Gophers Open Big Ten Play at Illinois

Go Gophers! Ralph Sampson III will play in his fourth Big Ten opener and is the only senior in the Gophers' lineup.
Go Gophers!
Ralph Sampson III will play in his fourth Big Ten opener and is the only senior in the Gophers' lineup.
Go Gophers!

Dec. 26, 2011

Minnesota Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Illinois Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

GAME INFORMATION
Date: Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Time: 6:30 p.m. CT
Location: Champaign, Ill.
Arena: Assembly Hall (16,618)
Television: BTN
Dave Revsine (Play-by-Play)
Jim Jackson (Analyst)
Radio: Learfield/1500 ESPN Twin Cities
Mike Grimm (Play-by-Play)
Spencer Tollackson (Analyst)

SERIES INFORMATION
Series: 166th meeting (59-106)
Series (Away): 82nd meeting (18-63)
Current Streak: L-1
Last Meeting: Feb. 10, 2011 (L, 62-71)
Tubby Smith vs. Illinois: Ninth meeting (3-5)
Minnesota vs. Current Big Ten: 702-737
Tubby Smith vs. Current Big Ten: 53-52

Game Day Tid-Bits:
• The Gophers open the 2011-12 Big Ten Conference schedule on the road for the second-consecutive season. Minnesota lost its opener last year at Wisconsin.
• Minnesota and Illinois have met a total of 165 times (not counting the vacated years), including 81 times in Champaign.
• The Gophers and Fighting Illini have split the last four matchups.   
• Minnesota's last win in the series came on Feb. 27, 2010, the last game between the two team in Champaign.
• Minnesota finished the non-conference schedule, 12-1 to tie the most non-conference wins by the Gophers in the Tubby Smith era. The Gophers also won 12 games during the 2008 non-conference slate and hold a record of 54-7 under Tubby Smith in regular-season non-conference games.   
• Minnesota has led the Big Ten Conference in blocked shots during the last three seasons, including three of the top four season block totals in the history of the Gopher program: a program leading 201 in 2008-09, 199 in 2009-10 and 169 last season. Senior Ralph Sampson III led the team in blocked shots last season and is currently fourth all-time in program history with 180 career swats. Minnesota has blocked 78 shots already this season for an average of 6.0 per game, tops in Big Ten, led by Rodney Williams with 21. Williams is fourth in the conference with an average of 1.6 bpg.

Recent Conference Openers:
• The Gophers open the 2011-12 Big Ten Conference slate with a pair of games on the road.
• The Gophers are 1-3 in conference openers under Tubby Smith.
• Minnesota holds a record of 10-15 in Big Ten Conference openers since the 1980-81 season (not counting vacated years).
• Three of the Gophers' 10 wins have come against Illinois.

Wins During the Non-Conference Schedule:
• The Gophers finished the 2011 non-conference schedule with a record of 12-1, tying the most non-conference wins by the Gophers in the Tubby Smith era. The Gophers also won 12 games during the 2008 non-conference slate
• Minnesota played 13 non-conference games for the first time under Tubby Smith.
• This was only the fourth time since the 1980-81 season that a Gopher team scheduled 13 games during the no-conference slate (not counting vacated years).
• Minnesota has finished the non-conference schedule 10 times since 1980-81 with one or fewer losses (not counting vacated years).
• Three of the 10 times have occured during the Tubby Smith regime.
Tubby Smith holds a record of 54-7 during the non-conference schedule since arriving in Gold Country.