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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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  • Lynx at Connecticut

    6 pm on 106.1-FM

  • Twins at Toronto

    6:07 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    6:30 pm

  • Saints at Lincoln

    6:35 pm on 1220-AM

  • 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

Today's Scoreboard

  • Baltimore

    NY Yankees

    6:05 PM

  • Colorado

    Washington

    6:05 PM

  • Minnesota

    Toronto

    6:07 PM

    FSN

  • Kansas City

    Boston

    6:10 PM

  • LA Angels

    Detroit

    6:10 PM

  • San Diego

    Miami

    6:10 PM

  • Philadelphia

    NY Mets

    6:10 PM

  • Cleveland

    Texas

    7:05 PM

  • Seattle

    Chicago White Sox

    7:10 PM

    WGN

  • Tampa Bay

    Houston

    7:10 PM

  • Pittsburgh

    Milwaukee

    7:10 PM

  • Oakland

    St. Louis

    7:15 PM

  • Cincinnati

    Arizona

    8:40 PM

  • Chicago Cubs

    LA Dodgers

    9:10 PM

  • Atlanta

    San Francisco

    9:15 PM

  • New England

    Carolina

    6:30 PM

  • Buffalo

    Washington

    6:30 PM

  • Pittsburgh

    New Orleans

    7:00 PM

  • Cleveland

    Tampa Bay

    7:00 PM

    CBS

  • Green Bay

    San Francisco

    9:00 PM

No NBA games today

No NHL games today

  • Colorado

    Real Salt Lake

    7:00 PM