Gophers senior guard Nate Mason is out for Saturday’s game against Harvard with an ankle injury.
Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said Friday Mason could possibly play, but he decided to have him rest in the last game before the start of the Big Ten season.
Freshman point guard Isaiah Washington will play start his second career game Saturday. Washington started in a Nov. 29 loss against Miami (Fla.).
Mason, who ranks second on the team in scoring (15.5) and first in assists (4.1), suffered a left ankle injury in the second half of last week’s win against Florida Atlantic. He was able to do an individual workout Thursday and Friday.
Pitino said the Gophers avoided huge loss when Mason wasn’t seriously hurt after the MRI came back negative last Saturday night.
The Gophers are hoping Mason will return to the lineup when Big Ten play starts again Wednesday against Illinois and Saturday against Indiana, both home games.
Junior Dupree McBrayer will play Saturday against Harvard after missing the last two games with a lower left leg injury. McBrayer, who averages 8.2 points per game, started 11 games this season.
-- Harvard sophomore guard Bryce Aiken (knee) is out for the third straight game. Aiken leads the team with 17.6 points per game.