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  1. #1

    Default Ekstrom: Can Anything Cure the Gophers’ Ailing Shooting?

    per Ekstrom:

    Minnesota is shooting 32.1 percent at home in Big Ten play, slightly above their season average. Five of their remaining eight games, though, are on the road, where they are 23.6 percent in the Big Ten.

    The outside struggles have affected Minnesota’s inside game, which revolves around Murphy. With bigs that aren’t a threat to shoot, it’s up to the guards to open the floor for them. That’s not happening, creating a more congested front court through which Murphy must navigate.

    “If you can’t hit 3-point shots to space the court,” said Pitino, “it’s going to be hard for everybody.”

    Murphy has drastically improved as a passer this season, which should encourage the Gophers to attempt more inside-out actions. Of their 13 attempts on Wednesday, 10 were initiated from the perimeter — most on either ball-handoff or screen-and-roll actions. On three attempts (two by McBrayer, one by Washington), there was no off-ball action to initiate the play. On several sets that started with an action intended to create space, Coffey and Kalscheur wound up putting the ball on the floor and shooting off the dribble — presumably tougher than a catch-and-shoot.

    Three attempts came off Murphy’s offensive rebounds, which provided good looks. But none of the 13 attempts were generated from an intentional pass from a big (it didn’t help that Minnesota kept turning the ball over on post-entry passes thanks to Ethan Happ’s length). The Gophers also got very little guard penetration that could have led to kick-outs for better looks, falling back into the familiar weave along the arc. When Minnesota’s guards decide to put their heads down, they often look to get the rim and create free-throw opportunities — but driving with the intent to pass should be an option.

    It would be a stretch to say the majority of Minnesota’s 3-pointers Wednesday night came fluidly within the offense. The Gophers need to go back to the drawing board to find better looks and at least get the Coffey/McBrayer tandem back to their career average. Not only is the Gophers’ lack of shooting leading to losses, but its hurting the team’s efficiency — a metric that may separate bubble teams in the eyes of the tournament committee.

    “We finish with a lot of tough games,” said Pitino. “So just figure out what we’re doing wrong, what we’re doing right and learn and grow from it. I think there’s a lot of things we did well, but we’ve got to be able to be disciplined for 40 minutes.”

    https://zonecoverage.com/2019/featur...ling-shooting/

    Go Gophers!!


  2. #2

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    "The Gophers need to go back to the drawing board to find better looks" That's what I'm not seeing....we shoot too many difficult looks from three. That's why our percentage is not good. That and Gabe needs to hunt shots more than he is...he has definitely gotten better at that but he's the only "shooter" we have...so he needs increase his attempts imo.
    Stull can shoot...ain't gonna happen...no mindset to hunt shots and no actions to get him any.
    Mc Brayer has been very passive.
    Kind of only leaves Amir and he needs people to fall down to have the time to launch his stroke. He can shoot quicker but those are seldom going in. Amir is way more effective wildly driving and going acrobatic.
    Which brings us back to Gabe...he needs to shoot more...closest guy to anyone willing to step up from outside.

    This won't be popular but I think Matz could help us score points, win games. Wisconsin has Happ and Reuvers to defend the post...neither is as long as Matz. Matz is very effective around the rim. I want Happ and Reuvers in foul trouble. Matz also seems to be able to pass either in high low or for out threes from in the post or at the free throw line versus zones. If Curry was healthy or playing well...he's good in high low...Matz is an excellent partner. Get them in foul trouble and Murphy can be more effective. A different threat around the basket would be helpful. Oturu is playing great! Give him some help, a partner who can pass.

    As it is now all our half court offense is forcing something and hoping.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, the secret stuff.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 60's Guy View Post
    "The Gophers need to go back to the drawing board to find better looks" That's what I'm not seeing....we shoot too many difficult looks from three. That's why our percentage is not good. That and Gabe needs to hunt shots more than he is...he has definitely gotten better at that but he's the only "shooter" we have...so he needs increase his attempts imo.
    Stull can shoot...ain't gonna happen...no mindset to hunt shots and no actions to get him any.
    Mc Brayer has been very passive.
    Kind of only leaves Amir and he needs people to fall down to have the time to launch his stroke. He can shoot quicker but those are seldom going in. Amir is way more effective wildly driving and going acrobatic.
    Which brings us back to Gabe...he needs to shoot more...closest guy to anyone willing to step up from outside.

    This won't be popular but I think Matz could help us score points, win games. Wisconsin has Happ and Reuvers to defend the post...neither is as long as Matz. Matz is very effective around the rim. I want Happ and Reuvers in foul trouble. Matz also seems to be able to pass either in high low or for out threes from in the post or at the free throw line versus zones. If Curry was healthy or playing well...he's good in high low...Matz is an excellent partner. Get them in foul trouble and Murphy can be more effective. A different threat around the basket would be helpful. Oturu is playing great! Give him some help, a partner who can pass.

    As it is now all our half court offense is forcing something and hoping.
    I was screaming at the TV for Matz as I watched the length of those two, especially Happ, cause havoc on both ends of the floor (ex. Post scoop shot and excellent post entry defence without fouling).

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    Walter, ya know, it's Smokey, so his toe slipped over the line a little, big deal. It's just a game, man.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 60's Guy View Post
    "The Gophers need to go back to the drawing board to find better looks" That's what I'm not seeing....we shoot too many difficult looks from three. That's why our percentage is not good. That and Gabe needs to hunt shots more than he is...he has definitely gotten better at that but he's the only "shooter" we have...so he needs increase his attempts imo.
    Stull can shoot...ain't gonna happen...no mindset to hunt shots and no actions to get him any.
    Mc Brayer has been very passive.
    Kind of only leaves Amir and he needs people to fall down to have the time to launch his stroke. He can shoot quicker but those are seldom going in. Amir is way more effective wildly driving and going acrobatic.
    Which brings us back to Gabe...he needs to shoot more...closest guy to anyone willing to step up from outside.

    This won't be popular but I think Matz could help us score points, win games. Wisconsin has Happ and Reuvers to defend the post...neither is as long as Matz. Matz is very effective around the rim. I want Happ and Reuvers in foul trouble. Matz also seems to be able to pass either in high low or for out threes from in the post or at the free throw line versus zones. If Curry was healthy or playing well...he's good in high low...Matz is an excellent partner. Get them in foul trouble and Murphy can be more effective. A different threat around the basket would be helpful. Oturu is playing great! Give him some help, a partner who can pass.

    As it is now all our half court offense is forcing something and hoping.
    This.

    I wanted him in the other night soooooo bad. He can pass and can make it difficult inside.

  6. #6

    Default

    Matz ….. his defense horrific and that is being nice

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 60's Guy View Post
    "The Gophers need to go back to the drawing board to find better looks" That's what I'm not seeing....we shoot too many difficult looks from three. That's why our percentage is not good. That and Gabe needs to hunt shots more than he is...he has definitely gotten better at that but he's the only "shooter" we have...so he needs increase his attempts imo.
    Stull can shoot...ain't gonna happen...no mindset to hunt shots and no actions to get him any.
    Mc Brayer has been very passive.
    Kind of only leaves Amir and he needs people to fall down to have the time to launch his stroke. He can shoot quicker but those are seldom going in. Amir is way more effective wildly driving and going acrobatic.
    Which brings us back to Gabe...he needs to shoot more...closest guy to anyone willing to step up from outside.

    This won't be popular but I think Matz could help us score points, win games. Wisconsin has Happ and Reuvers to defend the post...neither is as long as Matz. Matz is very effective around the rim. I want Happ and Reuvers in foul trouble. Matz also seems to be able to pass either in high low or for out threes from in the post or at the free throw line versus zones. If Curry was healthy or playing well...he's good in high low...Matz is an excellent partner. Get them in foul trouble and Murphy can be more effective. A different threat around the basket would be helpful. Oturu is playing great! Give him some help, a partner who can pass.

    As it is now all our half court offense is forcing something and hoping.
    If this is McBrayer being passive, I'd hate to see what an unpassive McBrayer could do. Would 0-16 from the field and 0-12 from 3 be a possibility?
    "Giving recruiting genius Tim Brewster a beautiful new stadium is like a 10 handicapper giving Tiger Woods 2 strokes a side."

  8. #8

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    I think McBrayer needs to give it up from 3 unless he hits his 1st one or 2. He doesn't have it this year. I also think his minutes should go down and IW's go up. Maybe bringing in Dupree off the bench would help him some? It's worth a try. Right now, they are getting very little production from him.

  9. #9

    Default Ekstrom: Can Anything Cure the Gophers’ Ailing Shooting?

    Dupree has been awful on the offensive end this year with only a few exceptions. Look at the stats in the Wisconsin game. I hate to say this, but he was the weak link in that game. He should NOT shoot threes if he misses his first. Really bad. He was also turning over the ball. I know he is a pretty good defender, but is he good enough to offset 1-9 shooting night after night? I wanted to see more IW in that game. Coach’s stubborn rotation tendencies are hurting this team.


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  10. #10
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    Our strength is down low. Every half court possession should start there.

  11. #11
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    Unfortunately I don't think Matz is the answer. He is ok in limited minutes, which I think is his sweet spot. The team just needs to play better. Biggest issues I saw on the offensive end during the Wisconsin game:

    - Need to make the 'easy' shots. When the first handful of inside shots didn't go down, knew it could be a rough night given how this year has unfolded.
    - Silly turnovers, particularly Murphy's entry passes. Just bad.
    - Lack of motion on offense. I hate to say anything good about Wisconsin but they are tough to guard with all the motion on offense. When watching the gophs with the ball, they run their rotations once or twice then stand around and hope someone can get to the bucket or take a bad 3 as the clock expires. Just not enough movement for my liking.
    - Dupree needs to go to the bucket. With his length and ability to finish he needs to drive more. He seems to settle for the 3s more this year....previous years he seemed more willing to drive.
    - Not much action for Gabe. As the best shooter, would have thought they would have more sets to get him open off screens. Disappointing watching him wait outside for his man to collapse. They won't do that anymore now that teams know he is their only shooter.

    On the positive side, really impressed with Oturu. Great game off the bench, excelled at both ends of the court.

  12. #12
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    Can anything fix the Gophers poor shooting? Well, how much of a 'fix' can realistically take place at this late point in the season while facing the most brutal portion of our schedule? I'd hazard to opine that at this point, there's probably not a whole heck of a lot they can do to fix it. This is quite literally the gang who couldn't and can't shoot straight, and remember, while ranking 199th (of 351 teams) this season with a true FG% of 44.2% (and a 3PT FG% ranking in the 300's), that's actually an improvement in true FG% over last season, so this issue is hardly a recent phenomenon. Given all that, I'm not gonna hold my breath expecting much of a fix to take place over these remaining few games while coming to the inescapable conclusion that this is simply who we are and we've gotta roll with what we've got.

    RE: looking towards realistic future improvement in that area, well I would say just to hire, make room for and utilize the best shooting coach possible (although that seems like kind of a 'Duh!' thing, it's true), as they are out there, the shooting coach 'gurus' who can go a long way towards fixing (many if not most) players shots.

  13. #13

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    Good stuff from Sam. The first issue is to create better shots. The half court offense as a whole is a complete disaster and has been much of the season. Entire HALVES can go by and I can't remember a single half court offensive possession that ended with a basket on the first shot attempted. Look at what happened at Purdue or at Michigan, look what happened at home against Wisconsin. With Wisconsin, the Gophers best perimeter looks all came off offensive rebounds. It's not like guys were wide open missing shots. The number of bad contested two point jumpers taken by Dupree, Amir, and Isaiah was a bigger issue than the 3 point shooting IMHO. They need to work harder for better shots in the half court. That starts with screening better, cutting harder and making one more pass. The ball sticks in almost every players hands on the Gophers. Can you think of anyone who moves the ball with any consistency without holding it for a second or two? The Gophers don't stress the defense at all: they need to force help/recover situations and then make the 2nd pass to the open shooter or cutter.

  14. #14

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    If the Gophers don't play defense how do they lose at Michigan by 1 and at home to Wisconsin by 5 with the scores in the 50's both games??? You may not like how they play defense but when they execute it is effective.

    It's the offensive woes, the inconsistencies, the lack of good looks (that is they shoot too many contested shots), the lousy free throw shooting at crucial points in momentum, the turnovers you can't defend, the absence of sets, actions or out of bounds plays etc Virtually no fast break opportunities vs Wisconsin...seemingly by our choice not to rebound and go....it's probably the only area we are dangerous offensively but we decided not to vs Wisconsin. Offensive is why we lose....not defense.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seany View Post
    Can anything fix the Gophers poor shooting? Well, how much of a 'fix' can realistically take place at this late point in the season while facing the most brutal portion of our schedule? I'd hazard to opine that at this point, there's probably not a whole heck of a lot they can do to fix it. This is quite literally the gang who couldn't and can't shoot straight, and remember, while ranking 199th (of 351 teams) this season with a true FG% of 44.2% (and a 3PT FG% ranking in the 300's), that's actually an improvement in true FG% over last season, so this issue is hardly a recent phenomenon. Given all that, I'm not gonna hold my breath expecting much of a fix to take place over these remaining few games while coming to the inescapable conclusion that this is simply who we are and we've gotta roll with what we've got.

    RE: looking towards realistic future improvement in that area, well I would say just to hire, make room for and utilize the best shooting coach possible (although that seems like kind of a 'Duh!' thing, it's true), as they are out there, the shooting coach 'gurus' who can go a long way towards fixing (many if not most) players shots.
    We have guys who can shoot open shots and make them. We don't have an offense that creates these opportunities. We don't need a shooting coach...we need a better understanding of offense combined with a different offensive half court system to get better shot opportunities.

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