Photo: mattbritt00 flickr Writer: Eric Daniel
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are in their first season under new head coach Richard Pitino and it has been a great start as the Gophers come into this contest 5-0. Minnesota's best wins have come in blowout wins against decent teams like Montana and Richmond, but they get their toughest test today as they tale on the top 25 rated Syracuse Orange. Minnesota is led by the veteran play of Andre and Austin Hollins who are averaging 18.8 and 13.2 points respectively. Minnesota has looked good to start the year, but we will get a much better idea of where they stand after the Maui Invite.
Syracuse is 4-0 to start the year, but they struggled to put away St. Francis NY in their last game as they got away with the 56-50 home win. Syracuse looks overrated at this point in the season, but their struggles aren't surprising considering they lost Michael Carter-Williams to the NBA. Syracuse has gone against a very easy schedule so far this year and it will be interesting to see how they fare as they get a step up in competition. Syracuse is led on offense by CJ Fair who is one of the few players that have looked good to start the year for the Orange. Fair is averaging 18 points per game on 45 percent shooting.
This is a interesting matchup between the ACC and Big Ten and if Minnesota can pick up this win it would be a great resume builder for them. Syracuse comes into this game not playing their best ball and they could find it tough going against this rejuvenated Minnesota squad. I like the Gophers to cover in Maui.