cappedClick Here For 2002-03 Men's Basketball Final Release Notes
Season Recap: The University of Minnesota men's basketball team capped another successful season under head coach Dan Monson with the program's third trip to New York City and the NIT Final Four. The Golden Gophers finished with a 19-14 record, the most wins in Monson's four-year tenure.
It seemed as if the season was lost after four straight losses to NCAA tournament teams to end the regular season and a disappointing defeat in the Big Ten Tournament first round to Northwestern, but Monson rallied his troops and won three straight, two of those on the road, to reach the Big Apple. Minnesota opened NIT play at St. Louis and dominated the Billikins in their home arena winning 62-52. The Gophers returned home for the NIT second round and defeated a red-hot Hawai'i team, 84-70. And, in one of the finest efforts of the year, Minnesota defeated Temple in the third round in Philadelphia, 63-58 in overtime.
Even though the Gophers fell short to the Georgetown Hoyas in the semifinal round of the NIT at Madison Square Garden, they persevered and came together to accomplish something at the end of their season. < P> The Maroon and Gold said goodbye to two seniors, Kevin Burleson and Jerry Holman. Both left their marks on the Golden Gopher record book. Burleson finished his career second in assists (440), second in three-point field goal attempts (447), third in three point field goals (148), and fourth in steals (157). Holman leaves after just two seasons ranking ninth in blocks (95), and his .592 shooting percentage in 2002- 03 is the sixth-best in school history.
Four Gophers were awarded postseason honors after the Big Ten season. Sophomore forward Rick Rickert was named first team All-Big Ten by the conference coaches and garnered second team honors from the media. Rickert averaged 15.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and scored in double figures in 19 consecutive games to lead the Gophers in scoring for the second consecutive year.
Three other Gophers were selected honorable mention. Junior Michael Bauer was named honorable mention to both the coaches and media poll. Holman and sophomore Maurice Hargrow were awarded honorable mention honors by the conference coaches. It was the first such distinction for each player.
As a team, Minnesota set a school record for blocks in a season with 196, obliterating the previous record of 154 set in 1982-83. In addtion, the Gophers atttempted the most three-pointers in school history (663) and made the second most (237). Their three-point field goal percentage (.357) was the fifth-best in a season in school history.
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