|#14/21 Minnesota (9-1) vs. USC (3-5)
||Saturday, December 8, 2012
||9:30 p.m. CT
||Galen Center (10,258)
||Sixth Meeting - Minnesota leads 3-2
||W, 55-40 (Dec. 3, 2011)
||PAC-12 Network (Ted Robinson, Don MacLean)
||Learfield/1500 ESPN (Listen Online)
||(Mike Grimm, Spencer Tollackson)
||Minnesota | USC
||Minnesota | USC
||Facebook | @GopherBBall | @CoachTubbySmith
The Last Meeting
December 3, 2011
Minnesota Shuts Down Trojans, 55-40
Junior guard Julian Welch scored 16 points and dished out six assists, and junior forward Rodney Williams had 12 points, nine boards, and four steals in Minnesota's 55-40 win versus visiting USC.
Series: Sixth Meeting (3-2)
Series Home/Away: 2-0/1-2
Current Streak: W-3
Last Meeting: W, 55-40 (Dec. 3, 2011)
Tubby Smith vs. Southern Cal: 3rd Meeting (1-1)
Minnesota vs. Pac-12: 39-27
Losses: ASU, Cal (2), Oregon (3), Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA (5), USC (2), Utah (2), Washington (9), Washington State
Tubby Smith vs. Pac-12: 16-6
Losses: Arizona (2), Stanford, UCLA (2), USC
Game Day Tid-Bits:
The Gophers and the USC Trojans are playing for the second-straight season and sixth time overall. Minnesota won 55-40 last season, led by Julian Welch with 16 points and six assists. Rodney Williams and Elliott Eliason contributed nine rebounds a piece.
The Gophers are making their first trip to Los Angeles to face USC since defeating the Trojans 74-67 on Dec. 29, 1980 in the first game of the first annual Winston Tire Classic at the L.A. Sports Arena. Minnesota, led by head coach Jim Dutcher, went on to beat North Carolina in the title game. UNC finished as the National Runner-up that season, losing to Indiana in the title game.
Minnesota also played USC in Los Angeles during the 1960 and 1967 seasons, both losses.
Gopher head coach Tubby Smith comes into the game against USC with 499 career wins. He is trying to become the 19th current active D1 coach to reach the 500-win plateau. Oklahoma's Lon Kruger became the 18th coach to reach the mark. He did so on Nov. 30 with a win over Northwestern State in Norman.
Andre Hollins scored a career-high 41 points against Memphis on Nov. 23 in the Battle 4 Atlantis becoming just the fourth player in Gopher basketball history to finish a game with 40 or more points and the first since Oliver Shannon finished with 42 points against Wisconsin during the 1970-71 season. Hollins' 41 points are the most scored by a Division 1 player this season.
Tubby Heading Toward 500:
With the victory over South Dakota State on Dec. 4, Gopher head coach Tubby Smith now has 499 career wins.
He will attempt to become just the 19th current active coach in NCAA D1 to reach the 500-win mark. Oklahoma's Lon Kruger became the 18th coach to reach the mark with a win over Northwestern State on Nov. 30 in Norman. Duke's Mike Krzyzewski is the all-time winningest coach with 935 career victories.
Smith became just the eighth coach in Minnesota history to win 100 games with a victory over La Salle in the opening round of the 2012 NIT. He now sits with 112 wins on the Gopher sideline, seven wins shy of passing Dan Monson on the Gophers' win list.
Smith holds the fourth-highest winning percentage in Minnesota history.
Smith has led Minnesota to the post season in four of his five seasons.
Minnesota currently has 10 players that are averaging at least 9.0 minutes played per game, led by Austin Hollins who is averaging a career-high 28.9 minutes per game.
Four of the Gophers' starting five of Hollins (28.9 mpg), Rodney Williams (28.6 mpg), Andre Hollins (27.6 mpg) and Joe Coleman (27.2 mpg) are averaging at least 27.0 mpg.
The Gophers have had five different players lead them in scoring through 10 games this season - Rodney Williams (4 times), Joe Coleman (2 times), Andre Hollins (2 times), Austin Hollins and Trevor Mbakwe.
Minnesota currently has four players that are averaging double digits in scoring, led by Andre Hollins at 13.7 ppg, and a fifth - Trevor Mbakwe - that is averaging just under at 8.4 ppg.
Minnesota has not had five players finish with a double-digit scoring average since the 1965-66 team had six players do so - Archie Clark (24.5 ppg), Lou Hudson (19.8 ppg), Paul Presthus (11.2 ppg), Tom Kondla (10.9 ppg), Dennis Dvoracek (10.7 ppg) & Wes Martins (10.3 ppg).