The nonconference schedule for new Gophers basketball coach Ben Johnson is almost complete for the 2021-22 season.
A year ago, the Gophers basically had to tear up their early schedule and start from scratch with COVID-19 restrictions pushing back the start of the college hoops season. It should be back to normal this fall.
The Gophers have 10 of their 11 nonconference games locked in right now, which comes with expecting Williams Arena filled with fans again, sources told the Star Tribune.
Full capacity being allowed at the Barn next season hasn't been announced yet, but the Gophers are optimistic after having limited to zero fans last year. Season ticket holders have also been told that the U will "follow all campus and state guidelines, which currently have no capacity limits or required physical distancing."
Johnson's coaching debut will be Nov. 9 vs. UMKC at home. Following that first glimpse of an almost entirely new roster (one player returning), the Gophers travel to play in the multiteam event in Asheville, N.C. from Nov. 12-14 that is expected to include South Carolina, Western Kentucky, and George Mason.
The Big Ten/ACC Challenge matchups will be released later this summer, but the Gophers follow that game with a tough early test Dec. 5 at Mississippi State. The other non-league foes at home are expected to be Fort Wayne, Jacksonville, Corpus Christi, Green Bay, and Alcorn State. One more guaranteed game at the Barn is still being pursued.
Gophers 2021-22 projected nonconference schedule
Nov. 1 vs. Concordia-St. Paul (exhibition)
Nov. 9 vs. UMKC
Nov. 12-14 Asheville, N.C. (South Carolina, Western Kentucky, George Mason*)
Nov. 19 vs. Fort Wayne
Nov. 24 vs. Jacksonville
TBD Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Dec. 5 at Mississippi State
Dec. 14 vs. Corpus Christi
Dec. 22 vs. Green Bay
Dec. 29 vs. Alcorn State
*One team not finalized