• While most of the Gophers football squads in the past have lost a number of players at the end of a semester, Jerry Kill’s roster has had only two leave: quarterback Philip Nelson and wide receiver Jamel Harbison. Early rumors have Nelson going to Wyoming under new coach Craig Bohl.
• The Gophers football team again did well in the classroom with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0, or a B average. Across the athletic department, 24 of the 25 men’s and women’s teams had a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.
• Three college seniors with local ties will be playing in the 2014 Senior Bowl in Alabama on Saturday: Gophers defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman, Miami (Fla.) offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson of Cretin-Derham Hall and Billy Turner, a tackle at North Dakota State who attended Mounds View.
• The Timberwolves would like to get into their new basketball facilities in the Block E building, which would include the Lynx and other offices, for the start of the 2014-15 season. Wolves owner Glen Taylor says progress is being made in negotiating a deal and hopes to have it done soon.
• Former Osseo basketball standout Sam Dower is having a great year with Gonzaga, and he had a season-high 28 points in Saturday’s 82-72 victory at Loyola Marymount. Two days earlier, he was 7-for-7 from the floor and scored 18 points in a 70-53 victory over Pepperdine.
• Harvard is looking to make its third consecutive NCAA tournament behind the stellar play of Siyani Chambers, the former Hopkins standout. Chambers, the Ivy League Rookie of the Year last season, is leading the team in assists at 4.7 per game and is second on the team in scoring with 11.4 points per game. Coming off the bench is Jonah Travis, a DeLaSalle product who averages 6.2 points per game.
• Virginia native and Minnesota Duluth product Matt Niskanen is tied for the NHL lead in plus/minus at plus-26. The Penguins defenseman has six goals and 19 assists this season.