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  1. #1

    Default B1G Game 18: Gophers host Michigan State (3-3-19)

    Home and Road

    In B1G play, Michigan State (9-8) is 1-7 on the road and 8-1 at home. That’s a San Andreas level fault line. Sparty suffers from serious road rash. They’ve even lost at Wisconsin despite Shay Colley scoring 24 points and grabbing 9 rebounds. Even with the Spartans height and talent advantage they failed to stop the Badgers’ 6’0” post, Marsha Howard (28 points).

    On the other hand, they enjoy home cooking. In East Lansing, Michigan State has defeated the B1G top teams, Iowa 84-70 and Maryland 77-60. The battle with the Hawkeyes featured several lead changes while Jenna Allen (20 points and 17 rebounds) held her own versus Megan Gustafson (30 points and 14 rebounds). Against Maryland, a series of Spartan runs kept the Terps at bay. Maryland was 2-12 from three while MSU went 6-16. Leading scorer for Maryland was Brianna Fraser with 22 points off the bench. The Spartans were led by Jenna Allen (16) and Nia Clouden (15).

    Minnesota’s first meeting with Sparty, an 86-68 MSU victory in East Lansing, can be summed up easily. Michigan State had 28 assists and 8 turnovers. The Gophers had 9 assists and 19 turnovers. If you want to pile on: MSU was 7-23 from three while Minnesota was 1-11. The leading Spartan scorer was former Gopher recruit, Sydney Cooks. With 21 points. (Okay, okay, nearly everyone recruited her; but Stollings and Dawkins at least got a “gathered around the Cooks’ piano” mention in a recruiting article). Kenisha Bell led Minnesota with 20 points and 8 rebounds.

    Sunday is Senior Day for Kenisha Bell, Palma Kaposi, Irene Garrido Perez and Annalese Lamke. It would be nice to send Minnesota off to Indy with a victory.


    BiG Wins: Iowa 84-70, Minnesota 86-68, Maryland 77-60, Illinois 77-60, @ Michigan 77-73, Purdue 74-66, Indiana 77-61, Michigan 74-64, Penn State 57-48

    B1G Losses: @ Northwestern 62-70, @ Indiana 64-68, @ Ohio State 55-65, @ Rutgers 62-76, @ Iowa 71-86, @ Wisconsin 62-79, @ Nebraska 71-82, Ohio State 70-77


    Probable Starters (Merchant frequently changes things up)
    Note: these are stats through 16 B1G games. For some reason MSU has not updated conference stats through 17 games.

    5’9” G Jr Shay Colley (15.8 points, 5.1 rebounds in 32.7 minutes)
    6’4” C Sr Jenna Allen (10.8 points, 6.4 rebounds in 28.4 minutes)
    5’5” G Jr Taryn McCutcheon (9.3 points, 3.0 rebounds in 35.8 minutes)
    5'8" G Fr Nya Clouden (11.2 points, 3.9 rebounds in 28.5 minutes)
    6’4” F So Sidney Cooks (8.9 points, 4.1 rebounds in 17.8 minutes)


    Other and sometime starters:

    6’1” F Jr Victoria Gaines (5.3 points, 5.8 rebounds in 23.2 minutes)
    6’0” F So Mardeka Cook (5.6 points, 3.6 rebounds in 12.0 minutes)
    6’0” F Jr Nia Hollie (2.9 points, 2.3 rebounds in 12.5 minutes)
    6’3” F Fr Kayla Belles


  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hrothgar View Post
    Considering the Gophers' often lazy passing and careless ball handling, it appears their minds are some place else during long stretches of games. As soon as they establish a seemingly comfortable lead, they let down and allow the opponent back in the game. Is this lack of talent? Or poor game preparation? As an aside, did Stallings leave the program w/o recruiting any incoming talent at all for 2018-19?
    Quote Originally Posted by tripledouble View Post
    Well, it's time to set our sights on the BIG tourney. That's our only hope for an NCAA berth (and that was probably true heading into the Rutgers game). As much as I've complained about the non-conference schedule, that may well be a moot point now. It's always been my feeling that a team that can't finish .500 in conference play should not be eligible for NCAA tourney regardless of how good the conference is. (The exception, of course, is winning the conference tourney.) It's time to stop complaining about the tourney ranking systems (RPI, SOS, NET) and time to use the EYE test. If you've watched this team play this year, you'll surely have to admit that they are not NCAA worthy. Gophers are one starter and a couple of bench players short this year. I don't want to pick on Perez, as she's been thrown into a starting role and she is not the reason the Gophers lost the last two games, but she's not giving them much offensively and she's now started enough games to where she shouldn't be as tentative as she still is. Six-person rotations are seldom successful, but there's not much to choose from on the bench. I'm hoping that next year's recruits and a healthy Hubbard will give Whalen more options in her second season.
    [Note: I'm quoting Hrothgar's and tripledouble's posts from the Rutgers game thread, but I'm quoting it here in the thread for the last home game of the season, since I think the points are more future-looking, that is, relevant to what the Gophers need to do in the Michigan State game on forward through the rest of the season.]

    I'll give the EYE test for the Rutgers away game in particuler: Fail.

    Here's the EYE test by quarters:
    Q1: Pass (16-12)
    Q2: Pass (15-12)
    Q3: Fail (but only by 1 point, 12-13)
    Q4: Fail (12-22)

    And Q4 failed to badly that it wiped out the lead gained through the first 2.5 quarters (with an 8-0 Rutgers run in the 3rd quarter pretty much catching them up to us, and then the 4th quarter putting the lid on the Rutgers win). The pattern may look familiar since that's the way virtually all of our losses have come about this year. And that pretty much applies to all losses, regardless of whether we fielded mostly a go-regular (3-guard/2-post) team or a go-small (4-guard/1-post) team against the opponent.

    As most of us have harped for some time now, there seems to be two primary problems (plus a couiple secondary problems) that are the cause of these negative game results. I'll discuss the two primary problems here. If I have time later on I'll add a mention of at least one of the secondary problemsk, and maybe expand on the following primary problem ...

    We know we must be getting gassed in the 4th quarter. It's just due to having no bench depth and most of our starters having to go nearly 40 minutes. Seemingly, the only way they get a break is if they get in foul trouble (and taking a break because you have to is not such a great idea). Even though we may look fairly fresh, lactic acid is a scientific fact. You can't fool mother biology. Add to some level of tiredness the fact that opponents (especially opponents who are behind starting the 4th quarter) are very motivated to step it up a notch along about the time that the 4th quarter starts (or even earlier in the 3rd quarter in many cases). They can do that since they had bench rest. It's a dilemma that seems hard for us to address at the moment. Being minus Hubbard, plus some other bench players also down at the moment, plus our bench was not that robust to begin with, so Lindsay has limited options. I may come back to this topic later, but for now let's just say that it is what it is, and there's not a whole lot we can do about it.

    Now the other primary problem. First and foremost among the culprits responsible for our losing is the turnover problem! We've noted that many times. But let's just dive deeper into that problem.

    We got into a heavy turnover mode in the NC season, but we could win against cream-puff teams in spite of that. We needed to develop more ball-control discipline, but the NC certainly didn't help us learn that. Now in the B1G season we are losing games because of poor ball-control discipline. As Hrothgar pointed out when noting their lazy passing and careless ball handling, it often "appears their minds are someplace else during long stretches of games." That's exactly the thought that has occurred to me upon occasion. The turnover situation is pretty bad. I like to maintain positivity, but honestly, with respect to turnovers anyway, there are times that the Gophers look like a Junior High team. At least I recall that I had better ball control than that in junior high, and I was far from being a good player.

    On the one hand, I'm pretty sure that this team (hobbled as it is by being short one starter and several bench players) is very dedicated toward a team goal of making it to the NCAA playoffs. On the other hand, it seems like quite often they don't put their money where their mouth is - in particular by making lots of turnovers - most of which are highly preventable just by paying freakin attention to what you're doing; and what your team-mates are doing (like where they're throwing the ball and are you going to have to jump to catch a high pass); and what your opponents are doing (like are they preparing to steal that pass if you don't run or take a step in the right direction to meet the pass, or are they getting ready to steal that rebound right out of your hands as soon as you bring it down). Just simple attention to detail could reduce turnovers in half overnight. Simply eliminate the daydreaming, please.

    And that's exactly what the Lady Gophers need to do to win the B1G Tourney. Cut turnovers in half. We had 20 turnovers against Rutgers. We need to target having 10 turnovers or less (but may have to settle for last year's average of about 12 in some tough games). It's very simple math, ladies, even a 4th grader can do it. Let's estimate that on-average we make X points (regardless of where points came from, 2/3-point field goals, or free throws) per each possession that we actually got a shot off, namely non-turnover possessions (call the number of non-turnover possessions N). X might equal about 1.0 in most games, or perhaps higher in games where Pitts and Perez are hitting a lot of threes. You multiply X by N and that's your score. Simple.

    But N could have been as large as M (the total number of possessions in the game). So to the extent that you have T (equals M minus N) turnovers, you have literally thrown away T * X points. We had T = 20 turnovers in the Rutgers game. Estimating X = 1, that means we threw away 20 * 1 = 20 points simply on turnovers. We left those 20 points on the playing floor. Ask yourself, how many of those teams that we lost to this season, would have still beaten us if we magically added 20 points to our score? Answer: None. We would be undefeated (if somehow we had been magically turnover-free, but of course perfection is an unatainable goal). How about if we had magically added 10 points to each of our scores by hypothetically eliminating 10 turnovers from each of them? Answer: Only 4 losses plus one tie going to overtime would remain on our record under that hypothetical:
    Michigan (loss by 6)
    Michigan State away (loss by 8)
    Iowa (loss by 8)
    Purdue home (loss by 1)
    OSU (tie)

    Now it's impossible to be turnover-free. In particular, Bell needs to be agressive and take some chances, and so does Brunson. But we should reserve 60% of our turnovers for Bell and Brunson, and the rest of the team should not be consuming more than 40% of our turnover quota. Now I realize that's a huge challenge (especially for the non-point-guards). But ideally we should not get more than 10 turnovers in the game, which means no more than 3 each for Bell and Brunson, and no more than 4 for all the rest of the players combined.
    We had 20 (total) minus 10 (quota)= 10 excess turnovers in the Rutgers game. If we just eliminated those 10 excess turnovers, that would give us about 10 more points. Let's see - our win/lose margin was -6 points. Add 10 magical points (from eliminating 10 turnovers) to -6 margin and we get +4 margin (if we had had only 10 turnovers). Whoopee, we won! (say the 4th graders who just did the math for us). OK ladies, you want to win the B1G Tourney? Then we need 10 (or less) turnovers per game from you, from here on out. Simple as that. Use the Michigan State home game to practice your new 10-turnover-or-less policy!

    We know we failed the turnovers test in the Rutgers game, and based on that we failed the game test (especially the 4th quarter test, where we had a +3 turnover margin over Rutgers). How did the individual players do in the turnover department in the Rutgers game?
    Bell 6 turnovers
    Brunson 3 turnovers
    (point guard subtotal 9 turnovers)
    Pitts 5 turnovers
    Bello 3 turnovers
    Team (unspecified culprit) 3 turnovers
    Total 20 turnovers

    To achieve our target quota of 10 turnovers, we need the following improvement:
    Bell and Brunson: Improve from 9 to 6 turnovers among the PGs
    Pitts: improve from 5 to 2 turnovers
    Bello: Improve from 3 to 1 turnovers
    Team (unspecified culprit): Improve from 3 to 1 turnovers

    It's a lot of improvement to ask for over the course of one remaining game plus the practices leading up to the B1G Tourney. But I'm actually quite confident that the Lady Gophers can do this, even in that short of a period of time. If they can make this improvement and thus win the B1G Tourney, then I predict they will make it at least to the Round-of-32 in the NCAA Tourney, and quite possibly to the Sweet Sixteen. Wouldn't that be fun!

    It's up to you, Lady Gophers. To turnover or not to turnover, that is the question.
    Last edited by CutDownTheNet; 03-01-2019 at 11:12 AM.

  3. #3

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    Thats another weakness of this team, it doesnt have enough ballhandlers and its a very poor passing team. Bell and Brunson are the teams only ballhandlers while Pitts is getting better shes not there yet. And Bell can be great at it but makes alot of poor decisions and lazy passes. Its hard to beat these pressure defenses like Rutgers when you have multiple players that cant put the ball on the floor. There were a few times last night we threw the ball ahead to Perez or a big and coulda had a 2 on 1 break but they cant handle the rock.
    Last edited by whalenfan; 03-01-2019 at 12:06 PM.

  4. #4

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    What say we all plan to leave after the third quarter Sunday? That way, we can all pretend the Gophers won.

  5. #5

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  6. #6

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    The four seniors will be honored in a post game ceremony. They will also be doing a post game autograph session. Regardless of how the game plays out, Kenisha, Annalese, Palma and Irene deserve our sincere thanks for what they have accomplished in their time here as student athletes.

  7. #7
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    This is a must win game to be even considered for the NCAA selection. Thirty teams get automatic bids. The second thirty two are at large. This is where the RPI ratings may hurt.
    Welcome to Badger Road Kill Country!

  8. #8

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    I think you're wrong, Hungan1. I don't think this game matters toward getting an NCAA berth, as the only way the Gophers are getting into the NCAA tourney is to win the BIG tourney. That being said, the game will have an impact on BIG tourney seedings and it would be nice if the Gophers could win this game.
    Last edited by tripledouble; 03-02-2019 at 01:41 PM.

  9. #9

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    I don’t believe the Gophers can fall to the #11 seed, although I haven’t looked at it that closely. The #11 seed would be really unfortunate.There’s not much difference between going #7-#10 seed. #7 & #10 seeds play each other in first round with winner playing Iowa in the next round. #8 & #9 seeds play each other in first round with winner playing Maryland in the next round. So pick your poison.

  10. #10

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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by fanfromthevalley View Post
    The four seniors will be honored in a post game ceremony. They will also be doing a post game autograph session. Regardless of how the game plays out, Kenisha, Annalese, Palma and Irene deserve our sincere thanks for what they have accomplished in their time here as student athletes.
    Since this weekend we’re sending off four dedicated graduating Seniors, now would be a good time to take a peek at this year’s statistics (pre-MSU game) for the graduates ...

    Kenisha Bell:

    GamesPlayed/Started 28/28
    Min/PerGame 969/34.61
    2P/Attempts/2P% 169/403/.419
    3P/Attempts/3P% 13/49/.265
    FT/Attempts/FT% 149/219/.680
    (Leading Big Ten and 15 off the NCAA leader in FT attempts, leading Big Ten and 10th place in NCAA in FT made)
    TotalPoints/PerGame 526/18.79
    (Team best TotalPoints/PerGame)
    Reb/PerGame 159/5.68
    Rebound Rate 0.164 per min
    (Team 4th best rebounding rate)
    Turnovers/PerGame 103/3.68
    Assists/PerGame 121/4.32
    (Team best Assists/PerGame)
    Steals/PerGame 59/2.11
    (Team best Steals/PerGame)
    Blocks/PerGame 5/0.18
    PersonalFouls/PerGame 59/2.46

    Annalese Lamke:

    GamesPlayed/Started 28/20
    Min/PerGame 610/21.78
    2P/Attempts/2P% 82/161/.509
    3P/Attempts/3P% 0/0/.000
    FT/Attempts/FT% 67/83/.807
    (Team best FT% (10 or more attempts))
    TotalPoints/PerGame 231/8.25
    Reb/PerGame 143/5.11
    Rebound Rate 0.234 per min
    (Team 3rd best rebounding rate)
    Turnovers/PerGame 31/1.11
    Assists/PerGame 20/0.71
    Steals/PerGame 20/0.71
    Blocks/PerGame 13/0.46
    PersonalFouls/PerGame 52/1.86

    Irene Garrido Perez:

    GamesPlayed/Started 27/10
    Min/PerGame 550/20.37
    2P/Attempts/2P% 10/29/.345
    3P/Attempts/3P% 22/51/.431
    (Last 6 games ...
    3P/Attempts/3P% 12/19/.632)
    FT/Attempts/FT% 4/4/1.0
    TotalPoints/PerGame 92/3.41
    Reb/PerGame 35/1.30
    Rebound Rate 0.064 per min
    Turnovers/PerGame 20/0.74
    Assists/PerGame 29/1.07
    Steals/PerGame 17/0.63
    Blocks/PerGame 7/0.26
    PersonalFouls/PerGame 24/0.89

    Palma Kaposi:

    GamesPlayed/Started 24/0
    Min/PerGame 261/10.88
    2P/Attempts/2P% 18/53/.340
    3P/Attempts/3P% 0/2/.000
    FT/Attempts/FT% 9/21/.429
    TotalPoints/PerGame 45/1.88
    Reb/PerGame 84/3.50
    Rebound Rate 0.332 per min
    (Team 2nd best rebounding rate (Bello sets the bar at 0.399 per min))
    Turnovers/PerGame 28/1.17
    Assists/PerGame 12/0.50
    Steals/PerGame 10/0.42
    Blocks/PerGame 5/0.21
    PersonalFouls/PerGame 34/1.42

    Thank you Seniors!
    Last edited by CutDownTheNet; 03-02-2019 at 04:39 PM.

  12. #12

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    http://www.startribune.com/kenisha-b...day/506611552/

    As is often the case, Kenisha Bell will walk onto the floor at Williams Arena on Sunday afternoon stunned that her college career is almost over.

    “I feel like I just started,’’ Bell said. “I honestly cannot believe it.’’

    The Gophers women’s basketball team will play Michigan State in its regular-season finale, the last home game for seniors Bell, Annalese Lamke, Irene Garrido Perez and Palma Kaposi.

    A win would give the Gophers (19-9, 8-9 Big Ten) their 14th 20-win season. At its most basic, though, it would be a nice memory for four players with very different stories.

    “Like I told them, they didn’t have to trust in me coming in here,’’ first-year coach Lindsay Whalen said. “They didn’t have to stick through it, but they did. They all did.’’

    Whalen said she will remember Kaposi’s endless enthusiasm, Garrido Perez’s consistent approach, Lamke’s work ethic, Bell’s heart.

    “I’ve been enjoying this season the most,’’ Lamke said. “That’s what I’ll always remember, how much I enjoyed this season.’’

  13. #13

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    Recalling Keke's almost triple double in last years Williams Arena match-up with the Spartans.

  14. #14

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    Another game we cannot watch on TV. BTN plus, how frustrating. I don’t get this channel

  15. #15

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    14-14 end of first

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