Game 1: Gophers Host Missouri State (11-5-19)

tripledouble

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Yes, Bello needs to stay out of foul trouble and stay on the floor. Not as much as I hoped we'd get from Hubbard or Staples (and T. Bello with her foul trouble). Gopher defense wasn't very good. Gophers could have won this game if Bello had been able to stay on the court. I liked the idea of the brief zone press with Bello at the front of it, however she got her 3rd and 4th fouls during that time and the press is much less effective without her. Some of the newbies showed promise. Scalia looks extremely comfortable out there. Sconiers and Powell also with some good moments.
 

whalenfan

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Backup bigs are a massive question mark, Kehinde and Tomancova havent really showed anything and did not look good today. Klarke is gonna have to step up big time. I'm not too worried about Diva, been along time since she played in a game gonna have to shake off the rust.
Also is Cumming hurt or redshirting or something else? She was in sweats.
 

GringaGopher

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Disappointing performance today. MS doubled us on rebounds , shot over 50% from the field and did not miss a FT. We shot under 40% and looked out of sync for most of the game. Hubbard is rusty and Pitts was gassed @ the end of the game. Shows them how much they need to improve. On a positive note I got a new women's BB t-shirt.
 

EaganGopher22

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I was one of the few who could actually attend the game. The experience of MS State showed early in the game. We seemed nervous and made lots of mistakes. Clearly losing T Bello so quickly to fouls was a difference maker. When she was able to play we were able to cut into the lead. Unlike previous head coaches, Whalen didn't appear to hesitate giving the freshman minutes. Klarke Sconiers showed promise as did Powell and Scalia. Too many Gopher fouls and 17 for 17 FT by MS was deadly. We only had 6 of 8 FT. If we make all 8, we lose by 6 and differential in FT made was 9.
On the bright side, the coaching staff could see what they need to work on early in the non-B1G instead of waiting until late December to see what the team can do against stronger competition (like last year).
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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I agree the team looked nervous from the time Destiny had the ball stolen by Calip. Minnesota's three turnovers and two fouls in the first minute and a half was not a good look. It just encouraged the Missouri State aggressive man.

BUT, more important, who decided that installing Pam Borton's dribble and pass the perimeter offense was a GOOD IDEA? It should be returned to the stinky locker from which it was dredged. Then an already dreadful offense was made worse because we couldn't set an effective screen or drive defenders into a screen. The few times guards turned a corner and got to the rim the result was generally a throw and hope shot. EEEEWWWW

Obviously, Taiye needs to solve her foul issues because, well, there's no alternative.

Missouri State committed 26 turnovers and rarely felt threatened. Agugua-Hamilton stemmed every Gopher surge and won the coaching battle this afternoon.

One note on Destiny Pitts: When the team came out for the second half warm-ups Destiny obviously had some tightness in the left kidney area of her back. A trainer rubbed some spray on lotion into the area before the start of the half. After that, Destiny would occasionally stretch it out. And later in the half she got another batch of lotion rubbed in. I don't know if it was related to a strange fall she took at the end of the first half.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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https://gophersports.com/documents/2019/11/5//01_MSU_Quotes.pdf

Minnesota Head Coach Lindsey Whalen
Opening Statement:


“Obviously a tough one for us but give them credit. You can see that is a team that returns 10 from a Sweet 16 team. Other than that first quarter, I thought we played better, but now we got down 13 at the start of the first quarter. Then down the stretch they made the plays that you would think a team who had been in those situations would make. They made every free throw. They had an answer for every run we had, but I like the resiliency of our team. This is a game that we will learn a lot from.”

On if Taiye Bello’s two early fouls changed the game:

“There’s no question. Two early ones for her, and in the second half, too. She had two fairly quickly when we were on a run in the second half, as well. We talk a lot about defending without fouling. One was an offensive foul on a moving screen, I believe. So, all things that we will need to keep working on and keep learning from.”

On playing higher quality non‐conference opponents:

“Every loss you learn from. You want to learn from wins, that’s more fun, but no question we will watch the video. We felt like last year when we got to the Big Ten, we had a start because we felt like maybe the non‐conference didn’t have as many games against a team of this magnitude. We have some tough challenges for sure. That’s why we have to come ready every practice right from the start and every
game right from the start because if you don’t, you’ll be down 13 really quick to a really good team.”

Minnesota forward Destiny Pitts
On the cause of the team’s slow start:


“I’m not really sure. Whether it’s the first game or not, we have to come ready to play. I just don’t feel like we came with the energy in the first quarter. That set us back for the rest of the game. I just feel like we need to come out and punch them in the mouth rather than get punched in the mouth on our home court.”


Missouri State Head Coach Amaka Agugua‐Hamilton
On the first five minutes of the game setting the tone:


“That’s something that we talk about in the locker room, and we always want to punch first; that’s our game plan. We knew this was a great team, you know it’s a Big Ten team, and that they were going to punch back, but we need to handle the adversity. It’s not going to be a perfect game, but we just have to keep punching until we knock them out.”

On the raised court:
“We didn’t focus too much on the raised court to be honest. I don’t know if it affects the players as much as it affects the coach because you know you can’t really get to your assistants too well and you can’t get to your bench too well, but we didn’t talk more about that. It’s more about the depth perception with the arena being so wide and shooting is a little different than our arena, so we got shots up and pretty confident in that regard, but knowing the Big Ten, and being in the Big Ten eight years out of my total coaching career was definitely helpful in preparing them that way. But coming off the Sweet 16 they were excited and prepared to play a Power Five team.”

On the foul trouble of Taiye Bello:

“It changed it tremendously. She’s a great player and she’s a monster on the boards and their forcing side. We keyed in on her and Destiny Pitts for sure, especially Destiny Pitts, she’s a phenomenal shooter. We wanted to make her work for everything she got, but Bello getting two early fouls wasn’t by coincidence and was definitely part of our game plan. We got at her early because we knew they didn’t have anybody like her on the bench, so if we can get her in foul trouble she has to come out of the game. I thought we did a good job of going at her early, and tried to go at Destiny Pitts early, but she did a good job not fouling, so we weren’t able to get her in foul trouble, but with Bello, we were successful.”
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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The box score tells us who drew the most fouls carrying out Agugua-Hamilton strategy. Jasmine Franklin committed 2 fouls and drew 5. Brice Calip committed 1 four and drew five. In total, Missouri State committed 9 fouls and drew 18. Yes, some of those were when Whalen apparently was practicing extending the game.

On the Gopher side, Taiye Bello committed four fouls and drew four fouls. Sconiers committed 3 fouls in 11 minutes without drawing a foul.
 

bball_craz_26

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From being at the game here are my thoughts.

I am surprised to see the NOTICABLE difference in energy and hustle from the team when Taiye is on the floor and off. It was clear her going out early really threw them off. A couple turnovers was simply Brunson or Hubbard trying to make a pass to Sconiers or K.Bello or Tomancova who couldn't catch a pass that taiye would of. Also how Taiye's fouls came limited her. When she was in the second quarter she couldn't attack boards because of risk of third foul. After the 4th foul (which the 3rd call on that trap was an absolute joke) she couldn't risk it or she would be done. Who knew that Taiye would be the make or break for this team.

I will say, anytime gophers got momentum and cut it to 3 or 4 the refs would either instantly stop the momentum with numerous fouls (some questionable) or would swallow the whistle. The example was when the team got it within 32-28 and the next possession Franklin drove at Taiye and clear as day hooked her on the way by. Speaking of Franklin, I think its awfully generous to say she committed 2 fouls. She was only called for 2. she committed plenty more. At one point she threw Pitts to the group as well as K.Bello in her limited minutes.

I wanna see a lineup of Klarke and Taiye together. Klarke had some nice moves but like the rest of the team was hesitant on rebounding. The Freshman guards in Powell and Scalia, while not perfect, played with energy and will be help off the bench.

K.Bello and Tomancova will not likely be a help this year. they both looked lost (more than the rest of the team) out there. Grace Cummings in street clothes is hopefully not meaning a serious injury. We need her and Klarke if the other two posts will not be of service. Taiye cant play 40 minutes with or without foul trouble.
 

Waffle

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Also is Cumming hurt or redshirting or something else? She was in sweats.
Hopefully not redshirting based off this game thread. Didn't get to watch, but sounds like this team needs another post. Was Ross in uniform? I think she is the only other name missing from the box score.
 

whalenfan

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Hopefully not redshirting based off this game thread. Didn't get to watch, but sounds like this team needs another post. Was Ross in uniform? I think she is the only other name missing from the box score.
Ross was in uniform but i dont expect much from her this year, i like her potential but she needs time from what ive seen in practice.
 
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