Preview: The Gophers (12-2, 0-1 Big Ten) travel for their first conference road game this season in one of the toughest places to play in the nation at Mackey Arena. Minnesota hasn’t won in West Lafayette, Ind., since 2005. The No. 15 Boilermakers (12-2, 1-0) opened Big Ten play with an 89-67 victory Wednesday against Iowa. They are 31-2 at home in the past three seasons with their only losses to Villanova (this season) and Iowa (last season) in that span.
Players to watch: With his 21-rebound effort in Tuesday night’s 75-74 overtime home loss against Michigan State, Jordan Murphy grabbed the most boards in a game for a Gophers player since Jim Brewer in 1972. Murphy, a 6-foot-6 sophomore, is averaging 10.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan had two games with 20 rebounds or more this season. The 6-9 sophomore is averaging 17.8 points and a Big Ten-leading 12.4 rebounds. Swanigan is joined in the frontcourt by 7-2 junior Isaac Haas, who averages 14.4 points and 5.4 rebounds.
Numbers: Gophers coach Richard Pitino is 1-9 against ranked opponents on the road during his tenure. Pitino’s lone victory came 96-90 in overtime at No. 25 Michigan State in 2014-15.