Read my story on Austin Hollins' big development this season here.
How many games can the Gophers win in the Big Ten?
Ken Pomeroy says 11 based on individual game predictions, which is, of course, a stunningly good outlook for Minnesota, which was projected by most to fall around ninth in the conference.
Pomeroy has the Gophers starting the slate in spurts -- three wins to ignite the schedule, four losses to follow, four more wins after that.
Here's a look at how he breaks down the schedule with his predicted score, and the Gophers chances of winning that matchup:
(His predictions are based on current values of adjusted efficiencies and tempo, with home court factored in.)
Michigan -- W 70-68 -- 58 percent
Purdue -- W 80-70 -- 83 percent
at Penn St. -- W 75-73 -- 58 percent
at Michigan State -- L 76-67 -- 21 percent
Ohio State -- L 66-63 -- 38 percent
at Iowa -- L 80-72 -- 22 percent
Wisconsin -- L 67-66 -- 47 percent
at Nebraska -- W 71-69 -- 59 percent
Northwestern -- W 69-58 -- 88 percent
at Purdue -- W 76-74 -- 57 percent
Indiana -- W 77-71 -- 72 percent
at Wisconsin -- L 71-63 -- 20 percent
at Northwestern -- W 66-62 -- 67 percent
Illinois -- W 68-63 -- 73 percent
at Ohio State -- L 70-60 -- 15 percent
Iowa -- W 77-76 --51 percent
at Michigan -- L 72-66 -- 28 percent
Penn State W 79-69 -- 83 percent
*The highlights: win at Purdue, win vs. Iowa at home.
*Seven of Pomeroy's predicted 11 wins are by six points or fewer.
*As the rankings currently stand, Pomeroy's predictions give the Gophers just one ranked win.
Now, before you Gophers fans get too excited, remember that these are simply statistical predictions based on what the teams have done so far -- they can and will change throughout the year. And despite what the individual games tell us, Pomeroy still predicts overall that the Gophers will win nine games, not 11. That figure is still pretty generous, but again there are plenty of things Pomeroy's predictions at this point don't take into account and often have teams unfairly inflated based on the kind of opponents they've faced thus far.
What is interesting about these predictions is it shows that the Gophers can reach a very respectable number of victories without winning any truly huge games.