2009 76 Classic Finale - Anaheim Convention Center: The Gophers will play for third place at the 2009 76 Classic on Nov. 29 against the Texas A&M Aggies. A&M lost to West Virginia 73-66 in the semi-finals of the classic.
Minnesota opened the third annual 76 Classic with an 82-73 victory over the No. 10/12 ranked Butler Bulldogs on Thanksgiving night before falling to Portland 61-56 in the semi's on Nov. 27.
Minnesota opened the 2009-10 season on Nov. 13 with a win over Tennessee Tech, in what was Tubby Smith's 600th career game as a head coach. They followed that up with a 40-point victory over Stephen F. Austin on Nov. 16 and a 76-51 victory over Utah Valley.
About the Golden Gophers:
- Minnesota has a combined record of 26-3 under Tubby Smith in regular-season non-conference games, including a perfect 12-0 record to start the 2008-09 season.
- Under Tubby Smith, Minnesota is 20-0 in regular season non-conference games at Williams Arena. Dating back to the 2006-07 season under Jim Molinari, Minnesota has won 22 consecutive non-conference regular season home games.
- Smith is now 7-4 with Minnesota in neutral site games.
- Smith is 31-8 (.795) overall at Williams Arena during his two-plus seasons at Minnesota.
- Minnesota is allowing just 59.2 points per game at Williams Arena under Smith (39 games). The Gophers allowed just 58.4 ppg at the Barn in 2008-09 in 18 games and 62.2 in 2007-08. Under Smith, opponents have only reached 70 points eight times in 39 games (21% of the time).
- Colton Iverson recorded his first career double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds Nov. 26 against Butler. His 11 boards was also a career high.
- The Gophers were led a season ago by guard Lawrence Westbrook. He averaged a career-high 12.6 ppg. He also established career-highs in average minutes played (24.1), field-goal percentage (.430) and free-throw percentage (.833). He is now 190 points away from 1,000 for his career.
- Guard Devoe Joseph led Minnesota during the exhibition season with a 19.5 ppg average.
- Gopher freshmen Justin Cobbs and Rodney Williams made their collegiate debuts on Nov. 13 against Tennessee Tech. Williams scored 14 points in 21 minutes played while Cobbs was scoreless in seven minutes.
About the Aggies:
- Texas A&M is located in College Station, Texas.
- The Aggies are coached by Mark Turgeon (Third Season).
- Texas A&M is also 4-1 this season, with wins over Angelo State, SMU, Samford and Clemson. The Aggies fell to West Virginia in the semi-final round of the 76 Classic.
- The Aggies are led by senior guard Donald Sloan, who is averaging a team-high 17.4 points. Fellow senior Bryan Davis leads the team with 7.0 rebounds per game.
- The Aggies went 24-10 last season and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
- Minnesota leads the all-time series 1-0.
- The Gophers won 69-63 at Williams Arena during the 1979-80 season.
- The Gophers are 85-42 all-time against teams in the Big 12 Conference.
- Tubby Smith has never faced Portland as a head coach.
- Smith is 9-12 all-time versus teams in the Big 12 Conference.
Gophers at In-Season Tournaments:
- The Golden Gophers have appeared in 41 in-season tournaments prior to this season's 76 Classic and have amassed a record of 63-38 (.624).
- From 1974-81, Minnesota played host to the Pillsbury Classic. The Gophers never dropped a game in the classic, thus winning all eight titles. w Minnesota's most memorable tournament was the 1994 Great Alaska Shootout, where the unranked Gophers defeated No. 5 Arizona, No. 21 Villanova and BYU en route to the title.
- Minnesota was part of the 1993 Preseason NIT, the only time in school history. The Gophers opened with wins over Rice and Georgia at home before heading to New York to take on Kansas. Minnesota was ranked ninth at the time but dropped games to No. 6 Kansas and No. 1 North Carolina at Madison Square Garden..
Off the Bench: Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith uses his entire roster and it shows in the boxscore. The Gophers non-starters have outscored their opponents 158-63 this season, including a 46-8 margin in their victory over Butler in the first round of the 76 Classic on Nov. 26.
The Gophers are 3-1 this season when their bench outscores its opponents and are 39-18 in the Tubby Smith era in that category.
Leading the way off the bench for Minnesota is guard Devoe Joseph. The sophomore from Pickering, Ontario, Canada has come off the bench in three of the four games this season and is averaging 11.8 points in those games. Overall, Joseph is averaging a career-high 11.0 points per game.
Opponent Differential Leading Bench Scorer
Tennessee Tech 31-15 Rodney Williams (14)
Stephen F. Austin 46-14 Devoe Joseph (15)
Utah Valley 16-20 Paul Carter (10)
Butler 46-8 Joseph (14)
Portland 19-6 Joseph (11)