After a crushing defeat in Ann Arbor against the Michigan Wolverines, Maryland’s two-game road trip concludes Saturday when yet another sizable challenge takes shape in No. 17 Minnesota. The Golden Gophers have an impressive 11-0 record at home, with four of those wins coming against ranked Big Ten teams. Their latest home victory was a 75-57 trouncing of Michigan, but the two games prior to that saw the Gophers suffering back-to-back, double-digit losses, including a 82-57 loss to the same Wolverines. To learn more about the challenge that awaits the Terps in Minneapolis Saturday, we got in touch with AJ Condon of The Minnesota Daily.
The Gophers have been simply unbeatable at home this season, going 11-0 overall and 4-0 against the Big Ten. What has made them so dominant in Minneapolis?
I’m actually writing a story about their dominance at home compared to away next week. I haven’t fully been able to figure it out because there shouldn’t be this big of a difference without any fans. It seems that when teams come into the barn, they catch a shooting bug and aren’t able to hit shots. Also, the Gophers play good team defense and force turnovers which they use to transition fast into offense and catch the defense sleeping.
Marcus Carr has been an incredible force this season, but who else on this Minnesota team should Maryland viewers be aware of?
Liam Robbins has been a huge asset on both the offensive and defensive side. He took some time transitioning into Big Ten play, but he has really excelled as of late. He can shoot the 3 ball (decently) and also has some good post moves. If your guards get past their defenders, they still have to go through a 7-foot center who is currently leading the Big Ten in blocks per game.
Despite the 4-0 home record, Minnesota is an even 4-4 against the Big Ten this season. What have been the most recurring errors in those losses?
Being 4-4 in the Big Ten right now is a huge win for the Gophers looking at who they’ve played. I would say the most recurring errors in those games has been their shooting percentage. The games they lose are the games where they’re shooting 35%> and it’s hard to win games shooting that poorly.