The DEETS. Minnesota tips off in its Big Ten home opener vs. Ohio State at 8 p.m. Watch on ESPN or listen live on 1500-a.m.
The READING. In today's Star Tribune, things we know about this team through two games -- and things we don't know yet.
Plus, from our Chip Scoggins, what's going on with the two senior guards? Who knows.
The BUZZ. Tonight's game will feature Minnesota's new black jerseys for the first time and the university is planning for a "Black out" -- encouraging attendees to wear black clothing or this shirt if you've been on top of things.
The SCOUTING REPORT. For almost every defensive possession of the year, Ohio State played a 2-3 zone defense. Then, in the Buckeyes' last time out -- vs. Illinois -- OSU was losing and Thad Matta switched to zone. That worked out pretty well, with the Buckeyes going on to win 77-61 and now the coach says he's probably going to stick with it. Do the Gophers just trust that? No, probably not. Coach Richard Pitino has been prepping the team on both. "His zone is good too," Pitino said of Matta. "They've got length, they're comfortable with it, so we've got to prepare for both. But it's a little weird it's a little different in that regard, game-planning wise."
The PLAYER. After assessing the film, Pitino says six of the 21 shots Carlos Morris took in the Gophers' loss at Maryland were "pretty bad shots." But the coach said although he was well aware of Morris', uh, chuckiness, he was having a hard time pulling him.
"The McNeil situation hurt us just because we don't really have a backup three. And Carlos Morris needed to sit, just for a minute or two to relax because he was giving us a lot of good things where DeAndre and Andre really weren't. It was Carlos and Mo were scoring.
"So I needed to sit him but my thought process is was well, who do I put in? Nate wasn't really scoring, Andre ... it was a bit of a bind. What I liked was his desire and his will to win that game. He was fighting hard to win that game, so I did like that part of it but he took some bad shots -- some quick three and he should never take ten threes in one game."
The UPDATE. Andre Hollins started dealing with a case of turf toe after the Seattle game on Dec. 19 and as of a couple games ago was still bothered by it. Pitino made it clear, though, that the minor injury would not be an excuse for his senior guard, who has not scored in double digits in four consecutive games."He's fine," he said. Asked whether it was still bothering him, Hollins simple replied "no."
Minnesota heads back to Williams Arena undefeated. The Gophers have gone 9-0 at home so far this season.
A statistic Pitino had fun pointing out on Monday: three of the four the Big Ten teams that were given two road games to start the Big Ten schedule went 0-2 -- that's Minnesota, Illinois and Penn State. Indiana, meanwhile, went 1-1, winning at Nebraska before getting crushed by Michigan State last night.