gophers men’s gameday
season opener • 7 P.M. VS. LEHIGH • WILLIAMS ARENA • 1500-AM/ESPN3
Gophers update: After two relatively breezy exhibitions, Minnesota is ready to test life in games that count. The team is still getting comfortable with coach Richard Pitino’s up-tempo, pressing system, and Friday will bring a step up in opposing talent. C Mo Walker led the team with 28 points in the two exhibitions, and added 18 rebounds. Pitino is expected to keep the same lineup he’s been using: Deandre Mathieu, Andre Hollins, Austin Hollins, Oto Osenieks and Elliott Eliason. The Gophers have shot well leading up to the opener, making 56.2 percent of their shots from the field and 30.5 percent from three-point range.
Lehigh update: The Mountain Hawks are another team in transition after going 21-10 a year ago. There are seven newcomers, plus sophomore Jesse Chuku, who sat out last season. Senior G Mackey McKnight led the team with 11.9 points and 3.6 assists per game a year ago. The Mountain Hawks — a team that emphasizes the drive — should be the first real test for the Gophers’ restraint when it comes to touch fouls, which will be called much more after the NCAA put new rules in place this year. Lehigh, which upset Duke in the first round of the NCAA tournament in 2012, hasn’t won its season opener since 2008.
Watching on ESPN3: Cable and satellite subscribers can watch the game on their computers or tablets. Download the free ESPN app for tablets or go to http://espn.go.com/watchespn/ on your computer.