Gophers are Back at Williams Arena, Ready for Border Battle

Go Gophers! Ralph Sampson III has played in four career games against Wisconsin.
Go Gophers!
Ralph Sampson III has played in four career games against Wisconsin.
Go Gophers!
Minnesota (17-7, 5-6) vs. Wisconsin (18-6, 7-4)
Tickets Purchase Online
Date Thursday, February 9, 2012
Time 6 p.m. CT
Location Williams Arena (14,625)
Series Record Minnesota leads 94-85
Last Meeting L, 68-60 (Dec. 28, 2010)
Television ESPN (Dave O'Brien, Stephen Bardo)
Radio Learfield/1500 ESPN (Listen Online)
(Mike Grimm, Spencer Tollackson)
Live Stats Click Here
Game Notes Minnesota Get Acrobat Reader | Wisconsin Get Acrobat Reader
Season Statistics Minnesota | Wisconsin
Social Media Facebook | @MNGopherHoops | @CoachTubbySmith

SERIES INFORMATION
Series: 180th meeting (94-85)
Series (Home): 93rd meeting (61-31)
Current Streak: L-1
Last Meeting: Dec. 28, 2010 (L, 60-68)
Tubby Smith vs. Wisconsin: 8th meeting (4-3)
Minnesota vs. Current Big Ten: 707-743
Tubby Smith vs. Current Big Ten: 58-58

Game Day Tid-Bits:
• Minnesota is back at the friendly confines of Williams Arena following back-to-back road games at Iowa and at Nebraska.
• The Gophers hold a 94-85 overall record  (61-31 at home) against Wisconsin in a series that dates back to an 18-15 Minnesota victory on Feb. 17, 1900.
• Thursday evening's matchup will be the 180th between Minnesota and Wisconsin, the longest running series in the history of Gopher basketball. The Minnesota/Iowa series is second at 178 games.
• The Gophers & Badgers will play twice this season, the first time since the 2009 conference season that there will be a home-and-home series. Wisconsin has not visited Williams Arena since the 2010 conference season.
• Minnesota only has four active players on its roster that have logged minutes against Wisconsin. Maverick Ahanmisi, Austin Hollins & Rodney Williams have played one game against the Badgers while Ralph Sampson III has played in four border wars. Sampson III holds averages of 8.5 points & 6.0 rebounds in those four games. Williams missed the 2010 matchup with an injury.
• 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 third all-time in program history with 193 career swats. Minnesota has blocked 129 shots this season for an average of 5.4 per game, tops in Big Ten, led by Rodney Williams with 37. Williams is third in the conference with an average of 1.5 bpg. Sampson III is seventh at 1.3 bpg with 27 swats on the season.

Gophers Bench Making an Impact:
Tubby Smith has always utilized his entire roster. This year is no exception.
• Minnesota's second group of Maverick Ahanmisi, Chip Armelin, Elliott Eliason, Andre Hollins & Oto Osenieks are all averaging at least 10 minutes of court time.  
• The Gophers' bench outscored Nebraska 40-7, led by Armelin's career-high 15 points.
• Minnesota defeated Illinois ate Williams Arena on Jan. 28 behind39 points from the bench, again led by Armelin who contributed 14 points and a career-high seven rebounds.
• The Gophers are 14-3 this season and 79-38 under Smith when the bench outscores the oppositions's bench.

Smith Seeking 100th Win at Minnesota:
• With 20 wins during the 2011-12 season Golden Gopher head coach Tubby Smith could join a short list of coaches to reach the 100-win plateau at the University of Minnesota.
• Smith began the season with a Gopher record of 80-53 and currently stands at 97-60.
• Smith's 80 wins at Minnesota to start the 2011-12 season are the most by a coach in his first four seasons on the bench in Gold Country.
• Smith's winning percentage of .618 is the fourth highest in the history of the program.

Minnesota Coaches with 100 Wins

L.J. Cooke 250-135 (28 seasons)
Clem Haskins* 240-165 (13 seasons)
Dave McMillan 196-156 (18 seasons)
Jim Dutcher 190-113 (11 seasons)
O.B. Cowles 147-93 (11 seasons)
Dan Monson 118-106 (7 seasons)
John Kundla 110-105 (9 seasons)

Minnesota Coaches Winning Percentage

Bill Musselman .683: 69-32 (4 seasons)
L.J. Cooke .649: 250-135 (28 seasons)
Jim Dutcher .627: 190-113 (11 seasons)
Tubby Smith .618: 97-60 (5 seasons)

Tubby Smith Trends:
In four-plus seasons under Tubby Smith, Minnesota has followed some pretty significant winning trends:
• 87-9 when leading with 5:00 remaining
• 79-39 when bench outscores opponents bench
• 80-11 when leading at the half
• 57-15 with fewer turnovers than opponent
• 64-6 when scoring 70 points or more
• 65-19 at Williams arena
• 70-22 when outrebounding its opponent
• 69-15 when attempting more free throws than its opponent

Home Sweet Home:
• The Gophers have a record of 65-19 (.774) at Williams arena under head coach Tubby Smith  in his four-plus seasons at Minnesota.
• The Gophers went a perfect 10-0 during the non-conference schedule at Williams Arena. Under Smith, Minnesota is 41-1 in regular season non-conference games at "The Barn".
• Minnesota is allowing just 60.7 points per game at Williams arena under Smith (84 games). Under Smith, opponents have only reached 70 points 19 times in the 84 games at The Barn (22% of the time).
• So far this season the Gophers are giving up the least amount of points at Williams Arena in the Smith era at 57.6 points per game, nine fewer points allowed per game than a season ago.
• The previous best came during the 2008-09 campaign when Minnesota's opponents averaged 58.4 ppg.

Season Points (Games) Average
2011-12 806 (14) 57.6
2010-11 1132 (17) 66.6
2009-10 997 (17) 58.6
2008-09 1110 (19) 58.4
2007-08 1057 (17) 62.