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Nebrasketball: Minnesota Preview

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Huskers take on a team needing a big win

Middle Tennessee v Minnesota Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Minnesota Golden Gophers Preview

Date: Wednesday, December 5th

Time: 8:00pm CST

Location: Minneapolis, MN

TV: BTN

2017-18 Record: 15-17 (4-14 Big Ten Conference)

2018-19 Record: 6-2 (0-1 Big Ten Conference)

Coach: Rick Pitino (6th Season)

Previous Season

The Golden Gophers of Minnesota had a letdown of a season from their previous season where they found themselves at the end of the year as the #5 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The losses of Nate Mason to graduation and Reggie Lynch dismissed from the squad put them at a little bit of a talent hole. They started out 7-0 until tough competition and conference play woke them up to the reality of their situation. At the end of the year they had a losing record and shared a three way tie for 11th place in the Big Ten Conference. They shared this honor with Illinois and Iowa.

Current Season

Minnesota found themselves 5-0 until they met their first loss against Boston College in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. They most recently got dismantled by Ohio State 59-79. So, whatever good feelings that came with that clean start are starting to come into question. They are also known to draw fouls and with Nebraska’s habit of getting into foul trouble early, it could create an unwanted problem for the Huskers.

These most Golden of Gophers are lead by forward Jordan Murphy. The 6’6” senior is averaging 14.6 points, 12 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game. Yes, the 6’6” forward is pulling down 12 rebounds per game. That alone is amazing for a guy who on many teams would be considered a guard. Jordan has also had six double doubles this year and they are only eight games into the season. He had one of those type of games against Nebraska last year and I would expect him to do the same this time around.

Amire Coffee is a name you should know. Not only because his dad Richard Coffee played at Minnesota and also in the NBA for the Timberwolves but also because his impact has been felt on all three years he’s played with the team. He has transitioned to point guard this year and has kept his scoring up from last year which is currently sitting at 14.3 points per game. The former Big Ten All-Freshman team member is also pulling down

Also of note is freshman guard Gabe Kalscheur. He’s another local boy who has found an early impact on the starting lineup. Gabe is averaging 11.9 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game.

Prediction

If Nebraska can play a clean game and not get into foul trouble early on then I see Nebraska winning this game easily. If Minnesota presses and works the paint to their advantage then it will be a tighter game than any of us want to see. Also, let’s hope that Tim Mile’s squad isn’t looking ahead to their match up with Creighton on Saturday. Minnesota isn’t a team of world beaters but they have the talent to take it to a team which isn’t focused.

University of Nebraska 73 University of Minnesota 67