I'm taking my kids to the Gopher game tomorrow. I just now realized that I have no idea who they're playing, that's how checked out I am this year. That's kind of the reason I haven't written a post game post in a while. I watch the games, I take notes like usual, then the Gophers self combust and lose the game in some kind of disheartening way and I really don't want to write. There's a limited amount of times one can write about the number of poor decisions this team makes, although I am starting to think I may need to write a post addressing Pitino's in game coaching because I have some questions. Anyway, it's more fun to write about a team that isn't the Gophers, so hold on a minute while I look up who they play and write the preview for...............Nebraska!
Nebraska, eh? I'm pretty sure the Gophers already played these guys, let me check how they did. Just kidding I already know they lost because they always lose. Looks like I didn't write a preview or a recap of that one, probably because that was when I was still all checked out and angry and stuff. I remember that one though because I was in the car for the end for some reason and was listening and heard "Hollins misses a three. Morris rebounds. He misses a three. Hollins rebounds, over to Mathieu. Mathieu misses a three. Times up." That was fun. I asked my dad when I got to his house if any of them were good looks and he said two of them were. So it was another stupid loss that probably shouldn't have been. God what a horrid year.
Anyway, Nebraska is still basically a two-man squad with the terrible Terran Petteway and bricklayer Shavon Shields. The two combine for 35.6 points per game, which is huge because Nebraska scores like 60 points per game because they can't shoot at all and play at a snail's pace. The two have also combined for 531 field goal attempts which is a terrifying percentage of the team's total of 1,016. If ever a team was screaming to be triangle and two'd it's this one, and it would actually be hilarious to watch Petteway try to deal with that because man is he ever wreckless.
The guy has a higher usage rate than anyone else in the conference and a top 10 mark in the entire country, yet his offensive rating is below every Gopher other than Bakary Konate. Watching him is awesome if you love chuckers (and who doesn't?) because he'll just shoot whenever and wherever with little regard to anything going on around him. He's not a true chucker because he does hit a little bit too many of them and his assist rate is good, but his turnover rate is in Joey King territory and he just forces the action in some hilarious ways. If the Gophers can speed Nebraska up, easier said than done, there should be at least a handful of laugh out loud moments.
Then there's Shields, who loves to shoot long jumpers. He hits 22% on his threes so letting him shoot is probably a good idea. He's much better on 2-pointers at 55%, but just 43% on jump shots so, you know, let the guy shoot and stuff but keep him out of the lane. Also keeping him off the free throw line would be a good idea since he's an 83% free throw shooter. Actually both Shields and Petteway get to the line a lot, so another good strategy would be not fouling.
Nebraska has some other guys too but they're boring and I'm boring myself over here. Looking forward to watching Petteway be crazy in person, and hoping for a Gopher win so maybe we'll get to watch someone fun like Oregon or Tennessee in person in the NIT. Gophers projected for a #1 seed!!
Minnesota something, Nebraska something slightly smaller.