Mi­chael Hurt isn't known for his dunk­ing.

But there was the 6-foot-7 Go­phers sopho­more for­ward, driv­ing hard to the bas­ket in the first half Thurs­day night against Oral Rob­erts, gath­er­ing him­self for a big throw-down. The ball rim­med out af­ter he was fouled, but Hurt made sure the se­cond chance he got count­ed.

In the se­cond half, Hurt ran the floor and fin­ished a pin­point pass from I­sa­iah Wash­ing­ton with a one-hand­ed slam over a de­fend­er.

"It felt pret­ty good," the Roch­es­ter John Marshall product said. "I thought I was going to get the first one. I­sa­iah made a great pass and I just went up with it."

Hurt re­placed injured juni­or Du­pree McBrayer and scored a career-high 10 points in 26 min­utes while start­ing for the first time in his ca­reer in Thurs­day's 77-63 victory.

McBrayer, who was out because of a low­er left leg in­ju­ry, could play for the Go­phers (10-3) on Sat­ur­day vs. Flori­da Atlantic. Wheth­er he re­turns or not, Hurt dis­played what he could do with a big­ger role.

"He re­al­ly plays smart basket­ball," coach Rich­ard Pit­i­no said. "He's min­i­miz­ing mis­takes. … He's shoot­ing the ball when he's open. I didn't think I'd see him dunk this early. That was nice to see. Those were re­al­ly good min­utes for him. He took ad­van­tage of an op­por­tu­ni­ty, cer­tain­ly."

Hurt, who was av­er­ag­ing 2.0 points and 1.6 re­bounds in 12 min­utes per game this sea­son, found out he would be start­ing a couple of days be­fore play­ing Oral Rob­erts. He was able to build en­ough chemis­try with the start­ers in prac­tice to have it car­ry over smooth­ly in the game.

Jor­dan Mur­phy, who led the Go­phers with 17 points and 10 re­bounds Thurs­day, was proud of the way Hurt played in his first start. Hurt de­fend­ed. He got oth­ers in­volved. Ball move­ment was as good as it had been in weeks. The only thing Mur­phy want­ed to see was Hurt shoot even more when open.

"I was on him a­bout that," Mur­phy said. "But for the most part he did good look­ing for [his shots]."

Hurt didn't pass up too many shots when he starred at John Marshall, fin­ish­ing behind Hopkins' Amir Cof­fey for Min­ne­so­ta's Mr. Basketball Award in 2016.

Hurt's young­er broth­er, Mat­thew, is now lead­ing JM and av­er­ag­ing a­bout 40 points a game as a 6-9 juni­or. The young­er Hurt, who re­cent­ly picked up a scholarship of­fer from Ken­tucky, had a feel­ing his broth­er was going to be ready to make an im­pact this sea­son for the Go­phers.

"Since last year, I've seen him im­prove a lot," Mat­thew Hurt said. "I'm ex­cit­ed for him this sea­son to see what he can do and for his ca­reer. He's a lot strong­er and a lot hard­er to guard."

The Hurts spent time this sum­mer train­ing at the Mem­phis Grizzlies' fa­cil­i­ty with longtime NBA play­er Mike Mill­er. Mi­chael also went to Spain in August to play with a trav­el­ing team coached by Hall of Fam­er Lar­ry Brown.

Af­ter gain­ing 20 pounds since his fresh­man sea­son and play­ing a key role off the bench earli­er this year, Hurt was more com­fort­a­ble for mo­ments like Thurs­day when he had to re­place an in­jured start­er.

"The offseason was great for me, be­cause last year I wasn't phys­i­cal­ly ready," he said. "It was good for me. It was a good ex­peri­ence. Now I feel like I'm more pre­pared phys­i­cal­ly and basket­ballwise."