Gophers' men’s basketball gameday
8 P.M. VS. Missouri-Kansas City Williams Arena • TV: BTN-Plus
Gophers update: Minnesota opens the season after a pair of exhibition victories in which the Gophers used strong second halves to push past Division II competition. The Gophers have struggled with rebounding early, including getting outrebounded 41-28 against Southwest Minnesota State on Sunday, but expect to welcome back 6-11 sophomore center Bakary Konate from a stress fracture in his left foot. Freshman guard Kevin Dorsey also sat out vs. SMSU, suspended because of “failing to meet his academic obligations as a student-athlete.” Coach Richard Pitino expects him to be available Friday as well. Senior Carlos Morris and freshman Jordan Murphy led the team with totals of 27 points in the two games.
UMKC update: The Kangaroos played a single exhibition leading up to Friday’s opener, using a hot finish to take a 72-61 victory over Hawaii Pacific. A year ago, UMKC ranked 341st out of 351 teams in defensive rebounding, but the ’Roos should be healthier this year and have added more size. With junior guard Martez Harrison coming off a season in which he averaged 17.5 points per game and was named the WAC’s player of the year, UMKC could compete against favorite New Mexico State to win the league. Former assistant coach Andre McGee resigned last month amid allegations that while on staff at Louisville, he helped organize escort visits that involved stripping and sex with recruits, parents and players from 2010-14. Head coach Kareem Richardson also worked at Louisville in 2012-13, the year after Richard Pitino left his post as associate head coach. Pitino said last month that Richardson was the reason he scheduled the game.