(moved from another thread)
Minnesota has Lawrence McKenzie ( wearing #1) as their top player, a Mpls high school grad that transferred from Oklahoma last year. You might remember him from being the 3rd best 3-point shooter in the big 12 in 2004-05, as a bench player for Sampson's team. He's got a deft three-point touch, and we'll need Mike Taylor to man-up on him to stop his outside shooting. He's a strong ball handler as well. Think of him as MN's equivalent to #24, Mr. Taylor. Taylor and McKenzie match up well, and i'm certain with Taylor's defensive ability, McDermott will match him up in the man defense. This is a toss up, both players are good.
Minnesota's second threat scoring this year is Dan Coleman ( wearing #13, a junior), listed as 6-9, 225 lb in the program, but looks more like 6-7, 210 lb in person. He's a garbage man inside player who knows how to convert offensive boards into points. Likes to shoot from the 3-point line too much, pushing him outside and letting him take his chances from 3 point land would be good. My guess is that Wesley Johnson matches up on him, Wesley is much more athletic than Coleman. ISU has the advantage here, Coleman has experience, but W. Johnson is a better player.
Minnesota's third thread is the center, Spencer Tollackson ( wearing #50, 265 lbs). Tollackson's a load, a tough guy to move off the post, and will be a tough match up for Marsden. He's not a great shooter, but has a couple of low post moves that ordinary centers will have a tough time handling. Like Marsden...the most promising thing here is that Tollackson is really inconsistent, and if Marsden just plays him adequately, we should be good. Minnesota has the advantage here.
After those three, there really isn't much scoring for Minnesota. Brandon Smith (wing, 6-6, 205 lbs) and Kevin Payton (wing, 6-5), both sophomores, have been the final two starters, giving MN a largely perimeter based attack. These two are a combined 3-11 with eight points in two games, so don't expect them to shoot much unless they have a wide open shot from 15 feet or less.
MN has used the bench extensively, with two players getting most of the time, both guards. The theme here is that the two low post players, Coleman and Tollackson, have pretty much nothing behind them on the bench. The two players, Limar Wilson (5-11, junior) and Jamal Abu-Shamala (listed 6-5, more like 6-2.5) combine for 8-22 for 18 points in two games. Limar can hit the three, watch for him.
Do i think that ISU matches up well? Yes...ISU is deeper (how many times will we say that this year?) with a better bench and better starters. If Taylor can shut down McKenzie, MN really doesn't have many scoring options. Look for ISU to win by 10.
Our friend, little Larry Westbrook, is averaging about 6 minutes of playing time (and about 3 points a game), so don't expect to see him much. Turns out his lack of size is an issue in scoring at the NCAA Div 1 level.