Minnesota Golden Gopher Preview
Date: Wednesday, February 13th
Time: 8:00pm CST
Location: Lincoln, NE
Record: 16-8 (6-7 Big Ten Conference)
Last Meeting: December 5th, 2018 - Minnesota 85 Nebraska 78
Nebraska went up to the Twin Cities on December 5th and come home with a loss. The Huskers were 7-1 with a pretty #24 ranking. This was back when the Huskers could still score and Issac Copeland was still healthy. The world was ours.
Minnesota was 7-2 with losses to Boston College and Ohio State. The country was still trying to figure out what Minnesota was. There was little belief that the Golden Gophers would pull off the upset at home. If you are a frequent reader of our blog, you know that this is a falacy in the Big Ten and Williams Arena is not exception. No one should go in there and expect to win.
Now, I’m not saying that the Huskers went up there expecting to win. Coach Miles is an experienced enough of a coach to know better than let his team have that train of though slip into their heads.
So, the Huskers ended up coming back to Lincoln with their second loss of the season. This now seems like eons ago.
Minnesota is still an okay team, but nothing special. They are good but nowhere near great. They are currently riding a three game losing streak to Purdue, Wisconsin, and Michigan State. If you are keeping track at home then you know that these are all ranked teams nationally and are none to be trifled with. The lone heart breaker was to Wisconsin at home in a 51-56 sludgefest of a loss.
The Golden Gophers are still led by Amir Coffey. The junior guard is currently averaging 15.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game. He dropped a whopping 32 points against the Huskers back in December. That game is still his high for the year. Then again, anyone having 32 points will most likely be their high.
Jordan Murphy is still dominating the paint and is averaging 11.9 rebounds per game. His 14.5 points help balanc that out as an all around threat for the Gophers. He had his way for the most part against Nebraska in their win with 18 points and 13 rebounds. With the way Nebraska is struggling under the basket I would expect him to have another big game in Lincoln.
Helping Murphy in the paint is center Daniel Oturu. The 6’10” center is averaging 10.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. He has had a decent year as a freshman and should keep developing into a decent player for Minnesota. Against Nebraska he had 10 points and 9 rebounds.
I hope the Husker faithful show up and loud when the Gophers come to town. Minnesota isn’t the best team in the league by any means but has enough to give the Huskers exactly what they don’t want. They’re big enough and shoot well enough to give Nebraska problems all night long.
I do not think there is much to work with right now unless the spark that carried Nebraska earlier this season comes back. Guard Nana Akenten has been out the past two days with an illness and coach Miles does not expect him back in time for the game. I would expect Amir Harris and Thorir Thorbjarnarson to have more minutes because of it. Hopefully they can fulfill the lack of depth Nebraska already has in the roster.
I wish I could give you more hope Husker Nation but I’m just not liking where this game is sitting for the Huskers.
University of Minnesota 73 University of Nebraska 65