Gophers men Gameday
8:30 p.m. vs. Florida State • Williams Arena • ESPNU, 1500-AM
Gophers at a glance: The challenges don’t stop for Minnesota, which is fresh off a 1-2 showing at the Maui Invitational, barely scooting by a pesky Division II Chaminade team in the battle for seventh place. The Gophers saw a new level of production in the tournament from senior guard Malik Smith, who averaged 15.6 points in the three games after netting just 6.6 a contest heading into the island competition. But Minnesota struggled in several regards on the trip. The shooting was inconsistent, the defense – especially in the interior — was some of the slackest all season, with opponents shooting 46.4 percent from the field against the Gophers, and the team coughed up 35 turnovers in the first two games.
Florida State at a glance: One year after playing host to the Gophers in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, the Seminoles travel to the Midwest to play Minnesota again. The perennially tough Seminoles figure to challenge the Gophers with their tremendous size and toughness down low. The Seminoles actually have three players 7 feet or taller on their roster, but luckily for Minnesota, one of them — Kiel Turpin — still is nursing a knee injury. Florida State is averaging 38.7 rebounds a game. The 5-2 Seminoles have played a demanding schedule already, with their only two losses coming against No. 22 Michigan and at No. 15 Florida, while notching victories at Central Florida and against Virginia Commonwealth. The Seminoles have been shooting really well, hitting 49.6 percent of their shots from the field and 34.9 percent from three-point range. Ian Miller leads the team in scoring, averaging 15.1 points off the bench.