It’s been nearly impossible to win games on the road this season in the Big Ten. That has proven true for the Gophers too, who have been almost unbeatable at home so far in 2019-20, losing only to DePaul. In total so far this year (as of right after this game ended) Big Ten home teams are 110-19…. which is almost impossible. One has to wonder how much of that has to do with how young these kids are now. The Big Ten has some crazy places to play and there is a lot of parody throughout this league.

Anyway, this was a fun one to watch. It started slow, just like the win vs Michigan but you could feel the Gopher momentum start to pickup by halftime, where they trailed by just 2. Everyone was hitting in the first half, on both sides of the floor…. except Gabe Kalscheur, who has really struggled all season long. The only thing uglier than Gabe’s shooting in that first half, was the Gopher defense, which allowed Penn State to shoot 60% from the floor with a total of ZERO turnovers. But again, the Gophers only trailed by two points, entering the half.

Just like in the first half (and throughout much of the season), the Gophers started the 2nd half slow too. But, it quickly evolved into the Marcus Carr and Dan Oturu show, which — I don’t know about you — but is one of my favorites. Dan Oturu continues to surprise me as he gains confidence. Things got a little bit petty tonight (especially at the end in the handshake line), which I also like, and Oturu was talking shit and staring people down like he was a Senior who landed on campus with a bad attitude 4 years ago…. not the quiet Sophomore from Cretin-Derham Hall.

Dan would finish the game with another monster stat-line of 26 points and 14 rebounds, not to mention what he brings to this team on every single possession, on both sides of the floor. On offense, the defenders really struggle with all of the motion in Pitino’s offense and it’s because it’s really hard to run around all of those actions, while still keeping extra tabs on Dan. You are just one mistake away from an open 3-pointer or a Dan Oturu 1v1 down-low… which you DO NOT WANT.

Meanwhile, Marcus Carr is one of the most talented guards in the Big Ten and I said it on Twitter toward the end of this game… he might be the most talented guard to step foot on campus since Bobby Jackson left. The kid has a lot to learn and a lot of growing to do, but the talent is through the ceiling of the Barn. He just has that swag and that extra gear, when needed, that sets him apart from the others on the court. Marcus finished with an absurd boxscore too…. 27 points, 9 assists, and 6 rebounds.

That’s right after a game vs Michigan where he scored 21 and sprinkled 12 dimes while helping Dan Oturu will the Gophers to victory.

The Gophers would win another close one at home tonight too, vs a good team, 75-69.

If the wings could start to hit more regularly from the outside (especially Gabe Kalscheur, who was 0/7 from deep tonight after going 1/6 vs Michigan)… there is no telling the ceiling of this Gophers team, especially in a WIDE OPEN Big Ten. One thing is for sure though… if you keep on piling up quad-1 wins at home, you’re going to be dancing in March.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan