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Gophers basketball targets John, Sims visit Cal and Texas this week

Theo John and Jericho Sims, two of the state of Minnesota's top senior post players and Gophers targets, will be out of town this week on their official visits.

John, a 6-foot-9, 230-pound center/forward at Champlin Park, will travel Friday to visit California-Berkeley. Sims, a 6-9, 225-pound forward from Cristo Rey Jesuit School, is visiting Texas this weekend.

Both players have said they would like to make a decision before the high school season begins this fall.

The Gophers have Sims and John as their top 2017 frontcourt targets. Minnesota coach Richard Pitino only has two scholarships currently available for the class, but he'd surely find a way to bring both into the program.

Sims and John could be effective in the same frontcourt at the next level. Sims is a power forward right now. But his expanding perimeter game will allow him to be a stretch 4-man and play some wing in college. John's length (7-5 wingspan) and powerfully built frame make him potentially an imposing physical presence as an undersized center. He could also play power forward as his outside shot improves.

John also has scheduled official visits with Marquette (Sept. 2) and Minnesota (Sept. 9). He said recently that academics and location are factors in Cal's favor.

"I know they were one of the later offers, but I got to know them really well," John said about the Golden Bears. "I'm looking forward to going on that visit and learning more about the program."

A late scholarship offer from Kansas came for Sims last week. He saw his national ranking make one of the biggest jumps of any player in the 2017 class. Sims, who has no other visit dates scheduled yet, went from being unranked to No. 48 in the country in Scout.com's latest top 100.

BTN to televise four Gophers men's hoops nonconference games

Chances are you didn't see the Gophers men's basketball team much in nonconference play if you weren't at Williams Arena last year.

Minnesota had just one home game before the Big Ten season televised on Big Ten Network last year, but it will have four nonconference games on BTN in 2016-17. That means the Gophers will be televised as many times on BTN (based on the current schedule) as Michigan State, Indiana, Ohio State and Maryland. Interesting considering Minnesota finished 8-23 overall and 2-16 in the conference last season.

Does BTN know something we don't about how good the Gophers will be?

The games are Nov. 18 vs. St. John's at 8 p.m., Dec. 6 vs. New Jersey Institutue of Technology (NJIT) at 7 p.m., Dec. 9 vs. Georgia Southern at 8 p.m. and Dec. 23 vs. Arkansas State at 6 p.m.

These games don't necessarily knock your socks off since three of the four opponents aren't from major conferences. But there will be more opportunities in early winter to sit at home on the couch and watch a possibly much-improved squad under fourth-year Minnesota coach Richard Pitino.

The Gophers are the only Big Ten team and one of only four major conference teams (also Arkansas, California, Oregon State) not scheduled to play in an exempt event aka preseason tournament/classic this year. 

But the Gophers will be on national television to open the ACC/Big Ten Challenge 6 p.m. Nov. 28 at Florida State on ESPNU. Minnesota also plays Dec. 3 against Vanderbilt at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D., but no TV info is available yet.

TV Listings

Local Schedule

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  • Twins at Toronto

    12:07 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    6 pm

  • Saints at Lincoln

    6:35 pm on 1220-AM

  • Minnesota United FC at Miami FC

    7 pm on Ch. 29

  • San Diego at Vikings (preseason)

    12 pm on Ch. 9, 100.3/1130

  • Twins at Toronto

    12:07 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    12:45 pm

  • Saints at Lincoln

    5:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Seattle at Lynx

    6 pm on ESPN2, 106.1-FM

  • Twins at Cleveland

    6:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Twins at Cleveland

    6:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Winnipeg at Saints

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Twins at Cleveland

    6:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Minnesota United FC at Fort Lauderdale

    6:30 pm on CBSSN

  • Winnipeg at Saints

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    6:30 pm

  • L.A. Rams at Vikings (preseason)

    7 pm on Ch. 9, 100.3/1130

  • Winnipeg at Saints

    7:05 pm

  • Chicago White Sox at Twins

    7:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Oregon State at Gophers football

    8 pm on BTN, 107.9-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    6:30 pm

  • Washington at Lynx

    7 pm on 106.1-FM

  • Lincoln at Saints

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Chicago White Sox at Twins

    7:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    12:45 pm

Today's Scoreboard

  • Baltimore

    NY Yankees

     

    - Bot 3rd

    2

    1

  • Colorado

    Washington

     

    - Top 3rd

    0

    0

  • Minnesota

    Toronto

     

    - Top 4th

    1

    0

  • Chicago Cubs

    LA Dodgers

    3:05 PM

    FOX SPORTS 1, WGN

  • Kansas City

    Boston

    6:10 PM

  • Seattle

    Chicago White Sox

    6:10 PM

  • LA Angels

    Detroit

    6:10 PM

    FOX SPORTS 1

  • Tampa Bay

    Houston

    6:10 PM

  • San Diego

    Miami

    6:10 PM

  • Pittsburgh

    Milwaukee

    6:10 PM

  • Philadelphia

    NY Mets

    6:10 PM

  • Oakland

    St. Louis

    6:15 PM

  • Cleveland

    Texas

    7:05 PM

  • Cincinnati

    Arizona

    7:10 PM

  • Atlanta

    San Francisco

    8:05 PM

  • Kansas City

    Chicago

     

    - 2nd, 4:06

    6

    0

  • Philadelphia

    Indianapolis

    6:00 PM

  • Detroit

    Baltimore

    6:00 PM

  • NY Giants

    NY Jets

    6:30 PM

  • Tennessee

    Oakland

    7:00 PM

    CBS

  • Los Angeles

    Denver

    8:00 PM

No NBA games today

No NHL games today

  • Sporting Kansas City

    Philadelphia

    6:00 PM

  • Chicago

    D.C.

    6:00 PM

  • San Jose

    Columbus

    6:30 PM

  • Montreal

    Toronto FC

    6:30 PM

  • FC Dallas

    Houston

    8:00 PM

  • Vancouver

    Los Angeles

    9:30 PM