Throughout the season, I’ll occasionally dig through some statistics and share some interesting observations. I know I’m not the only one (I hope) who digs through box scores out of boredom, so please feel free to share any of your observations.

Away we go…

  • These first two games have not been…ummm…competitive. The Golden Gophers’ winning margins of 40 and 26 points, a total of 66 points, is the largest in back to back games since the start of the 2010-2011 season. The 40 point margin is also the largest since 2010. Sure, scoring margin in meaningless games can be quite meaningless, but the Gophers haven’t exactly put away bad teams so decisively in recent years. Prior to the season opening stomping of American, their last 30 point win was March 7, 2010 at home against Iowa.
  • The Gophers three-point defense has been horrendous in recent years. The most obvious measure of this is the number of three-pointers that opponents take, under the simple assumption that teams shoot from where they are open. Through two games, Gophers opponents have attempted 26.3% of their shots from behind the three point line. The previous low for a Tubby Smith Gophers team was 35% last season. The worst was the year before that (the year of the giant line-up) when greater than 43% of opponents field goal attempts were three-pointers.
  • The Gophers have not taken care of the ball particularly well in their first two games, giving the ball away on almost 21% of their possessions. Sadly, that is actually an improvement since last season. The big difference is that the Gophers are forcing turnovers on 27% of possessions. The Gophers haven’t forced more turnovers than they have committed since the 2009-2010 season.
  • After Trevor Mbakwe was hurt, Minnesota didn’t have another consistent double digit scorer until the NIT. They have three players averaging in double digits so far this season.
  • Joe Coleman is averaging 12 points per game, but he isn’t doing it very efficiently. He has more turnovers, 10, than made field goals, 7.
  • I certainly never expected #hollinsanity to apply more to Austin than Andre, but Austin has been the teams best player so far this season, averaging 16.5 points, 5 rebounds, and 3.5 steals per game. He had a career high 20 points against American. His 33 points over a two game stretch is also a career best.
  • Rodney Williams is shooting 80% from the field.
  • Andre Hollins is shooting 54.5% from the free-throw line and has already missed five free-throws. Last season he made 90% of his free-throws, and only missed nine all season.