Monday, December 3, 2007

Gophers vs. NDSU

As much as I hate to push Snake's UND rant down the page, there's no way I couldn't give a little preview to the big Gopher/Bison tilt going on later tonight. Plus, I'm actually going to be watching the game sober (probably) so that's a big thumbs up.

NDSU is a pesky, gritty, plucky team that really hustles and has a lot of heart. Remember what that means? That's right, they suck.

Now, that being said, this is not an automatic win. NDSU has the one thing that can neutralize a better team's advantage in a hurry, and that's three point shooting. Guards Ben Woodside and Mike Nelson both average 3 made three pointers per game, and both shoot around 50% from three. If either or both get hot, it could lead to trouble. The Gophers of the past were notoriously bad when it came to defending the three, and by the past I mean last year. They seem to be much better this year, and I'm going to make the extremely controversial statement that Tubby Smith is a better coach than Dan Monson, so they should do a better job containing the guards.

The other worry besides those two is forward Brett Winkelman. Winkelman is averaging 20.9 points per game, second on the team to Woodside's 26.4. Impressive numbers, but keep in mind that five of their seven opponents have been UW-Green Bay, Minot State, Tennesse Tech, NC Central, and Mayville State. Sounds like a Gopher football non-conference schedule. There scoring dips to 17 and 20 against their two real opponents, Florida and Rutgers. Still good, but not quite as gaudy as it looks at first glance.

The Gophers shouldn't have a problem with NDSU. And with Tubby at the helm instead of Monson, I don't have all that much of a concern. Contain Winkelman, Woodside, and Nelson and you don't have to worry. Those three are pretty much the entire team, and score 70% of the Bison's points, a number that would be even higher if not for all the garbage time the scrubs get playing that terrifying schedule above. Whatever happens, they can't let NDSU stick around until the end of the game, and need to blow them out early. If NDSU is close towards the end, Woodside scares the crap out of me.

Gophers 74, Bison 62

Arkansas St +9.5 @ Northwestern
Missouri St +9.5 @ Arkansas
E Tenn St +25 @ Indiana
Wofford +23.5 @ Wisconsin

Yesterday: 3-2
Season: 72-65

1 comment:

Matt said...

The funny thing about NDSU (referencing the UND hate post) is that they have an inferiority complex with UND.

Let's get revenge for the football team. I want those NDSU bastards to get annihilated and embarrassed.