will eventually pay off when they are sophomores, juniors and seniors. I personally would love to see an aggressive defense as part of their MO now and then that works because they've worked on it for two years to get it right and payoff in a championship season -- scoring off turnovers. Keep up the great work, Gophers. Argh, just with fewer turnovers and missed layups, LOL.
 






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