4 p.m. vs. No. 25 Alabama • New York • no TV (1130-AM, 103.5-FM, Facebook stream)
It’s no Iron Bowl, but Tide still a big game for Gophers
Preview: The No. 14 Gophers play their second game in the Barclays Center Classic on Saturday vs. the Crimson Tide in Brooklyn. It’s the second season in a row the program has started 6-0, a feat the Gophers last achieved in 2010-11 and 2011-12. This is the first time they will play a ranked nonconference opponent since losing to No. 8 Louisville in the season opener in Puerto Rico in 2014. Richard Pitino is 7-19 vs. ranked opponents at Minnesota. Alabama improved to 5-0 for the first time in six years by defeating Brigham Young 71-59 on Friday behind John Petty’s 16 points and Donta’ Hall’s 14 points and nine rebounds. Tide coach Avery Johnson returns to the court where he had his last stint as an NBA coach when the New Jersey Nets moved to Brooklyn in 2012.
Players to watch: Gophers freshmen Isaiah Washington and Jamir Harris shined in their last appearance at the Barclays Center. Washington had 20 points and 15 assists and Harris had 20 points in the Jordan Brand Classic regional game. Washington and Harris brought east coast flavor to Minnesota’s 2017 recruiting class. They combine to average 12 points per game this season. Alabama freshmen guards Collin Sexton and Petty are averaging 41 points and nearly seven assists combined this season.
Numbers: The Gophers held an opponent under 40 percent shooting from three-point range for the first time Friday when UMass shot 5-for-25 from beyond the arc (20 percent).