Minnesota Opens Big Ten Play against Michigan State

Go Gophers!
Rodney Williams leads Minnesota in scoring heading into B1G Conference play.

Go Gophers!
Rodney Williams leads Minnesota in scoring heading into B1G Conference play.
Go Gophers!
#11/14 Minnesota (12-1) vs. #19/19 Michigan State (11-2)
Tickets www.MyGopherSports.com
Date Monday, December 31, 2012
Time 1:00 p.m. CT
Location Williams Arena (14,625)
Series Record Michigan State leads 54-55
Last Meeting L, 61-66 (Feb. 22, 2012)
Television ESPN2 (Roxy Berstein, Jimmy Dykes)
Radio Learfield/1500 ESPN (Listen Online)
(Mike Grimm, Spencer Tollackson)
Satellite Radio Sirius 123/XM 190
Live Stats GameTracker
Game Notes Minnesota Get Acrobat Reader | Michigan State Get Acrobat Reader
Season Statistics Minnesota | Michigan State
Social Media Facebook | @MNGopherBBall | @CoachTubbySmith

SERIES INFORMATION
Series: 110th Meeting (54-55)
Series Home: 32-20
Current Streak: L-4
Last Meeting: L, 61-66 (Feb. 22, 2012)
Tubby Smith vs. MSU: 19th Meeting (3-15)
Minnesota vs. Big Ten: 709-750
Tubby Smith vs. Big Ten: 60-65
 
Game Day Tid-Bits:
• 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 2011 & 2008 non-conference slates and hold a record of 66-8 under Tubby Smith in regular-season non-conference games.
• Minnesota will head into the B1G opener against MSU ranked No. 11 in the latest AP poll. The ranking is the highest the Gophers have been in the Tubby Smith era and also the highest the program has been ranked since the 1981-82 team reached No. 5 in the polls. Minnesota did reach No. 2 during the 1996-97 season but that season has since been vacated.
• With the win over USC on Dec. 8, Tubby Smith 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, as he did so on Nov. 30 with a win over Northwestern State in Norman. Smith is the 24th fastest coach to reach the milestone, having done so in 714 career games.
• Smith currently has 115 wins on the bench at Minnesota, the seventh-most in the history of the program and four shy of passing Dan Monson for sixth on the list. He also holds the fourth-highest winning percentage in team history at .625 (115-69). L.J. Cooke sits atop the Gophers' win list with 250 wins in 28 seasons.
• The Gophers are averaging 41.0 rebounds per game this season, the highest rebounding average in the Tubby Smith era. Also, Minnesota is outrebounding its opponents by 10.2 rpg this season, the highest disparity in the Tubby Smith era. The Gophers lead the conference in offensive rebounds with an average of 16.7 offensive boards per game.

Big Ten Openers:
• The Gophers open the 2012-13 Big Ten Conference slate with a pair of games at the friendly confines of Williams Arena.
• The Gophers are 1-4 in conference openers under Tubby Smith.
• Minnesota holds a record of 10-16 in Big Ten Conference openers since the 1980-81 season (not counting vacated years).
• The Gophers and Spartans have met in the conference opener six times previously. Minnesota is 1-5 with three of the six games coming away from Williams Arena.

Gophers in the Polls:
• The Gophers began the season just outside the Preseason Top-25 polls. Minnesota is currently ranked No. 11 in the latest AP poll and No. 14 in the USA Today poll.
• Minnesota's No. 11 ranking in the AP poll is the highest ranking in the Tubby Smith era.
• It is also the highest ranking for Minnesota since the 1996-97 season. That season - since vacated -  the Gophers reached as high as No. 2 in the polls.
• Not counting vacated seasons, the No. 11 ranking is the highest for a Gopher team since the 1981-82 season. That season Minnesota reached No. 5 in the polls.
• The Gophers were ranked for 12-consecutive weeks during the 2010-11 season, the longest streak for Minnesota in the Tubby Smith era and the longest since the Gophers were ranked for the entire 1996-97 season.

Andre Hollins on Cousy Award Watch List:
• Sophomore Andre Hollins has been named to the Bob Cousy Award watch list. The award is given annually to the nation's top men's basketball point guard.
• He is one of 80 players across the country to be named to the watch list, which will be narrowed down to a final 20 in early January.
• Previous winners of the Bob Cousy Award have included Jameer Nelson (St. Joseph's), Raymond Felton (North Carolina), Dee Brown (Illinois), Acie Law (Texas A & M), DJ Augustin (Texas), Ty Lawson (North Carolina), Greivis Vasquez (Maryland), Kemba Walker (Connecticut) and last year's recipient Kendall Marshall (North Carolina). For more information on the 2013 Bob Cousy, log onto www.CousyAward.com.