Minnesota Was Good, Now They Aren't

So what happened? Well, the Gophers possess just the 11th-best offense in conference play, which is largely driven by a 13th-best effective field goal percentage, which in turn is driven by a 12th-best two-point field goal percentage, which in turn is driven by this graph:

Data courtesy of Synergy Sports


Those blue bars indicate the percentage of shots for a team that are dedicated to a midrange jumpshot (4 to 19 feet), in conference play. There are some familiar faces—Illinois, nice to see you again at the top. Wisconsin, keeping things low as usual.

But Minnesota's place at the top of the midrange charts is something new. In the non-conference portion of the schedule, just 27.8 percent of the Gophers' shots came on midrange jumpshots. To be sure, it's unlikely that Minnesota is seeing an opportunity for some "easy" midrange shots—prior to Big Ten play, they were making 35 percent of them, and they've been right at 35 percent in conference play.

The easy answer as to why this is happening would simply be that defenses are better, on average, in the Big Ten than the non-conference slate. And better defenses force more difficult shots. But the good news is that Minnesota is right at the ceiling for midrange exuberance for teams not coached by Roy Williams, so things can only get better from here.

Right?