February 12, 2008

Breaking Down the Box - Illinois

Illinois - 84
Minnesota - 60

Let me start by reminding Gopher fans that it could be WORSE! or HERE - 11 points in the first half?

When did Dan Monson take over the basketball program? That was the ugliest game of the Tubby Smith Era. A team that has controlled effort all season was out efforted 94-3 by my official count of effortness.

Defense? - awful
Rebounding? - bad
Hustle? - $%*$, S*#@, $*I%

Here are some key lowlites of the game...

  • 37-11 run for Illinois to start the 2nd half
  • 14:00 left, Illinois' three best players on the bench and we continue to get pounded
  • The Illini are "not a good three point shooting team" 7/13 tonight
  • Jimmy Jackson told us how disappointed the three Gopher seniors must feel. Well, I think they had a chance to do something about that but combined for 18 points and horrible defense.
  • the streak extends to 18 losses vs. the Illini
Fortunately Gophersports.com is giving us the "lite" box score so I can't see how badly we were dominated in the paint, fast break points and points off turnovers. All will be ugly if we ever get to see them.

In all seriousness, if it isn't clear just how much our offense is keyed by our defense then you aren't paying attention. Defensively we were very casual (as Gene Keady and PJS point out), this led to the Illini shooting 58%. Turnovers were even, rebounds were essentially even but we shot a less than desirable 33.3%. We weren't able to get transition baskets and had to work for every shot we got.

Player of the Game - Trent Meacham

5/5 threes
19 points
3 assists
0 turnovers

The rest of the team shot 2/8 from behind the arc so his stretching of the gopher "defense" was crucial.

Tempo Free Zone

Up Next? - @ Wisconsin

Usually I would say this game can't come quick enough, but even with increased effort this game could be ugly.

Wisconsin just lost at home to Purdue and is facing a tough task at Indiana tomorrow. They'll have one less day to prepare, but not even this rube could pick the Gophers to win.

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