Year two of Tubby’s Tipoff is in the books. The 2008-09 college basketball season officially is underway on college campuses across the country. Gopher fans at Williams Arena Friday night were entertained by a Gopher squad that includes five new players and eight others that saw significant time for Coach Smith during the 20-win season of 2007-08. The festivities were kicked off with player and coach introductions that brought the house down.
Following introductions, the Gophers competed in a three-point shooting contest, where Lawrence Westbrook defeated Blake Hoffarber 7-5 in the final. Junior guard Devron Bostick started his Gopher career with a bang as he took home the slam dunk contest thanks to scores from celebrity judges Jim Petersen and J.B. Bickerstaff (former Gophers) and Timberwolves forwards Mark Madsen and rookie Kevin Love.
Following Bostick’s win in the dunk contest, 20 minutes went on the Williams arena clock and the fans were able to see Golden Gophers basketball for the first time in 2008-09. Hoffarber led all scorers with 13 but his gold team was defeated by the maroon team 43-38. Senior co-captain Jamal Abu-Shamala led the maroon squad with 12.
A portion of the event was televised live on the Big Ten Network, as the network televised 2 hours of coverage during Big Ten Tonight: Basketball Season Tip-off Special.
The Golden Gophers open the regular season at Williams Arena on Friday, Nov. 14, against Concordia-St. Paul in the first game of the NABC Classic, a four-team round-robin tournament hosted by the University of Minnesota. Game two will pit the Gophers against Bowling Green on Saturday, Nov. 15 with game three taking place on Sunday, Nov. 16 against Georgia State.
The Maroon and Gold’s season actually gets underway on Monday, Nov. 3, in an exhibition slate versus St. Cloud State. Minnesota’s other exhibition game will be Thursday, Nov. 6 against Northern State. Both exhibition contests will be held at Williams Arena.
Single-game and season tickets are still available for the 2008-09 season. Fans interested in purchasing tickets may call the ticket office at 612-624-8080, or toll free at 1-800-U-GOPHER. Tickets may also be purchased through Minnesota’s official athletics department website, www.gophersports.com.