STrib: Four things we've learned so far about Ben Johnson's 3-0 Gophers

BleedGopher

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per Marcus:

Here are four observations from Minnesota's two victories at the Asheville Championship last week.

Two-headed monster

The Gophers found out in Asheville that Battle and Willis are ready to put the offense on their shoulders – at least against non-Big Ten opponents. The pair was named to the all-tournament team after combining for 53 points and 21 rebounds against Princeton.

Seven-man rotation

Battle, who has two seasons under his belt, is the only non-senior who plays significant minutes, but he also leads the Big Ten with 41.0 minutes per game. The top four minutes played leaders in the conference are from the Gophers, including Loewe (39.0), Willis (38.7), and Stephens (38.3).

Part of those inflated numbers are from Sunday's double overtime win, but the Gophers have also leaned heavily on their starters so far this year, including senior big man Eric Curry (career-high 29.3 minutes). Only Sean Sutherlin (16.0 minutes) and Charlie Daniels (12.3) have seen extended game action off the bench. How long will this last? Former Gophers coach Richard Pitino learned the hard way that heavy minutes can wear on players in a grind-it-out Big Ten season.

Center of attention

As much as Curry has been able to be productive this season, he's not enough inside for the Gophers to be balanced offensively. They've been outscored in the paint by all three opponents and 122-82 combined this season, including 56-44 against the undersized Tigers.

Free throw fancy

What happened to the Gophers at the foul line against Princeton might be an aberration. They shot a season-low 15-for-29 (51.7%), including just 8-for-17 in regulation.


Go Gophers!!
 

GopherOhana

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"As much as Curry has been able to be productive this season, he's not enough inside for the Gophers to be balanced offensively. They've been outscored in the paint by all three opponents and 122-82 combined this season, including 56-44 against the undersized Tigers."

if you score more points than the other team, does "in the paint" scoring matter?

thought what the bulls did to the clippers at the clippers was interesting. won by 10 and played half the game essentially with five 6'6" players
 

UpAndUnder43

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One of the things mentioned is a possible aberration…which is quite a thing.
 




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