Gophers men’s basketball gameday
11:30 a.m. VS. Indiana • BTN, 1500 ESPN
About the Gophers (6-11, 0-5 Big Ten): They face perhaps their toughest competition of the season after dropping consecutive games by 25 points apiece. The Gophers have lost six in a row and nine of 10, and they have matched last season’s 0-5 start in conference play. It’s the first time in program history that the Gophers have started back-to-back Big Ten seasons 0-5. On Tuesday, an 84-59 rout at Nebraska, coach Richard Pitino tried out a new starting lineup, benching seniors Carlos Morris and Joey King in favor of playing three freshmen (Ahmad Gilbert, Dupree McBrayer and Jordan Murphy) and two sophomores (Nate Mason and Bakary Konate). Murphy finished with 12 points and eight rebounds but the rest of the team went 15-for-41 from the field.
About Indiana (14-3, 4-0): The Hoosiers come to Williams Arena on a nine-game winning streak and look much improved from the team that dropped games to Wake Forest and UNLV in November. Indiana got the news earlier this month that second-leading scorer James Blackmon Jr. (15.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg) would be out the rest of the season after having surgery on his right knee. Somehow, though the Hoosiers have seemed to play better without him. Indiana had a five-day layoff after an 85-60 victory over Ohio State on Sunday in which the Hoosiers were plus-19 on the boards and held the Buckeyes to 18 points in the first half. Freshman big Thomas Bryant had his first double-double (18 points, 12 rebounds) in that one.