GAME INFORMATION Date: Thursday, January 12, 2012 Time: 7:00 p.m. CT Location: Bloomington, Ind. Arena: Assembly Hall (17,472) Television: BTN Gus Johnson (Play-by-Play) Jim Jackson (Analyst) Radio: Learfield/1500 ESPN Twin Cities Mike Grimm (Play-by-Play) Spencer Tollackson (Analyst)
SERIES INFORMATION Series: 151st meeting (62-88) Series (Away): 75th meeting (18-56) Current Streak: L-1 Last Meeting: Feb. 2, 2011 (L, 57-60) Tubby Smith vs. Indiana: 20th meeting (13-6) Minnesota vs. Current Big Ten: 702-741 Tubby Smith vs. Current Big Ten: 53-5
Game Day Tid Bits: • Minnesota travels to Indiana to face its first top-10 ranked team this season. The Hoosiers come into the game ranked as high as the #7/8 ranked team in the country. • Minnesota has won five games against top-10 teams under the tutelage of head coach Tubby Smith. Smith has 30 career wins over top-10 ranked teams. • Indiana has defeated a #1 team (Kentucky) and a #2 team (Ohio State) already this season. They are the first Big Ten team to do so since the 1952-53 Gophers. Minnesota beat #2 Illinois, 77-73, and #1 Indiana, 65-63, at Williams Arena that season. The Gophers were led that season by Charley Mencl, who averaged 18.0 ppg. Mencl’s jersey was retired by the program during the 2010-11 season. • Gopher junior Rodney Williams collected his third career double-double, and second in as many games, with career-high’s of 19 points and 14 rebounds against Purdue. Williams’ double-double against Iowa was the Gophers’ first since Trevor Mbakwe contributed 16 points & 12 boards in a win over DePaul on Nov. 24. • Minnesota has led the Big Ten Conference in blocked shots during the last three seasons, including three of the top four season block totals in the history of the Gopher program: a program leading 201 in 2008-09, 199 in 2009-10 and 169 last season. Senior Ralph Sampson III led the team in blocked shots last season and is currently fourth all-time in program history with 184 career swats. Minnesota has blocked 97 shots already this season for an average of 5.7 per game, tops in Big Ten, led by Rodney Williams with 27. Williams is third in the conference with an average of 1.6 bpg. Sampson III is seventh at 1.3 bpg.
Mass Improvement • The Gophers’ roster includes eight players that are competing in their first seasons in Minneapolis but the roster also includes five players that have played significant minutes in Maroon & Gold. • Of those players, four are putting up career numbers. The other, senior Ralph Sampson III, is averaging just under the career numbers he posted last season. • Also, one of the “newcomers”, Julian Welch, is posting improved numbers from his only other season of Division 1 hoops, his freshman season at Cal-Davis.
Gophers Against Top-10 Teams: • Tubby Smith has five victories over top-10 ranked teams in his first four seasons at Minnesota. Smith has a total of 30 career victories over top-10 teams. • Prior to Smith’s arrival, the Gophers hadn’t defeated a top 10 team since February 9, 2000 when Minnesota beat No. 9 Indiana 77-75. • The win over No. 8 Purdue on Jan. 13, 2011 at Williams arena was Minnesota’s fifth victory over a top 10 ranked team under Smith. • The Gophers defeated No. 8 North Carolina in the second round of the 2010 Puerto rico Tip-Off on Nov. 19. • The Gophers beat No. 6 Purdue and No. 10 Butler during the 2009-10 season and No. 9 Louisville during the 2008-9 season.
Williams is Showing his Versatility: • Minnesota foward Rodney Williams has adapted well since being moved to the power forward position following the loss of Trevor Mbakwe. • Williams set career-highs with 19 points and 14 rebounds against Purdue (1/8), his third career double-double and second in as many games. • Williams leads the team in scoring, rebounding, blocks, steals, field goal percentage, minutes played and is third in assists. • In the 10 games since being moved, Williams’ numbers have improved across the board:
From the Line: • Minnesota is shooting .701 (251-358) as a team, up from last season when the team finished at .660 (479-726). • The Gophers have seven players that are shooting above .700 from the line and four players shooting above .800, led by Ralph Sampson III at .875 (21-24). • The aforementioned seven players are combining to shoot .799 (195-244) from the line. • Julian Welch is currently fifth in the Big Ten Conference in free throw percentage at .857 (42-49). Sampson III doesn’t have enough attempts to qualify for the conference leaders. • Gopher freshman Andre Hollins sits at .867 (26-30), which would put him fourth in the Big Ten, but he doesn’t have enough attempts to qualify for the conference leaders. • Welch went into the game against Saint Peter’s (12/10) in the midst of a free throw streak He made his first two attempts to bring the streak to 25 straight but missed his next attempt. • Welch’s streak of 25-straight was the longest Gopher free throw streak since Lawrence Westbrook hit 31 straight from the charity stripe. • Terrance Woods (1986-87) holds the Gopher season free throw percentage record at .882 (45-51). • The Gophers career free throw percentage leader is Voshon Lenard (.810).