Penn State faces Minnesota in Big Ten tourney
No. 10 seed Penn State (14-17, 7-13) vs. No. 7 seed Minnesota (19-12, 9-11)
Big Ten Tourney Second Round, United Center, Chicago; Thursday, 6 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: Penn State is set to match up against Minnesota in the second round of the Big Ten tourney. The only meeting between the teams this season came on Jan. 19, when Penn State made only 12 foul shots on 20 attempts while the Golden Gophers hit 22 of 30 en route to the 65-64 victory.
TALE OF TWO ROSTERS: Minnesota has leaned on senior leadership this year while Penn State has been fueled heavily by freshmen. Seniors Jordan Murphy, Amir Coffey and Dupree McBrayer have combined to account for 55 percent of Minnesota’s scoring this season and 62 percent of the team’s points over its last five games. On the other hand, freshmen Lamar Stevens, Rasir Bolton and Myles Dread have collectively scored 58 percent of the team’s points this year and have accounted for 68 percent of all Nittany Lions points over their last five.
FACILITATING THE OFFENSE: Coffey has either made or assisted on 63 percent of all Minnesota field goals over the last three games. Coffey has accounted for 28 field goals and 12 assists in those games.
WINNING WHEN: Minnesota is a perfect 15-0 when it scores at least 69 points. The Golden Gophers are 4-12 when scoring any fewer than that.
ASSIST-TO-FG RATIO: The Golden Gophers have recently used assists to create buckets more often than the Nittany Lions. Minnesota has an assist on 35 of 63 field goals (55.6 percent) over its past three outings while Penn State has assists on 33 of 69 field goals (47.8 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: Minnesota has attempted the second-most free throws among all Big Ten teams. The Golden Gophers have averaged 24.1 foul shots per game this season.