On Wednesday, Feb. 20, the Gophers will continue the Big Ten season against
Ohio State in Columbus. In preparation for their only meeting with OSU during the regular season, GopherSports.com's Jeff Fett previewed the Buckeyes.
Head Coach: Thad Matta
2012-13 Record: 18-7 (8-5)
Leading Scorers: Deshaun Thomas-20.2 ppg; Lenzelle
Smith, Jr.-10.3 ppg; Aaron Craft-9.5 ppg; LaQuinton Ross-7.8 ppg; Sam
Leading Rebounders: Deshaun Thomas-6.2 rpg; Lenzelle
Smith, Jr.-5.3 rpg; Evan Ravenel-4.6 rpg; Amir Williams-4.2 rpg; Aaron
Ohio State is
one of those scary young teams no one wants to face this time of year.
have only one senior in Evan Ravenel, and are led by junior guards Aaron Craft and
Lenzelle Smith, Jr. and junior power forward Deshaun Thomas.
Jared Sullinger and William Buford led this team, but Thomas has stepped up this
season and is shooting the lights out, averaging a conference-high 20.2 ppg.
Craft is also one of the best defenders in the nation.
Craft and Thomas, the Buckeyes are getting nice contributions this season from
their sophomore class of Amir Williams, LaQuinton Ross, Sam Thompson and
non-conference season where they beat respectable teams in Washington and
Winthrop, the Buckeyes have taken care of business in the Big Ten this season.
They've beat the teams they needed to in Nebraska, Penn State and Northwestern,
which are near the bottom of the standings, but they've also knocked off conference
contenders in Michigan and Wisconsin too.
Right now, the
Buckeyes appear in safe position for a spot in the NCAA tournament, but the
schedule still has some roadblocks. Such is life in the Big Ten Conference.
What is Trevor Mbakwe looking to accomplish during his final year in college basketball? Go inside the mind of this St. Paul native as he talks about coming back from a torn ACL to try and lead Minnesota to the NCAA Tournament.
This video feature originally appeared during "Gopher Basketball with Tubby Smith" Friday nights on Fox Sports North. Check local listings for exact times and channel information.
The No. 23/24
Gophers picked up a 19-point win against Nebraska to snap a four-game losing
streak. They will take on Iowa, which just beat Penn State, at noon on Sunday.
GopherSports.com's Jeff Fett previewed the Hawkeyes.
Head Coach: Fran McCaffrey
Rodney Williams scored 23 points against Nebraska and will look to carry the momentum into Sunday.
Current Record: 14-7 (3-5 Big Ten)
Last Year's Big Ten Record: 8-10
Top 5 Leading Scorers: Roy Devyn Marble-14.1 ppg; Aaron
White-14.0 ppg; Mike Gesell-8.8 ppg; Melsahn Basabe-7.4 ppg; Zach McCabe-5.9
Top 5 Leading Rebounders: Aaron White-6.0 rpg; Adam Woodbury-5.3
rpg; Melsahn Basabe-4.5 rpg; Roy Devyn Marble-4.0 rpg; Zach McCabe-3.8 rpg.
Notable Non-Conference Wins: Gardner-Webb, Iowa State, University
of Northern Iowa, Western Kentucky
Notable Non-Conference Losses: Wichita State, Virginia Tech
Conference Wins: Northwestern, Wisconsin, Penn State
head coach Fran McCaffery led the Hawkeyes to a few good wins over a couple of
mid-major programs during the non-conference season, and Iowa appeared to be
turning the corner thanks to a strong freshman class.
brought an 11-2 record into Big Ten play. They have had some struggles against
the tough conference competition, but three of their losses have been by three
points or fewer.
So far this
season, junior Roy Devyn Marble leads the Hawkeye attack. The guard/small
forward has been a strong leader for a young team. Sophomore Aaron White has
had some strong performances, too. Along with the top scorers, two freshmen in guard
Mike Gesell and center Adam Woodbury have Iowa fans believing in this team
know how to score points. They are averaging 73.0 points per game, just behind
the Gophers at fourth in the conference.
Iowa to be a sleeper team this season. If they continue to win their most winnable
games, and pick up a few victories from ranked teams as well, the Hawkeyes
could still finish somewhere in the middle of the Big Ten. A finish in the
upper half would be a major accomplishment for this young team.
Austin Hollins has emerged as one of the Gophers' go-to scorers this season.
Go behind-the-scenes with Gopher juinor Austin Hollins in this exclusive video feature story on the Tennessee native. The junior guard is having a solid season in 2012-13, averaging 10.9 points and 29 minutes per game.
This feature originally aired during "Gopher Basketball with Tubby Smith" which appears each Friday during Big Ten Season on Fox Sports North. Check your local listings for times and more details.
Hollins scored a career-high 21 points against Michigan earlier this season and also led the way in the Gophers' Jan. 6 victory over Northwestern at Williams Arena, hitting a career-high five three-pointers in just three minutes of play.
The Gophers and Cornhuskers will meet again in March.
In just its
second year playing Big Ten basketball, Nebraska hopes it can make a little
noise as the Cornhuskers transition into what they hope will be a contender in
years to come.
who was the head coach at Colorado State last year and took over for the fired
Doc Sadler, has a team with only one returning starter in Brandon Ubel. Miles
has been making progress on the recruiting trail, but it may take a little
while before he sees the Cornhuskers make a move in the Big Ten.
Cornhuskers lost 73 percent of the team's minutes from last year's squad,
meaning a lot of inexperienced players are getting a chance to contribute this
year. To take some of that burden, they are relying on a pair of freshmen and a
couple of transfers.
Nebraska is off
to a 2-6 start in the conference season. While the transition to better
basketball may take a little while, the Cornhuskers hope to finish strong
during this steppingstone season as they wait for Miles recruits to hit the
This Saturday, the No. 12 Gophers will look to bounce back from some tough losses as they take on Wisconsin at the Kohl Center in Madison. Gophersports.com's Jeff Fett takes a look at Minnesota's border rival.
Head Coach: Bo Ryan Current Record: 13-6, 4-2 Big Ten Last Year's Big Ten Record: 12-6
Top 5 Leading Scorers: Jared Berggren-12.5 ppg; Ryan Evans-10.9 ppg; Ben Brust-10.6 ppg; Sam Dekker-9.2 ppg; Mike Bruesewitz-7.5 ppg.
Top 5 Leading Rebounders: Ryan Evans-7.0 rpg; Jared Berggren-6.4 rpg; Ben Brust-5.7 rpg; Mike Bruesewitz-5.2 rpg; Sam Dekker-3.4 rpg. Notable Non-Conference Wins: Arkansas, California Notable Non-Conference Losses: Florida, Marquette, Virginia, Creighton
Conference Wins: Penn State, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana
Conference Losses: Iowa, Michigan State
Wisconsin is one of those teams you can always pencil in to compete in the top half of the Big Ten and, once in a while, make a long run in the NCAA tournament. This year should be the same. The Badgers have 12 of 14 lettermen returning and a solid freshman class contributing right now.
The season did not get started the way Wisconsin wanted. The Badgers lost Jordan Taylor to graduation and then lost his replacement, Josh Gasser, to a torn ACL. But the Badgers still got off to a 4-0 start in Big Ten play. Ben Brust has been taking the reins leading the Badger backcourt.
Perhaps Wisconsin's biggest strength is inside. Forwards Jared Berggren, Mike Bruesewitz and Ryan Evans have been making life difficult for teams to pound the ball inside night in and night out. They've also been getting help from athletic 6-7 freshman forward Sam Dekker.
If there is a weakness on this team it is that the Badgers do not have the premier scorer that can light it up night in and night out. They play as a team in every sense of the word.
The Badgers have not missed the NCAA tournament since 1998, and if their backcourt can stay productive, they should make it again this year.
The Gophers met the media after their Tuesday afternoon practice to preview Wednesday's game at Northwestern. Minnesota picked up a home win against the Wildcats earlier this month, but has not won at Welsh-Ryan Arena since 2008. Sophomore point guard Andre Hollins feels that dealing with the Northwestern crowd will be a factor in the game.
Dre Hollins will make his second trip to Welsh-Ryan Arena.
"They play really well at home," he said. "And we have to get back to playing good defense. We haven't played the best defense these past couple games. Taking care of the ball is the No. 1 thing. We've beaten ourselves in almost every game that we've lost. That's going to be key--taking care of the ball, making shots and playing good, sound basketball."
Minnesota won this season's first matchup 69-51 behind Austin Hollins' 19 points, but the Gophers will not take the Wildcats lightly.
"Bill Carmody and his staff, their team--they always find a way to make adjustments to give themselves a chance," head coach Tubby Smith said.
The Gophers are looking to snap a two-game losing streak. After starting Big Ten play with a 3-0 record, the Gophers lost to two of the top teams in the conference in Indiana and Michigan. Minnesota is still No. 12 in the country, and still has a positive outlook moving forward. The Gophers will try to start a new winning streak on Wednesday night.
"We definitely can't let those two losses get to us," senior forward Rodney Williams said. "We've got a long season left ahead of us. This will be a chance for us to show everybody what we've really got."
The Gopher men's basketball team is halfway through the season, and the offense that was projected to be a strength before the season is one that is showing up on the stats sheets.
As a team, the Gophers appear in the top 50 out of 345 teams in the nation in several offensive categories right now. They have also lit up the stat sheet in a few areas on the defensive side as well.
* Won-lost percentage: 83.3% (24th) * Final points: 45th * Scoring offense: 76.2 points per game (37th) * Scoring margin over opponents: 13.7 points per game (26th) * Field goal percentage: 47.1% (31st) * Rebound margin over opponents: 9.8 (4th) * Assists per game: 16.4 per game (18th) * Blocked shots per game: 6.4 per game (8th) * Steals per game: 9.6 per game (15th)
Mbakwe has ruled the boards in the Big Ten.
So far the Gophers are still in the early stages of the Big Ten season, but they are dominating in blocks per game, which they have done for the last five years. They are also tops in the conference in several other categories as seen below.
* Blocked shots: 6.4 per game * Steals: 9.6 per game * Offensive rebounds: 16.0 per game * Offensive rebound percentage: 47.9%
Statistically, the Gophers have several players in the top 10 in the Big Ten individually, primarily led by senior forwards Trevor Mbakwe and Rodney Williams. Sophomore guard Andre Hollins is also lighting up the stat sheet in several categories as well.
* Scoring: Andre Hollins-14.3 points per game (10th) * Field goal percentage: Mbakwe- 58.3% (5th), Williams-53.1% (9th) * Assists: Andre Hollins-3.7 per game (9th) * Free throw percentage: Andre Holins-77.2% (10th) * Steals: Austin Hollins-2.1 steals per game (2nd), Joe Coleman-1.6 steals per game (9th) * 3-point field goal percentage: Andre Hollins- 42.9% (5th), Austin Hollins-41.0% (10th) * 3-point field goals made: Andre Hollins-2.0 per game (t-8th) * Blocked shots: Mbakwe-1.7 per game (3rd), Williams-1.4 (4th) * Rebounds: Mbakwe-8.2 per game (t-1st) * Offensive rebounds: Mbakwe-3.2 per game (1st), Williams 2.8 per game (2nd) * Defensive rebounds: Mbakwe-5.0 per game (6th)
In the conference-only standings, the Gophers top several statistical categories. Team * 3-point field goal percentage: 46.8% * Assists: 16.2 per game * Rebounding margin: 8.8 per game * Blocks: 6.0 per game * Offensive rebounds: 14.2 per game * Offensive rebounding percentage: 45.2% Individual * Rebounds: Mbakwe-10.8 per game * Offensive rebounds: Mbakwe-4.4 per game * Defensive rebounds: Mbakwe-6.4 per game * 3-point field goal percentage: Austin Hollins-59.3% * 3-point field goals: Austin Hollins-3.2 per game
Thursday evening at the Barn marks one of the most anticipated match-ups in
recent Gopher basketball history: No. 5 Michigan takes on No. 9 Minnesota in
the first game between Top-10 ranked teams at Williams Arena since 1972 (not
counting the vacated season of 1976-77). GopherSports.com's Jeff Fett gives us
a quick look at the Wolverines.
Big Ten Preview: Michigan
Thursday marks the first match-up of Top-10 teams at Williams Arena since 1977.
Head Coach: John Beilein
Last Year's Big 10 Record:
Year's Big 10 Record: 3-1 (Ws vs. Northwestern, Iowa, Nebraska; Loss at OSU).
Top 5 Leading Scorers: Trey Burke-18.0 ppg; Tim
Hardaway Jr.-16.1 ppg; Nik Stauskas-12.7 ppg; Glenn Robinson III-12.3 ppg;
Jordan Morgan-6.6 ppg.
Top 5 Leading Rebounders: Mitch McGary-5.4 rpg; Glenn
Robinson III-5.8 rpg; Jordan Morgan-5.5 rpg; Tim Hardaway Jr.-5.4 rpg; Nik
year's Michigan team is unlike ones in year's past. The Wolverines still rely
on the 3-point ball, but not as much. Michigan also has much more athleticism.
Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke lead a team that hasn't lost a game this
make things worse for the other teams in the Big Ten, Michigan has a freshman
class that's making a big impact right now. Power forwards Glenn Robinson III,
Mitch McGary and guard Nik Stauskas add depth and more athleticism to a team
that already has an abundance of it. Michigan
has played well against tough non-conference opponents. They've beat up on West
Virginia and Kansas State, and handled N.C. State, who's been in the top 20 all
only slight weakness is how young this team is. Three of the Wolverines top six
scorers are freshmen this season.
being upset in the second round of the NCAA tournament last year, the question
remains how much has Michigan learned from that experience. The
Wolverines should be a strong contender for the Big Ten title this year and if
everything falls just right, they should be in the hunt for a National
Championship as well.
Gopher Basketball is riding high - the Gophers have started the B1G season 3-0 and are 15-1 overall. Their No. 8 national ranking (AP Poll) is also the highest of the Tubby Smith era and best since the vacated 1996-97 season. The Gophers travel to Indiana Saturday morning for an epic conference showdown; GopherSports.com writer Jeff Fett takes an early look at the Hoosiers.
Big Ten Preview: Indiana
Head Coach: Tom Crean
Last Year's Big 10 Record: 11-7
This Year's Big 10 Record: 2-0 (wins over Iowa and Penn State)
Top 5 Leading Scorers: Cody Zeller-16.5 ppg; Victor Oladipo-13.3 ppg; Christian Watford-12.7 ppg; Will Sheehey-12.1 ppg; Jordan Hulls-11.1 ppg.
Top 5 Leading Rebounders: Cody Zeller-7.9 rpg; Christian Watford-6.5 rpg; Victor Oladipo-5.9 rpg; Will Sheehey-4.1 rpg; Kevin Ferrell-3.3 rpg.
Notable non-conference wins: Georgia, Georgetown, North Carolina, North Dakota State
Notable non-conference losses: Butler
The Gophers went into Assembly Hall last season and took down the Hoosiers.
Indiana has some big aspirations this season. Not only do they expect to battle for the Big Ten title, they are hungry for a national title this season.
Indiana has everything to expect for a team that could make a long run in the NCAA tournament. They have preseason player of the year in center Cody Zeller. They have solid power forwards in Christian Watford and Will Sheehey. They have an experienced backcourt in guards Victor Oladipo and Jordan Hulls.
Everything is there this season. The only thing stopping the Hoosiers is consistency on the defensive side of the ball. Head Coach Tom Crean has been preaching that to his team, and they have responded. They've only allowed 60 plus points in four contests this season.
Indiana doesn't have many holes in its lineup this season. Barring any major injuries, they should be a serious contender for the Big Ten title. It's also feasible to see them making a run to the final four and possibly the national championship game.