Wednesday, November 23, 2011

DePaul vs Minnesota Chalk Talk

DePaul (2-0) vs Minnesota (4-0) in the Old Spice Classic

Minnesota Quick Facts:
  • Conference: Big Ten
  • Head coach: Tubby Smith (4th season at Minnesota)
  • Located: Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
  • Mascot: Golden Gophers 

Numbers Don’t Lie*:
  • Mbakwe is pretty good at getting to the free throw line. Ok, that is the understatement of the year. His current Free Throw Attempt to Field Goal Attempt rate (FTA/FGA) is a ridiculous 155.5. As a result, the team rate is 58.1, good for 16th in Division 1
  • Minnesota is not good or and doesn’t like shooting the three point shot. As a team, they are shooting 30.8% (224 in NCAA), and only 16.4% (327 in NCAA) of their points come via the three point shot. Conversely, DePaul is shooting 43.1% (29 in NCAA) and 38.6% (64 in NCAA) of their points come from behind the three point line.
  • DePaul is currently #1 in NCAA for percentage of shots blocked, only 1.3% of their FGA. This is likely the result of a small sample size and lackluster teams, but if it is a trend, it’ll be important against a large frontcourt.

3 Players to Watch:
  • #32, 6-8 F, Trevor Mbakwe Mbakwe is a beast in the frontcourt, and will likely regardless of DePaul’s efforts and game planning. It’ll be important to limit Mbakwe’s touches, and force their gaurds to win the game
  • #50, 6-11 F/C, Ralph Sampson IIISampson missed the last game with an ankle injury. He’ll likely not be 100%, but his size alone will be a problem
  • #1, 6-1 G, Andre Hollins/ #13, 6-2 G, Maverick Ahanmisi/ #00, 6-3 G, Julian Welch Minnesota is currently practicing PG by committee with Hollins (17.5 MPG), Ahanmisi (13.3 MPG), and Welch (16.8 MPG) splitting minutes at the lead guards position. It should be an advantage for DePaul if they can force their three guards to make plays. If not, the game could get ugly.

Keys to the Game
  • Hitting perimeter shots
  • Frontcourt players staying out of foul trouble
  • Creating turnovers against Minnesota’s guards 

*All stats courtesy of

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