Minnesota vs. indiana: The Minnesota Golden Gophers will play host to the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday, Feb. 20 at Williams Arena, less than 48 hours after defeating border rival Wisconsin on Thursday night. The game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network with Wayne Larrivee and former Northwestern Wildcat Shon Morris on the call.
The Gophers will be looking to equal the season series after dropping game one against the Hoosiers on Jan. 17 in Bloomington. Minnesota was down by as many as 15 points in that game and needed a Devoe Joseph 10-footer with seconds remaining to put the game in to overtime. Indiana outscored the Gophers 11-8 in the extra session to gain the victory.
Joseph led the Gophers with 19 points and Ralph Sampson III chipped in with 17. Paul Carter nearly notched a double-double with nine points and 10 boards. Indiana sophomore Verdell Jones III played 40 of the game's 45 minutes and finished with a game-high 24 points.
About the Golden Gophers:
- Golden Gopher Head Coach Tubby Smith's all-time record stands at 444-180 (18th Season) while his Minnesota record is 57-35 (Third Season)
- The Gophers are amongst the nations leaders in many statistical categories. As of the NCAA's most recent stats (Thru games on Feb. 18), Minnesota is 7th in assists per game (17.1), 12th in three-point FG percentage (.397), 14th in blocked shots (6.0), 17th in steals per game (8.9) and 23rd in assist turnover ratio (1.30).
- Individually, Blake Hoffarber is first in the nation in 3-point FG percentage (.493) and 30th in three-point field goals per game (2.8). Also, Damian Johnson is first in the Big Ten Conference and sits 34th nationally with 2.1 steals per game.
- Minnesota leads the Big Ten Conference in blocked shots (151: 6.1 bpg), steals (222: 9.1 spg) and defensive field goal percentage (.397) and is third in field goal percentage (.472).
- Blake Hoffarber is averaging a career-high 11.8 ppg this season and is shooting .521 (99-190) from the field and .493 (71-144) from three-point land, also career highs.
- Hoffarber is averaging 14.2 ppg and is shooting .569 (87-153) from the field and .532 (60-113) from behind the arc over the last 18 games. Lawrence Westbrook is close behind at 13.4 ppg while shooting .494 from the field in that same stretch.
-Westbrook leads Minnesota in scoring for the season with a career-high 13.2 points per game. He joined the Gophers' 1,000 point club with a pair of free throws in the second half against Michigan State on Jan. 23. He enters the Indiana game with 1,080 career points, which is 28th on the Gophers' all-time scoring list.
- Ralph Sampson III is the Gophers' leading rebounder with a career-high 6.2 boards per game. He collected his second career double-double, both this season, with 13 points and 10 rebounds at Penn State (2/06).
- Al Nolen will miss the rest of the season after being declared academic ineligible by the NCAA.
- The Gophers went 8-0 this season at Williams Arena during the non-conference schedule. Under Smith, Minnesota is 25-0 in regular season non-conference games at the Barn. Dating back to the 2006-07 season under Jim Molinari, Minnesota has won 27 consecutive non-conference regular season home games.
- Smith is 40-10 (.800) overall at Williams Arena during his two-plus seasons at Minnesota.
- Minnesota is allowing just 59.8 points per game at Williams Arena under Smith (50 games). The Gophers allowed just 58.4 ppg at the Barn in 2008-09 in 19 games and 62.2 in 17 games during the 2007-08 season. Under Smith, opponents have only reached 70 points 11 times in 50 games at the Barn (22% of the time).
About the Hoosiers:
- Tom Creen is in his 2nd season as the head coach at Indiana. He came to Bloomington after nine seasons at the helm of the Marquette program. He went 190-96 at Marquette, taking the Golden Eagles to five NCAA Tournaments and the 2003 Final Four.
- Indiana freshman Maurice Creek leads the team in scoring at 16.4 per game but will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury. Sophomore Verdell Jones III is not far behind at 14.8 ppg while freshman Christian Watford scores 12.8 ppg and leads the team in rebounding at 5.8 rpg.
- Minnesota is 60-87 against Indiana all-time. The series dates back to a 34-7 Gopher victory in1912.
- Indiana won the first game of the season series, 81-78 in overtime on Jan. 17 in Bloomington. Verdell Jones III paced the Hoosiers with a then career-high 24 points.
- The Gophers had won three straight against the Hoosiers prior to the aforementioned tilt this season.
- The Gophers are 18-25 against the Hoosiers away from Minneapolis and 42-62 at home.
- Minnesota holds a record of 682-734 all-time within the Big Ten Conference.
- Tubby Smith is 11-5 against Indiana as a head coach, 3-3 since coming to Minnesota.