Gophers' men’s basketball gameday
10:30 A.M. VS. Temple • Puerto Rico Tip-Off, San Juan • ESPNU, 1500-AM
Gophers at a glance: Minnesota passed a test Friday, when Louisiana-Monroe came back from 15 down to take the 51-50 lead with 6:44 remaining. The Gophers responded with a 17-5 finish to win 67-56. One game after nailing 12 three-pointers vs. Missouri-Kansas City, the Gophers shot only 37.9 percent from the field against Louisiana-Monroe but made up for it at the line, where they connected on 20 of 22 free throws. Rebounding has been a concern, with the Gophers losing the battle on the boards 43-41 in the 76-58 victory over UMKC. The Gophers play five games in 12 days. Senior forward Joey King has led the team with a combined 42 points, the highest two-game total of his career, while sophomore guard Nate Mason has compiled 11 assists to only two turnovers.
Temple at a glance: The Owls have played only once, losing 91-67 to No. 1 North Carolina. Although it didn’t show in that game, they are expected to be tough on defense, where they were ranked 18th nationally in defensive adjusted efficiency a year ago, per analyst Ken Pomeroy. Fran Dunphy’s bunch lost point guard Will Cummings off that team, but should have enough playmakers to remain careful with the ball after recording turnovers on only 14.6 percent of possessions a year ago, fourth best in the nation. Senior 6-8 big man Jaylen Bond — the American Athletic Conference’s leading rebounder last year — grabbed eight boards in the opener, and senior guard Devin Coleman scored a team-high 19. The Owls hit nine of their 25 three-point attempts.