Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hoops Preview: Gophers vs. Wofford

Fresh off a nice test against Coastal Carolina, the Gophers get what should be an easy victory on Thursday with Wofford coming to the Barn.  Simply put, the Terriers are terriable.  They're 1-2 this season with their only victory over something called the Emory & Henry College Wasps, which is a sweet team nickname but it's a Division III team.  They lost to a horrible Georgia team by 20, and were beaten by Iona by 19.  They're 283rd in offensive efficiency and 165th in defensive.  They shoot 23% from three, never get to the free throw line, and let their opponents rebound over half of their own misses.  You could say it's interesting that Wofford is the second slowest team in all of college ball, but that's not interesting it's super boring and the Gophers already proved slow teams don't really bother them by beating better slow teams already.  No, Wofford is terrible and the Gophers should win with ease.

But guess what? Karl Cochran.

Cochran is Wofford's junior guard who absolutely loves the ball the way Tom Hanks did in that movie with the volleyball.  He plays just slightly over half the game, so that's a bummer, but when he's in he takes 41% of the shots for his team, and uses 36% of the possessions (meaning 36% of the time he's on the floor the possession ends with his shot or turnover).  The former ranks 7th in the country this year, the latter 14th.  Last season he ranked 2nd and 8th.  Even his freshman year he led the team in shot %.  Simply put, this guy is a straight chucker.

Even better?  He's shooting 37% this year after hitting 36% last season.  His three point percentage this year is 21% (3-14) and he was just 31% for his career coming in.  He's also managed to forget how to make a free throw, seeing as he's 1-7 this year after being north of 70% for his career.  Despite being fourth in minutes played, with about 75% the minutes of the other three guys, he leads the team in field goal attempts.  Last season he had 20+ shot attempts in a game eight times including a game with 26 and one with 27, put up a 1-11 and a 2-16 night, and had more than double the shot attempts for the season of all his teammates except one.

I love this guy.  He wears #2.  I can't wait to watch him, and neither can you.

Minnesota 75, Wofford 48

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