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Gophers beat Arkansas 85-71 and six more players scored in double figures

The Gophers took another step forward as they beat a solid major conference opponent (Arkansas) 85-71 with six more players scoring in double figures. The Gophers improved to 5-0 on the year.

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Pregame

Minnesota has another really strong group of recruits at the game this evening with top 100 junior talents Daniel Oturo (CDH) and Race Thompson (Armstrong) attending along with high major offered 2018s Gabe Kalscheur and Jarvis Thomas.  Oturo, Thompson, and Kalscheur have Gophers offers while Thomas is still being evaluated.  Thomas has five high major offers so far...Minnesota and Arkansas have played four previous times with Arkansas holding the series edge 3-1.  The teams last played in 2013...Arkansas has been using a rotation of nine upperclassmen although that experienced bunch includes four transfers...The weather outside is not good in the Twin Cities so that will hurt attendance but what will help it is the toy drive as people are getting in free with a toy brought for kids...Minnesota has started Nate Mason, Dupree McBrayer, Amir Coffey, Jordan Murphy, and Reggie Lynch every game.  Arkansas has started Moses Kingsley and Dustin Thomas up front with 6-foot-3 guards Dusty Hannahs, Daryl Macon, and Jaylen Barford in the backcourt....Kingsley, a senior, is the SEC preseason player of the year and projected as a late first round, high second round pick.  Stat wise and from an obvious point of view, Lynch and Kingsley are two of the best shot blockers in the nation...Gopher freshman Amir Coffey was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for his play last week...

https://twitter.com/GopherMBB/status/801228322034356224

First Half

Dupree McBrayer starting on Dusty Hannahs, Amir Coffey on Jaylen Barford, Daryl Macon handling the ball at the start.  Amir already gives up an o-board to the much shorter Barford.  Bad sign as the Gophs have to make box-out hits better…Murphy doesn’t help over on the drive, doesn’t make a box out hit so his guy comes from behind and hits the ball out of his hands and in the scuffle Reggie Lynch gets his ankle turned.  Doesn’t happen if Jordan makes a box-out hit.  Anyway, Reggie gets up and goes the other way to get a second deep post touch.  The first shot missed, this possession he makes a foul shot.  Really like how Minnesota is spacing the floor, moving the ball, getting good low post entries early…Amir gets deep and dumps off for a Reggie dunk.  Ankle looks good…Murphy losses a board because once again he doesn’t make a box-out hit to clear his man.  Therefore he can’t collect the ball and Arkansas gets another possession.  That’s the third time in this game that they have failed to make a hit on the boards and it cost them in some way…MN 3 Ark 3…

There are no monitors for the media or fans in the stands so we have no idea what led to the intentional foul called on Dupree McBrayer. Hogs make two foul shots…Gophs spread the floor, allow Murphy room to work and he scores going at the rim…Murphy AGAIN doesn’t make a box-out hit and his man runs by him and nearly steals the board from Coffey who did his job.  Foul called. Third missed box out hit from Murphy.  He’s just not making the effort…Jordan is getting things done on the offensive end.  For the second time he’s blown by the Arkansas four man facing up and attacking with a dribble to get points on the board  (missed two foul shots though)…Moses Kinglsley has twice helped over and ate up the shot attempt from attacking Gophers.  Massive blocks.  But after six minutes he’s out because Murphy put a foul on  him…Murphy catches with his back to the basket, quickly spins, scores again.  The Arkansas power forwards can not match-up with him…Coffey gets back in transition and is called for the weakest touch foul ever.  Barely touched a knuckle.  Ahmad Gilbert checks in for him…Minnesota doesn’t have many points but I love the spacing, movement, and lanes they are attacking.  The points will come…MN 9 Ark 13…

https://twitter.com/RyanJamesMN/status/801233511994847233

Officials have been garbage so far…Dupree hits the first jumper for the Gophs getting his feet set in the corner and nailing.  Haven’t seen much pressure from the Hogs yet at all.  Not much that has hurt Minnesota or even caught my attention yet…The official just helped Reggie up off the floor during live action. What?  Never seen that before…Arkansas has been whistled for nine fouls already half way through the half…Quality effort from Reggie Lynch getting back to close out on the shooter and it forced a travel.   Good things come from effort…Akeem has done a nice job on defense so far.  Getting to the right positions and forcing Hannahs to bad angles.  Needs teammates like Eric Curry to be in the right position though.  Eric has to do a better job of fighting in the post on defense…Reggie Lynch with a nasty, nasty two hand dunk in traffic.  Caught and unloaded on two guys…MN 16 Ark 15…

Coffey with the feed to Lynch and Reggie with a left shoulder turn one hander finish on Kingsley.  Excellent move from Lynch after a good pass…Gophers turn a long d-board into an Eric Curry dunk.  More great transition push…Gophers push off a long d-board and score two more times.  And Nate Mason now hits a three off a ball reversal.  Gophs then push off another miss and it becomes another Lynch one hander.  Ten point lead…Amir Coffey gets foul two and it was a good call.  Fans hated it but Amir stuck his knee into the Arkansas player on the spin and knocked him off balance.  Amir’s first foul was weak, foul two was legit…Mason with a reversal to Akeem who hits a feet set three…Murphy gets over in help and forces his man out of bounds.  Much better on defense…MN 30 Ark 19…

https://twitter.com/Marcus_R_Fuller/status/801239303690981376

https://twitter.com/RyanJamesMN/status/801239955477561344

Michael Hurt misses two wide open threes.  He looks tight in his release, not comfortable right now.  Needs one to go down so he is more comfortable and loose.  Reminds me of Dupree last year…Murphy is now doing a better job on the d-glass physically making space and collecting.  Coaches must of reminded him again of what he is forgetting to do…Akeem with a back side cut into a score on the baseline.  Excellent off ball movement….Mason shakes a wing and hits a three…Next time down Hurt thinks about taking a three, sees an open Springs for a better shot, he hits.  That’s what ball movement does…Ball is moving and it goes to Springs who hits again at the arc!...MN 42 Arkansas 25…

https://twitter.com/RyanJamesMN/status/801241339631468545

https://twitter.com/Marcus_R_Fuller/status/801243155597295617

https://twitter.com/GopherMBB/status/801243270080765952

Second Half

Minnesota continues to attack and build the lead.  Mason with a quick And1 and Springs attacked to produce too.  Also, the post to post pass from Curry to Murphy was excellent for a dunk…Eric Curry has been outstanding in 12 minutes.  Has four scores, four boards, strong defense, and that great pass…Springs is hounding Hannahs all over.  The guy averages 17-18 a game and can barely get a good touch tonight.  Dupree had to sit early in foul trouble and Springs has allowed no drop off…Gilbert is firing and doing so without any hesitation.  Just hit a three off a Mason kickout and did it confidently…MN 58 Arkansas 40…

https://twitter.com/GopherHole/status/801251268098461696

Gophers go post to post, Murphy to Curry for another dunk.  Love how these bigs work with one another.  Minnesota’s halfcourt offense has been outstanding.  Curry just threw a high post pass to Mason in the corner and while Nate missed the shot, it was another excellent possession and a good shot taken…Minnesota had Coffey and Curry working against a ball screen and the two freshman performed the defense perfectly against veterans.  Forced a bad shot and it’s crazy how rookies did that against veterans…MN 64 Ark 46…

https://twitter.com/Marcus_R_Fuller/status/801254351100637184

Saddled with foul trouble Amir Coffey is still playing hard on both ends and just hit a trey to get to seven points…He could be player six in double figures as Springs, Mason, Murphy, Curry, and Lynch are already there.  Lynch has been sitting for a long time and I wonder if it’s the staff being careful of his ankle (turned it in half one) in a blowout…Amir catches a reversal and hits another trey.  He’s now the sixth player in double figures.  Minnesota continues to control play with ball movement on one end, defensive effort in rotation, forcing Hogs to spots, and fighting through screens…Amir with a full court push to a double pump lay-up…Murphy just missed his fifth box-out of the game leading to either a Arkansas o-board or a player scramble…Bakary Konate in with four minutes to go….Amir is now the team leader in scoring in this game after a pull-up jumper from 16 feet….MN 76 Ark 58…

https://twitter.com/RyanJamesMN/status/801256690318311424

https://twitter.com/GopherHole/status/801257029595701249

With three minutes to go Nate Mason is still on the floor with McBrayer and Coffey.  16 point lead.  Why are they still playing?  There is a lot of time to play, the Gophs bench has given up leads before, Arkansas will pressure the bench guys and speed the game up, Hannahs can hit quickly when given space and when teams are up they relax so space is there.  Rule for subbing for the leading team is “let them sub first unless you have no doubt”…Arkansas has been a good three point shooting team but has hit one tonight. Gophers are 9-15…Arkansas just doesn’t have guard creators to be as good as projected in my opinion…Bakary Konate runs the floor, gets rewarded by Mason, completes the play…Amir attacks, takes contact, hangs, finishes And1.  Wow.  He now has 19.  Plus he fouled Kingsley out…Coffey now rewards Konate again for his cut so Bakary gets a dunk….Good to get Stephon Sharp in here late to handle a couple possessions.  If there is an injury they will need him handling some…Ref calls a weak illegal screen in a blowout with 35 seconds left taking away a shot from a bench guy.  Have a heart mean ref…Minnesota 85 Arkansas 71


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