Preview: Gophers vs. Illinois
Jan. 2, 2018

Minnesota (12-3, 1-1) vs. Illinois (10-5, 0-2)
 Date / Time Wednesday, Jan. 3 | 8 p.m.
 Location Williams Arena - Directions
 Tickets MyGopherSports.com
 Travel Local Weather | Parking | Preferred Hotels
 TV Big Ten Network
 Watch Online BTN2Go
 Radio KFAN 100.3 FM
 Live Stats Gametracker
 Live Updates Click Here
 Game Notes Minnesota | Illinois
 Official Sites Minnesota | Illinois
 Social Media  Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

GAME INFORMATION
Date: Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Time: 8 p.m. CT
Location: Minneapolis, Minn.
Arena: Williams Arena (14,625)
TV/Live Video: BTN - Cory Provus (Play-by-Play); Shon Morris (Analyst)
Radio: Learfield/KFAN 100.3 FM
Mike Grimm (Play-by-Play); Spencer Tollackson (Analyst)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 83/XM 195


SERIES INFORMATION
Series: 179th Meeting (64-114)
Series (Home): 88th Meeting (43-44)
Current Streak: W-1
Richard Pitino vs. Illinois: 2-3
Minnesota vs. Big Ten: 748-812*
Richard Pitino vs. Big Ten: 31-50
* - excludes vacated games

STARTING FIVE
• With an 11-2 mark in non-conference play completed, the Minnesota men's basketball team returns to Big Ten Conference play for the rest of the year, hosting Illinois on Wednesday. This week's back-to-back B1G home games are the only conference homestand of the season for the Gophers.
• Steadily climbing up the career charts, junior Jordan Murphy recently crossed the 1,000-point mark and entered Minnesota top-10 list for rebounds. Murphy has pulled down 738 boards in his two and a half years in Maroon and Gold, where he now sits seventh behind Ron Johnson (820).
• Murphy is leading the team and Big Ten Conference averaging 19.1 points and 12.6 rebounds per game through the first 15 games - the latter statistic second in the nation as well. The three-time Big Ten Player of the Week became the first Gopher to win the award in back-to-back weeks. Murphy is also just the second Gopher to win it three times in the same season. He also leads the country in offensive rebounds (5.1) per game, as of Jan. 2.
Reggie Lynch is fourth in the country and leading the Big Ten with 3.9 blocks per game. Lynch passed Joel Przybilla on the Gophers' career list and now sits alone in fifth with 169 career blocks. As a team the Gophers are third in the country with 7.3 blocks per game.
• Murphy has posted 15 double-doubles (highest in the country) thus far this season, doing so in each of the first 15 games of the season. His 12 to start the season was a feat that hadn't been accomplished in 10 years nationwide, when Michael Beasley did so at Kansas State in the 2007-08 season, and his current run is the most since Tim Duncan had 17 at Wake Forest during the 1996-97 season.

SCOUTING THE ILLINI
• Illinois has compiled a 10-5 record in its first season under head coach Brad Underwood, including a pair of defeats during December's Big Ten play.
• The Illini fell twice in overtime last month, at in-state rival Northwestern (72-68) and at home against Maryland (92-91).
• Most recently, Illinois has won two straight with victories over Missouri (70-64) on Dec. 23 and Grand Canyon (62-58) on Saturday.
• Leron Black paces the Illini offense, scoring 14.8 points per game as one of three Illinois players to average double figures.
• Illinois is one of the top teams in the nation in forcing turnover, ranking 23rd nationally and second in the conference with a +4.3 turnover margin (as of Jan. 1).

WASHINGTON PUTS UP BIG NUMBERS IN START VS. HARVARD
• Making his second career start in place of the injured Nate Mason on Saturday against Harvard, freshman Isaiah Washington posted some impressive numbers.
• Washington just missed his first career double-double, as he grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds to lead all players and added nine points.
• He did it in a career-high 35 minutes, after coming into the game averaging just under 19 minutes per game. Washington also added two assists in the effort.
• The Harlem, N.Y., native's 13 boards were the most by a freshman at Minnesota since Jordan Murphy had 14 rebounds versus Rutgers on Feb. 23, 2016.

UP NEXT
• Minnesota continues its homestand on Saturday, hosting the Indiana Hoosiers at 4:15 p.m.
• ESPN2 and KFAN 100.3 FM will carry the broadcasts of the game.


 

 

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