Gophers Take on Kansas City Tonight
Series: Third Meeting (2-0)
Series (Home): Third Meeting (2-0)
Current Streak: W-2
Richard Pitino vs. KC: 1-0
Minnesota vs. Summit League: 92-5
• Minnesota faces its second Summit League team in three games as Kansas City visits Williams Arena Thursday night. The Golden Gophers won a 76-67 win over Summit League’s North Dakota Friday, Dec. 4.
• The Golden Gophers are coming off a ACC/Big Ten Challenge win over Boston College Tuesday night. Minnesota won its first overtime game since Mar. 14, 2019. Marcus Carr helped the Gophers rally from a 15-point second half deficit, as he scored 20 points after the break to finish with 22 points to go with six assists and five rebounds. He was 7-of-20 from the field and 7-of-8 at the free throw line in 40 minutes. Carr has scored in double figures 29 times, including in 14 of his past 15 games. It was his fourth game with 22 or more points this season. Carr currently ranks seventh nationally in points per game and second within the Big Ten. The win also marked head coach Richard Pitino’s 150th career coaching win.
• Minnesota scored 24 points off the bench Tuesday night, the most during this early season. Jamal Mashburn, Jr., scored 10 points, followed by Tre’ Williams and Isaiah Ihnen with six each. In all, Minnesota had four players in double-digit points, including Mashburn’s career high.
• Minnesota is honoring season ticket holders for both the men’s and women’s basketball programs with a special recognition at Williams Arena. Three banners are placed behind the team benches with the middle banner featuring a “Ski-U-Mah” logo. Within the ‘U’ are the names of all season ticket holders for both programs. It’s a way for the teams to honor their most ardent supporters in a season unlike any other.
• Minnesota is in the midst of playing its first six games of the season at home. The last time the Golden Gophers played six-straight home games to start the season was in 2016-17. The Gophers played an exhibition against Bemidji State, followed by six regular season games at home. The Gophers, who are 5-0 now in 2020, started the 2016 season 6-0.
SCOUTING THE ROOS
• Kansas City is seeing its first action since Nov. 30. The Roos had a game scheduled against South Dakota on Dec. 3, but was canceled due to COVID concerns within the Coyotes’ program. The Roos opened the seasons with wins over Culver-Stockton (105-35) and Greenville (138-97), but fell to Southeast Missouri State (71-66) and Kansas State (62-58).
• Brandon McKissic leads the team averaging 15.3 points per game, followed by Josiah Allick at 14.5 ppg and Marvin Nesbitt Jr. at 13.0 ppg.
• Second-year head coach Billy Donlon took last year’s squad to its best win percentage (.533) since 2010-11. In addition, the 16-14 overall record marked the most wins since the 2016-17 team. Donlon was also a two-time assistant within the Big Ten Conference at Michigan in 2016-17 and Northwestern from 2017-19.
GOPHERS VS. THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
• Minnesota has a 92-5 record against the current membership of the Summit League, excluding vacated games.
• Series records against Summit League schools are as follows, excluding vacated games: Denver (1-0), North Dakota, (20-2), North Dakota State (27-1), Omaha (3-0), Oral Roberts (4-0), South Dakota (14-1), South Dakota State (17-1), Western Illinois (4-0).
• On July 1, 2020, the Roos became the ninth member of The Summit League, a place in which the Roos held membership from 1994-2013. Kansas City departed the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) after seven years of affiliation. All-time, Minnesota is 2-0 against the Roos. Minnesota won 76-58 on Nov. 13, 2015 and 78-67 on Nov. 17, 2003.
• Minnesota opens Big Ten play next Tuesday, Dec. 15, when the Gophers travel to No. 6 Illinois.
(Info and photos courtesy of Gopher Sports)
HE DOES THE MASH
Gopher freshman spoke with MNN sports director Mike Grimm about his energy producing efforts off the bench: