Gophers Back Home to Face Southeastern Louisiana
Minnesota returns home after a 70-64 victory over the Louisville Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. The Gophers will not leave Williams Arena until a Jan. 8 tilt with the Iowa Hawkeyes in Iowa City.
About the Golden Gophers:
- Minnesota is a perfect 10-0 to start the 2008-09 season, the best start to a season since the 1976-77 Gopher squad began 11-0.
- The Gophers are led by junior guard Lawrence Westbrook, who is averaging a career-high 12.8 ppg.
- Gopher sophomore Al Nolen played the best game of his young career, as he is coming off a career-high 18 points to go along with five rebounds and five assists while only managing one turnover in 36 minutes against Louisville. Nolen is second in the conference with 6.0 assists per game and also ranks second with a 3.53 assist/turnover ratio.
- Gopher junior Travis Busch came off the bench to score a career-high 13 points and tie a career-high with six rebounds while playing a career-high 25 minutes against Louisville.
- The 23rd ranked Golden Gophers haven’t faced another team while ranked since the No. 25 locals faced the No. 5 ranked Oregon Ducks on in Eugene on Dec.22, 2002. Minnesota lost the game 90-81.
About the Lions:
- Southeastern Louisiana is coached by Jim Yarbrough (Ninth Season, Fourth at SELU)
- The Lions are 6-4 this season with wins over Miles College, Dillard, Southern, Southern-New Orleans, Millsaps College and Jackson State.
- SELU is led by senior forwards Kevyn Green (20.0 ppg) and Warrell Span (12.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg).
- Minnesota leads the all-time series 1-0, thanks to a Spencer Tollackson tip-in basket at the buzzer to give the Gophers a 63-61 victory on Dec. 30, 2006.
- Tubby Smith is also 1-0 against Southeastern Louisiana, having defeated the Lions 97-70 during the 1991-92 season while at Tulsa University.
- Tubby Smith is also 3-0 all-time against teams that belong to the Southland Conference with wins over Nicholls State, Texas-San Antonio and SELU.
- The Gophers are 4-0 all-time against teams that belong to the Southland Conference with wins over Nicholls State, Texas-Arlington, Texas-San Antonio and SELU.
Gophers Enter the Polls
- The 10-0 Gophers are nationally-ranked for the first time since 2002, as they entered the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls as No. 23 ranked team in the country. Minnesota earned the ranking with a 70-64 victory over No. 9 Louisville on Dec.20.
- The Gophers were last ranked in the AP poll on December 17, 2002 (No. 25) and December 9, 2002 in the ESPN/USA Today poll (No. 25). Minnesota is one of just 10 unbeaten teams remaining in the country. Minnesota was ranked for six consecutive weeks to start the 2002-03 season.
- The victory over Louisville was the first win over a top 10-ranked opponent since Feb. 9, 200 when Minnesota beat No. 9 Indiana 77-75.
- Including Minnesota's win over No. 22 Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament last season, the Maroon and Gold has won consecutive games over ranked opponents for the first time since 2006.
- The win over Louisville was also the first over a ranked opponent away from Williams Arena since March 23, 1990 when Minnesota defeated No. 6 Syracuse in the NCAA Southeast Regional in New Orleans (not including vacated games).
- Minnesota is one of five ranked teams from the Big Ten Conference, joining Purdue (AP 10, ESPN 15), Michigan State (11/18), Ohio State (15/13) and Michigan (24/NR).
At Home in a New Home
- Under Tubby Smith, Minnesota is 15-0 in regular season non-conference games at Williams Arena. Dating back to the 2006-07 season under Jim Molinari, Minnesota has won 17 consecutive non-conference regular season home games.
- Smith is 20-5 (.800) overall at Williams Arena during his two seasons at Minnesota.
- Minnesota is allowing just 61.3 points per game at Williams Arena under Smith (25 games). The Gophers are allowing just 59.6 ppg at the Barn in 2008-09 through eight games. Under Smith, opponents have only reached 70 points five times in 25 games (20% of the time).
The Gophers are one of only 10 teams that remain perfect on the 2008-09 season. Fellow Big Ten Conference member Ohio State joins Minnesota on the list. The Gophers haven’t been undefeated this late in a season since 1976-77.
North Carolina 11-0
Illinois State 10-0
Wake Forest 10-0
Ohio State 8-0
The Gophers have begun the 2008-09 season with 10 straight victories, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since beginning the 1976-77 season with 11 straight wins. Further, Tubby Smith has won his first 10 games of the season for the first time in his illustrious career.
Best Gopher Beginnings w/out a Loss
Season Start Final Record
1901-02 15-0 15-0
1902-03 13-0 13-0
1918-19 13-0 13-0
1948-49 13-0 18-3
1916-17 11-0 17-2
1976-77 11-0 24-3
1938-39 10-0 14-6
2008-09 10-0 ---
1972-73 9-0 21-5
1906-07 8-0 10-2
1975-76 8-0 16-10