Gophers center Liam Robbins, a 7-foot transfer from Drake, was named to the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award top-20 preseason watch list Friday by the Basketball Hall of Fame.

"He's a Big Ten-type player," Gophers coach Richard Pitino said last month. "Obviously, there will be in an adjustment period. … But he stood out in practice. I think he's one of the best transfers in the country."

As a Drake sophomore last season, Robbins averaged 14.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. The All-Missouri Valley second-team center broke Drake's single-season blocks record with 99, ranking fifth nationally with 2.9 blocks per game.

Marcus Fuller

Ex-slugger Hartmann dies

Brian Hartmann, the subject of Patrick Reusse's column last Sunday, died Thursday from a rare brain disease. Hartmann, 51, was the youngest of eight siblings in a large family known well in sports and social circles in Arlington, Minn. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a brain disorder that strikes one person in a million and is always fatal, took his life.

The Hartmann family recently accompanied Brian to his induction in the Arlington A's Hall of Fame. Brian for years was a slugger with the Hamel Hawks.

"Brian was in Hamel's Hall of Fame, but he also wanted this," Brian's brother Dave told Reusse. "He played for the A's for a number of years. He wanted the three brothers to be together in the Arlington Hall of Fame."


• The Gophers men's hockey team named junior forward Sammy Walker captain, and senior forward Brannon McManus, senior goaltender Jack LaFontaine and sophomore forward Ben Meyers alternate captains. Walker also was captain last season and led the team with 30 points in 37 games.

• Former Bemidji State hockey player Adam Brady signed with the AHL's Stockton Heat, an affiliate of the Calgary Flames. Brady, 25, capped his three-year college career with 19 goals and 15 assists this past season and was named to the All-WCHA first team.