Minnesota tips off vs. Oklahoma State tonight at 7:30 PM CT at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D. The game will be broadcast on BTN. Listen live on 1500-AM
Check out my story on the Gophers’ communication problem (especially defensively) here.
Previewing both teams here.
Why are Minnesota and OSU playing in South Dakota? A little background on the Pentagon, here.
Three storylines to watch as the Gophers try to win their second game away from home this season.
More South Dakota?? After consecutive losses to South Dakota and South Dakota State at home, Minnesota is probably not thrilled to now having to travel to the host state of both of those schools, hoping to have more luck vs. Oklahoma State. Of course, the previous two games have nothing to do with tonight’s, but the idea of the continuation of “South Dakota week” is not pleasing to most Gophers fans.
Injuries could give Minnesota the advantage but … Oklahoma State couldn’t be much more banged up. Leading scorer Phil Forte has been out since mid-November with an elbow injury. Sophomore guard Tavarius Shine has been out since the opener because of a right shoulder injury. And senior guard Jeff Newbury could be limited now as well after a collision in the Cowboys’ Dec. 5 loss to Missouri State knocked him out of that game. According to Tulsa World writer Mark Cooper, Newbury practiced on Thursday, but with mask on his face. No, things are not ideal with the Stillwater, OK crew and from Minnesota’s perspective it could be a good chance to catch the Cowboys. But remember that South Dakota State was also without star guard George Marshall on Tuesday, and the Jackrabbits still had no trouble dispensing the Gophers to the tune of 84-70.
Both teams are in big need of a lift. Minnesota could use a win after the last two ugly losses have some fans calling for coach Richard Pitino’s head on social media. Oklahoma State is coming off a pair of similar defeats – to Tulsa and lowly Missouri State at home. The Cowboys scored just .89 points per possession in both of those losses. The Gophers’ offense has been just as sluggish, shooting less than 37 percent in the last two games. Both programs are reeling to the degree that another loss, piled atop the current situation, could be disastrous. Who wants it more?