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NCAA Tournament Coverage

BIG TEN TOURNAMENT TEAMS

2005 NCAA TOURNAMENT Coverage Preview Bracket Final Four Predictions Store

By Nick Meyer

itoffishul777@hotmail.com

March 15th, 2004

NCAA Tournament Scouting Report: Minnesota

 

Minnesota followed the typical Golden Gopher football/basketball plan of action, padding their record against cupcakes in the non-conference.  But unlike in past years, the Gophers followed it up with a strong conference season.  Coach Dan Monson, the architect of Gonzaga’s current program, did a great a job of molding his current group into a well-rounded team.

           

The go-to guy is small forward Vincent Grier, a junior-college transfer and first team All-Big Ten performer. Grier’s unorthodox lefty drives and scoop shots are difficult to defend, and he compliments them with a solid mid-range jump shot. He’s an old-school gunner who shoots a potent 47.8 % from the field, although just 26 % from three-point territory.

 

Flanking Grier is a Jeff Hagen, a 7-0, 270-lb. wide body. He doesn’t look particularly threatening, but he’s more mobile than opponents give him credit for and skilled around the basket, with averages of 11.3 ppg and 2.5 blocks.

           

Beyond that, there aren’t many other consistent scorers on the Gophers, but they have good complimentary players that know their roles.  Point guard Aaron Robinson is super quick and a good 3-point shooter at 41%, but he doesn’t have great court sense, as evidenced by his 2.9 to 2.3 assist-turnover ratio.  Freshman forward Dan Coleman provides a third, albeit inconsistent, scoring option.  Rico Tucker and Brent Lawson are active, quick guards, each averaging more than 1.5 steals per game.

 

The Gophers set a team record for most steals in a season, and the quick-rotating, active defense is their strength.

 

 Weaknesses:

 

The Gophers are severely lacking in tournament and big game experience.  They’re also not a

Minnesota Links

 great road team, and they haven’t fared well against top competition.

           

Only Hagen and Grier average double figures, and the Gophers often go through long scoring droughts.

           

Hagen has a tendency to get into foul trouble against quicker players, and he’s too valuable for them to lose for long stretches.

 

Summary:  Grier is a superstar in the making, and is the type of player that can get hot and propel his team to an upset.

 

Minnesota’s quick, aggressive defense can pose problems for teams with suspect ball-handling, but they are too inexperienced and inconsistent on offense to make a long tournament run.

 

Prediction: Beat Iowa State, lose to North Carolina in second round.

 


 

More Big Ten NCAA Tournament Scouting Reports

 

So you think the Big Ten had a down year?  Most conferences would kill for 5 NCAA Tournament teams, and the #1 seed in the entire field of 65.  Maybe the Big Ten isn't as strong as it has been in recent years, but you'd be foolish to just ignore the damage that a Michigan State or Wisconsin can do.  Nick Meyer presents scouting reports for each Big Ten team that's playing in the post-season, including NIT bound Indiana.

 

NCAA Tournament

Illinois Scouting Report

Michigan State Scouting Report

Wisconsin Scouting Report

Minnesota Scouting Report

Iowa Hawkeyes Scouting Report

NIT

Indiana Scouting Report

 

Return to the NCAA Tournament Homepage.

 

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