Predictions for Minnesota at MSU
The bad news for MSU today? Minnesota has Andre Hollins and Austin Hollins (not related) on its roster, the duo that averages a team-leading 15.8 and 12.4 points, respectively.
The good news for MSU? Minnesota is one of the worst shooting teams in the nation, sinking shots at a nations 227th best 43.5 percent.
While the Hollins & Hollins firm is leading the 13-3 Gophers in scoring, it’s 5-foot-9 junior guard Deandre Mathieu, who is the sharpshooter of the squad.
However, besides Mathieu, who more than 50 percent from the field and behind the arch, the team tails off on shooting.
Besides him, no one else is shooting higher than 40 percent from 3-point land.
But just because their shooting is off doesn’t mean the Gophers don’t compete. All three of their Big Ten games have been decided by three points, and they have kicked off conference play with a 2-1 record, but today is the beginning of a tough stretch for Minnesota.
After facing the No. 5 Spartans, the Gophers will face No. 3 Ohio State, No. 20 Iowa and No. 4 Wisconsin.
Minnesota will get close to starting their demanding stretch on the right foot, but sophomore guard Gary Harris and junior forward Branden Dawson will keep the Gopher’s scorers in check today. If senior forward Adreian Payne (foot) or junior guard Travis Trice (illness) stay sidelined for today’s game, this game could be another nail biter in East Lansing.
Regardless of who plays, the Spartans will remain unbeaten in their young Big Ten season and jump up in the rankings on Monday. Oh yeah, and there also will be free tacos tonight.
MSU: 81 Minnesota: 74
This could very easily be a trap game for the No. 5 MSU men’s basketball team, but they way they’ve been playing the last couple times out, I don’t think it will be.
Minnesota is a much improved team from a season ago, when the Spartans lost to the Golden Gophers in Minnesota before beating them when they came to East Lansing.
The key will be to stop Austin and Andre Hollins, who are the leading scorers on the team. Also getting past Elliott Eliason will be tough, as he has 42 blocks on the season.
Gopher head coach Richard Pitino plays much the same way as his father, Rick Pitino, who won the 2013 NCAA National Championship with Louisville.
MSU most likely will be without junior guard Travis Trice and senior forward Adreian Payne, so sophomores Denzel Valentine and matt Costello will have to step up their game.
The Spartans have been able to find one scorer that can carry the load in every game thus far this season, and this time around it’s going to be senior guard Keith Appling.
He was cramping up in the overtime win against Ohio State, but toughed it out to lead the Spartans to victory.
This will be closer than expected early on, but MSU will pull away in the end.
MSU: 75 Minnesota: 67