Gopher Game Blog: Minnesota over Bemidji State 83-59

Minnesota has four players in double figures led by 22 from Jordan Murphy, 18 from Dupree McBrayer, and a double-double from freshman Eric Curry.

Pregame

Nate Mason is out tonight with a concussion.  Bemidji State is without Sharif Black who is considered their best all around player....All other Gophers are playing.  Mason is in warm-us helping his team warm-up.  Akeem Springs will be taking his spot in the starting line-up joining Dupree McBrayer and Amir Coffey in the backcourt.  McBrayer will be playing lead guard, who will back him up?  Remember Stephon Sharp has been working there but didn't play against DePaul because of a bad knee.  Coffey and senior walk-on Darin Haugh are the other options....Five star recruit Matthew Hurt is here as a guest.  His brother is Michael Hurt on the Gophers so Matthew will be here most nights...Also a guest tonight is DeLaSalle 2018 guard Gabe Kalscheur...Minnesota Starters: Akeem Springs, Dupree McBrayer, Jordan Murphy, Amir Coffey, and Reggie Lynch.

First Half

Ball has not moved well on Minnesota’s first two possessions.  Couple extra passes needed on both. Neither possession became a score.  That said, a post entry from Springs to Lynch gets Minnesota an easy lay-up…Jordan Murphy has been scored on twice early by opposing bigs…Amir Coffey with the rebound out fighting a guy, he pushes, ball gets to the block, Murphy scores.  That is what Amir can do…Bemidji State is retreating after their jumpers. Not attempting to board with the Gophs, just getting back.  Gophs have had five shots, all from two feet, three went in…Opposing bigs have now scored ono Murphy three times. He’s not moving his feet well on D…MN 7 BSU 9...

Michael Hurt is the 7th man tonight following Eric Curry off the bench (Curry was 6th man)…Murphy catches on the block, takes his time, nearly turns the ball over on a Beaver dig, faces and badly misses a face-up jumper.  Tough start for him…Amir Coffey with an attack and gorgeous dish to Reggie Lynch for his first dunk as a Gopher.  Both local talents…Coffey is working so hard away from the ball, plus he’s boarding.  Just jumped over a guy to collect and push the other way…Stephon Sharp is off the bench and playing the back-up PG spot…Curry and Lynch slide their feet to stop a Beaver attack and force a travel cutting off the lane.  Beavers are doing some flex action which is very good for the Gopher man defense to work against….Coffey and Lynch are really making the effort to board out of their area…Eric Curry has scored twice inside….Hurt doing a great job jamming and cutting off his man on the flex cuts…No  Bakary Konate or Ahmad Gilbert yet and some guys are on the floor for the second time already…MN 11 BSU 15….

Minnesota is active on defense but being undisciplined early.  Too many chances being taken, too much over-helping…Akeem Springs just looked off a Lynch entry and decided to drive himself into traffic.  Did pick up a foul but that ball has to be entered into the post…Murphy misses a lay-up.  He’s really struggled on both ends….Minnesota is pushing the ball hard in transition.  Dupree attacked and then found Coffey for an And1.  Great sign, love to see them push…Amir nearly jumped over a BSU player to finish.  Was fouled but that would have been an all timer of a dunk…Reggie Lynch makes it to the nine minute mark before getting foul number two.  That’s not too bad considering minutes played and conditioning…Minnesota just put in a zone press.  Not sure what it was, maybe a diamond, maybe a basic 2-2-1, not sure.   But that’s the second type of extended pressure they’ve used so far…Akeem Springs takes a very fast one dribble pull-up jumper after only one pass against a set halfcourt defense.  Bad shot…Murphy block, board, outlet to McBrayer, Dupree slashes to score.  Excellent transition play…Curry and Coffey have both given up o-boards in the last minute.  Both look a bit winded as they’ve played a ton….Dupree misses back to back treys on the same possession.  They need those to drop badly…MN 20 BSU 21…

Michael Hurt back in the game, no Ahmad Gilbert yet.  Or Bakary Konate.  And Reggie Lynch has two fouls…Gophers come out and get a much better possession of team defense talking better and moving to the right angles.  Can’t get a jumper to go the other way but better team defense for a couple possessions…Gophers continue to press and Murphy and Curry have been 75 feet from the defending basket and doing a good job getting deflections.  Still no jumpers for the Gophs…MN 24 BSU 27

Gopher defense has really stepped it up.  Getting deflections all over, moving their feet to get around screens, talk is better, etc.  Much better defense.  Beavers are 4-16 at the arc, shooting 31 percent overall…Jordan Murphy is now wearing out the Beavers.  He’s too strong and athletic coming down hill.  Has ten points…Gophs just forced a shot clock violation…Ahmad Gilbert finally on to play 90 seconds.  First play is a pass to Curry for a high-low score.  Curry has four field goals. On the other end the Beavers can’t even find space for passes much less attempts.  9-0 MN run… Ahmad Gilbert fades off a screen and hits a three! First Gopher three, first jumper make.  He had a nice high-low assist last possession too…McBrayer runs out some time, attacks, hits Curry for a score, Gophers up 38-29 at the half.  That’s a 14-2 run to end it.  Curry now in double figures…MN 38 BSU 29…

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Second Half

No scores from Akeem Springs yet.  Gophers do get a high low form Lynch to Murphy though right away…Lynch with his first block and it’s on a perimeter jumper…Lynch is in the post, Murphy waves him away, backs down his man, spins, scores, and he has 14 now…Great high low pass from Coffey to Lynch for an attempt.  Amir is doing a lot so you don’t notice that he’s only scored once…Lynch pushes off on a post feed gets foul three.  Sitting after three minutes with fouls…MN 44 BSU 38

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Dupree misses his third trey of the game but Curry is there to board.  Beavers can not board with Minnesota’s length.  That same length has led to blocks from five different Gophers.  But, Springs misses an open jumper as the Gophs have one perimeter make and that is from Gilbert…Murphy catches at the top, dribbles twice and is at the rim for an easy score.  Beavers can do nothing with his physical ability.  Next Curry beats three Beavers to a tough board, outlets to Dupree who goes coast to coast for an And1 finish.  Curry has a double-double now…Gilbert checks in much earlier this time (13:30 mark)…Physically the Beavers can do nothing with Curry and Murphy.  Nothing.  That’s why they have the big numbers.  Now we need to see a couple plays from the perimeter.  Dupree is close to double digits (9), need more from Springs, Hurt, and Coffey on the scoreboard…Ben Best into double figures and he’s out smarted Gophers inside to pivot for scores.  He can’t stop Minnesota inside (Curry scored back the other way on him) but you can see that the young Gopher PFs Curry and Murphy need to be more disciplined in post defense as they aren’t moving their feet with any bend inside and are selling out on fakes coming off balance and not able to move with the pivot…MN 59 BSU 46

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Like the effort that Gilbert has come off the bench and played with.  Both he and Hurt have done well for the most part defensively which is the most important thing for them followed by making open shots.  Hurt has taken one, hasn’t had much for chances.  Gilbert made one but has missed a couple others…Lynch makes two foul shots and is fourth Gopher in double digits.  Reggie also gets block number two the other way….McBrayer misses another open jumper.  They can not have him start poorly from the arc like he did last year.  This needs to be turned around if he is going to play a lot of two guard with Mason at the one.  Dupree has done all other things well, needs to knock down jumpers…MN 62 BSU 48…

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Dupree steps into a jumper and nails it.  Great catch with feet set into the attempt. He and the team needed that…Reggie with an offensive foul and he fouls out of the game with seven minutes left.  It’s an issue and likely will be all year as Reggie has dealt with foul trouble often ever since high school…Murphy catches, uses the left shoulder turn to freeze his opponent, vaults up.  Unstoppable for the Beavers who really cant defend an athlete like Jordan…Ben Best scores his 7th basket.  The Gophers are falling for everything he does in the low post.  Best is very crafty…Bakary Konate is about to check in for the first time.  Five minutes to go in the game…MN 71 BSU 55…

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Coffey slashes and scores to give him six.  He has not played any PG tonight but he has been allowed to push the ball often…Beavers get an easy score as Konate, who has been sitting for 90 minutes of real time, comes in and doesn’t rotate quick enough to make a play on the ball.  Bad first play from him….Dupree has slashed for 16 points so far and did the job at the one with Mason out...Bakary has dove on the floor for a loose ball AND just had a closeout swat.  Good block. And another!...Now an offensive board from Bakary who kicks out to Hurt and Michael hit a trey…Bakary with an offensive board, a kick out to Hurt, and Michael nails a three.  Then a Dupree jumper for his 17th and 18th points.  Finally some jumpers are coming...Bakary with a deflection, an o-board, and now to the foul line. Bakary is playing his tail off….Michael Hurt hits another three!  There is that three-point shooting hand of his….Darin Haugh will get a minute of time. So will Brady Rudrud…Minnesota wins 83-59…

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