Game 3: Gophers Host Milwaukee (11-14-19)

Ignatius L Hoops

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High Noon; High Decibel

The Milwaukee Panthers visit Minneapolis on Thursday for the annual noon field trip and ear plug day. Milwaukee is 1-1 following an opening 84-77 overtime home victory over Parkside and a Sunday 55-68 loss at Purdue. Parkside is UW-Parkside and a Division II school; but Milwaukee lists it as a win while Parkside lists it as an exhibition. We’ll dispense with that mystery and take a look at the Purdue game.

Purdue charged to an 8-0 lead and never was caught. Milwaukee, especially behind the contributions of freshman guard, Tadri Heard (19 points, 4-6 from three, 5 rebounds and 2 steals), made some runs at the Boilers. However, after cutting the Purdue lead back to 8 points with about 3 minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Boilers went on a run extending their lead to 24 with 5 minutes remaining in the contest. The Boilers were led by guards Domonique Oden (16 points), Kayana Taylor (15 points) and forward Ae’Rianna Harris (12 points). For the Panthers, Forward Lizzie Odegard (12 points) and guard Brandi Bisping (11 points) joined Heard in double figures.

In addition to Purdue and Minnesota, the Panthers next play at Wisconsin in the non-conference season. It’s a back to back to back B1G bonanza. Last season, Milwaukee opened at Indiana and battle the Hoosier’s straight up in a 66-68 loss. They also lost to Wisconsin in Milwaukee 57-68.

A Mystery

Milwaukee, an experienced team with only two freshmen, was picked to finish 5th in the Horizon League. Last season the Panthers finished in a 5th place tie with Northern Kentucky. 6’2” sophomore forward Megan Walstad, who averaged over 10 points and 5 rebounds per game last season, was named to the preseason first team. The mystery is that Walstad, an all-freshman team selection, has not played this season. I’m assuming an injury; but who knows. The Panthers would obviously be a better team with her.

Minnesota Connections: Walstad played at Eastview and Odegard played at Minnetonka.

Kyle Rechlicz is in her 8th season with Milwaukee. Under Rechlicz, the Panthers have had a decent run in the middle of the Horizon league. They’ve made the WNIT twice with the most recent appearance in March 2016. This included a trip to Minneapolis and an 87-80 loss to Minnesota. That year, Minnesota went on to lose to South Dakota which help send Amy Williams to Nebraska. Milwaukee and Minnesota have played three times with the Gophers winning the last two.

Once Upon a Time:

Gopher fans may remember Kyle Rechlicz as Kyle Black a three point shooting specialist for the great Badger teams at the turn of the century. So Rechlicz and Whalen have matched wits before. Both started in one of the 2002 Gophers breakout games-the 92-85 Gopher win over the #5 Badgers at a sold out Kohl Center. The Badger program has never fully recovered. Video below:


Probable Starters:

5’9” G Sr Jamie Reit: 33.4 minutes per game, 15.5 point per game and 4 rebounds per game
5’11” G Jr Brandi Bisping: 26.9 mpg, 14.0 ppg and 6.5 rpg
6’0” F Sr Lizzie Odegard: 26.2 mpg, 8.5 ppg and 6.5 rpg
5’11” G Jr Sydney Staver: 22.6 mpg, 7.0 ppg and 2.5 rpg
5’10” G Jr Bre Cera: 27.3 mpg, 5.0 ppg and 1.0 rpg

Others:

5’7” G Fr Tadri Heard: 23.6 mpg, 12.5 ppg and 3.0 rpg
5’9” G Sr Alyssa Fischer: 16.2 mpg, 1.0 ppg and 2.5 rpg
5’8” G So Sydney Levy: 28.1 mpg, 9.0 ppg and 1 rpg


 

blkroll

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Grace Cummings not even on the bench today. Masha and Klarke dressed but haven’t played yet.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Aesop70

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How are we losing to this team? Is Pitts hurt? Statline looks like she's only played a minute or two.
 

Waffle

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How are we losing to this team? Is Pitts hurt? Statline looks like she's only played a minute or two.
She was limping a bit and left to the locker room for a few minutes early in the 2nd quarter, but came back quickly. Just has zero shot attempts.

Been plenty of open looks but not hitting much. 25.8% shooting. The 18 Milwaukee turnovers have been a big help so far.
 

tripledouble

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Gonna be fun to watch Powell for 4 years. She and T. Bello were the Gophers best players today. 33 turnovers for Milwaukee. Gopher defense much better than the offense today. Love the way that the 2 frosh guards, Powell and Scalia, are interested in playing defense. Another double-double for Bello, who did a good job of staying out of foul trouble despite the Gophers full-court pressure most of the game. Not many shots available for Pitts today until near the end of the game. Good to see that the Gophers could win without anything offensively from Pitts. Bello 8 of 8, Powell 8 of 9, Hubbard 5 of 6 from FT line.
 

Aesop70

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Agree about Powell - she looks legit. 4 assist - 0 turnovers. Draws contact and hits her freethrows.
 

thatjanelpick

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Milwaukee's game plan appeared to be to foul as often as possible, since they play a million players (although at least two of them still fouled out), and hope that upsets their opponent's rhythm. It sorta worked. The Gophers shot very poorly, including layups, and couldn't take advantage of fast break opportunities. It's also a concern that Minnesota is even getting outrebounded by smaller teams. But T Bello and Powell looked terrific and the free throw shooting was stellar.
 

whalenfan

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Milwaukee's game plan appeared to be to foul as often as possible, since they play a million players (although at least two of them still fouled out), and hope that upsets their opponent's rhythm. It sorta worked. The Gophers shot very poorly, including layups, and couldn't take advantage of fast break opportunities. It's also a concern that Minnesota is even getting outrebounded by smaller teams. But T Bello and Powell looked terrific and the free throw shooting was stellar.
Rebound numbers are flawed today since milwaukee had so many possessions where they didnt get shots up.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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The two questions early:
1. Why would you design an offense that doesn't include Destiny Pitts?
2. When the bricks were being laid-why was Jasmine Powell still on the bench?

I'm still not sure what the answer was to the first question. Destiny didn't even take a shot until the fourth quarter.

Powell, as everyone has mentioned, did get the call and livened up the afternoon with a true point guard performance in front of a fairly small field day crowd.

A big thanks to Milwaukee for all the fouls and subsequent foul shots. The one outstanding part of the Gopher offense was fouls shooting.
 

EaganGopher22

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Who would have thought that every player that had significant minutes (other than #2) would outscore Pitts and we would win? Even K Bello scored more. And T Bello hit 8 for 8 free throws, who saw that coming after last year?
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Ka-Powell!
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

And Powell to K Bello
 

thatjanelpick

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The two questions early:
1. Why would you design an offense that doesn't include Destiny Pitts?
2. When the bricks were being laid-why was Jasmine Powell still on the bench?

I'm still not sure what the answer was to the first question. Destiny didn't even take a shot until the fourth quarter.

Powell, as everyone has mentioned, did get the call and livened up the afternoon with a true point guard performance in front of a fairly small field day crowd.

A big thanks to Milwaukee for all the fouls and subsequent foul shots. The one outstanding part of the Gopher offense was fouls shooting.
Pitts was mostly being used as a decoy. My two possibilties: She wasn't feeling 100 percent? Or it was an experiment to see how the team would react when they couldn't rely on Pitts to carry them?
 

Katogopher

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Yes was hoping for better offense efficiency but this wasn’t it. Many missed lay ups in transition, glad the freshmen came to play today. I was optimistic about the season but after the first 3 games I’m not so sure. Very slow starts and no one other than Taiye interested in rebounding. Hopefully these are correctable.
 

tripledouble

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A bit of a strange game for Pitts. She just wasn't getting any open looks. I'll give her credit for the fact that she wasn't forcing shots. She got off to a slow start last year also, but with some of that she was getting shots, but wasn't shooting well. Will be interested to see if Whalen continues to have Powell come off the bench. If teams are going to focus on Pitts, one way to minimize that will be to have Powell drive into the lane and then kick it out to Pitts. I don't mind having Powell come off the bench (for now), but she is so talented that she'll probably end up in the starting lineup sooner than later. K. Bello looks like she is ahead in the backup center battle, although Sconiers has showed some promise in her few minutes on the court. I wasn't able to make it to the game today, but the BTN broadcast pointed out that Scalia was a 2-star recruit. Is that true? If so, a lot of times may have missed the boat. And, as others have said before me, the lack of rebounding today (other than T. Bello) was bothersome.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Minnesota Head Coach Lindsay Whalen
Opening Statement:

“First of all, great effort by Milwaukee. First half they came out ready to go right from the start, so give them a lot of credit. That’s a tough team, they’re going to win a lot of games this year. Credit to our team for hanging through some of the first half. We shot 21% in the first quarter but hung with it.

Second half we were tremendous. It was a tale of two halves for us, but we were really good in the second half.”

On the forcing turnovers when the offense isn’t there:
“That’s the mentality: We don’t score, they don’t score. You have to believe that because there is going to be nights where you shoot 4-of-24 from the 3-point line. So, you want to get some easy stuff. I thought we attacked. There are going to be nights when you have to get to the line and convert, and that was true for us this afternoon. When we get out and run, or when we are forcing turnovers like that, we have some really talented players.”

On the performances of Taiye Bello and Jasmine Powell:
“I thought Taiye was very steady throughout. Obviously scored 18 [points] and 11 [rebounds]. In the first half she steadied us. And Powell has been tremendous the last two games. Again, four assists and only one turnover as a point guard. That’s impressive. As well as the points and scoring, she’s finding people and making it easy. She drew six fouls today. One of the things we talk about is getting feet in the paint and our decision making. Both of these guys were really good because we’re going to post Taiye a lot and have Powell in ball screens where she is in the paint. So when they make good decisions for us
we’re really good.”

On what was said at halftime to fire the team up:
“We knew if we stuck with it and turned up our intensity and pressure that it was going to break through for us. That’s about it. I honestly don’t really remember, but they responded. That’s what I love about this team. They always respond, and they always come out and compete. We sure did that in the third quarter.”

On shot selection in the first half:
“I liked most of our shots in the first half. I’ll have to go back and watch it, but I honestly liked them all. I liked the shots that Diva [Gadiva Hubbard] got early. I liked the shots that Sara [Scalia] got. Mercedes [Staples], I’ll take those 3’s. Pitts [Destiny Pitts] and Brunson [Jasmine Brunson] had a couple. I don’t know what it was in the first half, legs or noon start maybe. Honestly, I liked a lot of our shots. I didn’t feel like we had as many contested attempts today, which is good. I’ll take those shots. This team, they’re constantly shooting. That’s why you have to hang your hat on the defensive end and
rebounding, even though we got out-rebounded tonight. But you have to hang your hat on that for nights when you do go 4-of-24 from the 3-point line. Luckily, we got to the line and converted when we got there.”

Minnesota freshman Jasmine Powell
On her performance:

“I think I got going in the second half. The first half was a little slow for me. I think the transition, and when we got our steals and our stops, and our kills and stuff, I could get out and play my game and get my teammates open. We started to get into a flow and everybody was touching the ball and for me, that helps open space up, so I can go to the fast lane, opens up for my teammates, and that’s really where I got off.”

Minnesota senior Taiye Bello
On staying in the game even though shots weren’t falling:

“Got to stay with it, just like any shooter who’s having a tough night, the coach is going to tell them to keep shooting cause they are shooters. Just have to keep sticking with it, get those hustle plays, those rebounds. All of those little things keep you in the game.”
 

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The NCAA stats pages have just been updated for Nov. 14 games, thus including our game yesterday against Milwaukee. However, their software must have made a mistake, because now that Jasmine Powell has committed her first turnover (along with 10 assists), she should have entered the assist-to-turnover-ratio leader board tied for 4th place at 10:1, but that stats page omits her. Her brief initial moment of early-career fame spoiled by a software glitch! The current leader in that stat has a 16:1 ratio. All of these numbers will soon go down as they’re just not sustainable over a larger sample size.

If they had just not skipped her data point, the reality is that her current 10:1 ratio puts her ahead of Anna Makurat (7.0) of UConn, Reili Richardson (7.0) of our next foe Arizona State, Minton Moore (6.5) of Oregon, Lauren Cox (6.0) and Juicy Landrum (6.0) of Baylor, and Tory Ozment (6.0) of Michigan. Hopefully, Jasmine Powell can keep it up and remain on the leader board, flawlessly feeding her former team-mate Destiny Pitts.


Although early stats are not very meaningful (both due to lack of data but also being against non-conf teams), it’s still worth noting that Taiye Bello is now in a 3-way tie for 15th place in shooting percentage at 73.3%. Those currently ahead of her at this early stage of the season include notables such as Didi Richards of Baylor (2nd place tie at 90.9%), Mackenzie Holmes (an Indiana frosh in 4th place that we will need to defend), and Oregon centers Lydia Giomi and Ruthi Hebard in 7th and 8th place at around 78.5% currently.

Taiye is also in a huge multi-way tie for 3rd place for double-doubles with 2 in 3 games played. But that too is mistakenly omitted from their stats page. Gee, somebody lend them an abacus.

The NCAA Div I three-point field-goal percentage stats are currently a joke since the leader board is ruled by 6 perfect shooters, non of whom shot more than 4 shots. Followed by 34 shooters who have thus far shot a dozen treys or less. But of those players who have attempted over a dozen three-point shots (in the typically three-ish games), Destiny Pitts is tied for second place in three-point shooting percentage, as follows ...

Name 3FG 3FGA 3FG%
Davion Wingate 13 20 65%
Destiny Pitts 9 14 64.3%
Libby Bazelak 9 14 64.3%

If you add the two players with exactly a dozen shots, that puts her in a tie for 4th place. In any event, among true three-point shooters, Destiny is starting out the season leading the country.
 
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Ignatius L Hoops

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In three games from the foul line: Taiye Bello is 13-14 and Jasmine Powell is 12-13


Playing time thus far with starters in bold:

Pitts: 101:35
Brunson: 81:56
Scalia: 77:52
T. Bello: 71:27

Hubbard: 64:15
Powell: 61:08
Staples: 61:06
Tomancova: 25:56
K. Bello: 22:21
Sconiers: 22:17
Adashchyk: 10:07
 

GringaGopher

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I suspect we will be seeing the playing time numbers go up for Powell.
 

Katogopher

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I suspect we will be seeing the playing time numbers go up for Powell.
You wonder because they have gotten off to such slow starts, at least in terms of scoring, maybe Powell comes off the bench sooner or perhaps start to ignite the offense
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Random Saturday stat:

Fouls committed and fouls drawn through first three games.

Powell: 8 committed (three of those were in the 10 minutes she played in game 1) and 11 drawn.
Hubbard: 6 committed and 10 drawn
Brunson: 4 committed and 8 drawn
Scalia: 3 committed and 5 drawn.
 

CutDownTheNet

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Random Saturday stat:

Fouls committed and fouls drawn through first three games.

Powell: 8 committed (three of those were in the 10 minutes she played in game 1) and 11 drawn.
Hubbard: 6 committed and 10 drawn
Brunson: 4 committed and 8 drawn
Scalia: 3 committed and 5 drawn.
More Saturday stats:

I believe I figured out the glitch in the statistics page for NCAA Div I WBB. It seems to be attributable to the stats from our last game (Milwaukee) not being pumped to the NCAA in a timely manner (and not sure if that was a human failure or a glitch in a supposedly automated process). I noticed this because now the last-game stats are reflected in the NCAA site.

For instance, Jasmine Powell is now shown as tied for 6th place in assist-to-turnover ratio. And Taiye Bello is now down to .667 FG% that puts her in a tie for 35th place after discounting several players with less than 10 shots. Taiye also currently leads the Gophers in scoring at 15 points per game - not enough to be officially ranked in NCAA stats, but she’s estimated at somewhere near 250th in scoring within NCAA Div I. In 3 games, Taiye averages 2.67 blocks per game which puts her tied for 28th place nationally. Four Big-Ten players are ahead of her in blocks per game (all of whom we presumably need to worry about shooting over), namely Mackenzie Holmes (3.0) of Indiana, Izabel Varejau (3.0) of Michigan, Abbey Laszewski (3.0) of Wisconsin, and Kate Cain (4.67) of Nebraska.

Destiny Pitts is slightly reduced to .588 3FG% that puts her in 7th place among shooters with more than a dozen trey attempts.

Gadiva Hubbard is averaging 3 steals per game, which puts her in a tie for 69th place nationwide.

In terms of free-throw percentage, Taiye Bello is (after 3 games) officially in a tie for 53rd place shooting .929 (a rank she shares with Brice Calip of Missouri St.). Right behind her in a tie for 60th place is Jasmine Powell shooting .923. However, if you discount the 38 shooters who have shot less than 10 free throws but hit 100% (as statistical flukes due to insufficient data points), then that puts them in 15th place and 22nd place, respectively.

Here are some in-team stats leaders:

3FG%
Pitts .588 (10-17)
Tomancova .500 (1-2 so not statistically significant)
Scalia .364 (4-11)
Powell .333 (2-6)
Hubbard .300 (3-10)

Overall FG% (varying degrees of statistical significance)
T. Bello .667 (16-24)
Sconiers .625 (5-8)
K. Bello .500 (2-4)
Powell .414 (13-29)
Pitts .400 (12-30) [Note: According to 3-game stats, Pitts should stick to shooting threes.]
Scalia .400 (10-25)

Free-throw %
Brunson 1.000 (5-5)
T. Bello .929 (13-14)
Powell .824 (12-13)
Pitts .750 (3-4)
Scalia .750 (3-4)
Hubbard .692 (9-13)

Average Points per Game
T. Bello 15.0
Powell 12.7
Pitts 12.3
Brunson 10.7
Scalia 9.0
Hubbard 8.0

Assists (in 3 games)
Pitts 11
Powell 10
Brunson 8
Hubbard 4
Staples 4
Scalia 3
Sconiers 3

Steals (in 3 games)
Hubbard 9
Brunson 5
Staples 5
Pitts 4
Scalia 4

Blocks (in 3 games)
T. Bello 8
Pitts 2

Total = Offensive + Defensive Rebounds In 3 games)
T. Bello 23 = 10 + 13
Scalia 10 = 2 + 8
Pitts 9 = 2 + 7
Hubbard 9 = 2 + 7
Brunson 7 = 2 + 5
K. Bello 7 = 2 + 5
Staples 6 = 1 + 5

Average Fouls Committed per each Forty-Minutes Played
Tomancova 13.88
Sconiers 7.18
K. Bello 5.37
Powell 5.24
T. Bello 5.04
Hubbard 3.74
Staples 2.62
Pitts 2.36
Brunson 1.95
Scalia 1.03
 
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