Gophers' men’s basketball gameday

7 P.M. VS. SOUTHWEST MINN. ST. (EXHIB.) • Williams ARENA • NO TV

Preview: The Gophers limped out to a sluggish start vs. Minnesota Crookston in their first exhibition of the season Sunday, trailing 16-9 in the first half and taking a 30-26 lead by halftime, but responded with a tougher second half, ultimately claiming a 74-57 victory. Friday’s game against another in-state Division II team, is the Gophers’ final tuneup before the season officially begins vs. Missouri-Kansas City on Nov. 13. Southwest Minnesota State went 12-17 last season and is picked to finish eighth in the 16-team Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

Players to watch: Freshman 6-6 forward Jordan Murphy made his applause-inducing debut Sunday, posting up, dunking, rebounding out of his area and taking over late with 15 second-half points. Sophomore guard Nate Mason has the potential to build on a strong first half on Sunday and needs to be one of this team’s most reliable scorers. Both senior guard Carlos Morris and freshman guard Kevin Dorsey looked off on Sunday, combining to go 1-for-14 from the field.

Numbers: The Gophers shot only 13-for-25 (52 percent) from the free-throw line against Minnesota Crookston, concerning considering the Gophers were 12th in the league in free-throw shooting percentage a year ago.

Injuries: Gophers sophomore center Bakary Konate is expected to miss the final exhibition game because a stress fracture in his left foot.

Amelia Rayno