Date: Friday, March 8, 2019
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. CT
Location: College Park, Md.
Arena: Xfinity Center (17,950)
Series: 11th Meeting (2-8)
Series (Away): Sixth Meeting (1-4)
Current Streak: L-2
Richard Pitino vs. Maryland: 2-4
Minnesota vs. Big Ten: 759-832*
Richard Pitino vs. Big Ten: 42-70
* – excludes vacated games
Gopher junior Amir Coffey of Hopkins is the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week. He sat down with MNN Sports Director Mike Grimm on Thursday:
• The Minnesota men’s basketball team closes out the 2018-19 regular season on the road Friday night at 24th-ranked Maryland. The Gophers are assured of a first-round bye in Chicago at the Big Ten Tournament and will open play next Thursday.
• The Gophers are looking to capture wins over ranked foes in back-to-back games for the first time since 1993 (excluding vacated seasons).
• Junior guard Amir Coffey was named the Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday, after recording his first career double-double on Thursday at Northwestern with 31 points (one shy of his career best) and a career-high 12 rebounds. Coffey followed that up with a career-high tying 32 points in the victory over No. 11/9 Purdue Tuesday night in Minneapolis. Coffey leads the Gophers and ranks tied for seventh in the conference scoring 15.8 points per game, including 17.3 points in conference-only games (B1G: 5th).
• Senior forward Jordan Murphy, a two-time Big Ten Player of the Week, is second in Big Ten play in rebounding, pulling down 10.8 boards per game, and leads in overall rebounding with 11.7 rebounds per game on the season, fourth in the nation. His 1,262 career rebounds ranks second in Big Ten Conference history. His 20 double-doubles is second in the nation. With 1,718 career points, Murphy is sixth among all-time Gophers and can tie Nate Mason (1,731) for fifth with 13 more points.
• Center Daniel Oturu, who picked up his second Big Ten Freshman of the Week award on Feb. 25, leads all Big Ten freshmen players in rebounding (7.1 rpg), field goal percentage (55.3 percent) and blocks (1.4 bpg). He is eighth in scoring at 11.0 points per game, trailed closely by fellow Gopher freshman Gabe Kalscheur (10.3 ppg) who ranks ninth. Oturu also leads all freshman with seven double-doubles, tied for seventh among all Big Ten players.
SCOUTING THE TERRAPINS
• Maryland has lost back to back games for just the second time this season, dropping decisions at Penn State and at home against B1G leader Michigan.
• Anthony Cowan leads the Maryland offense scoring 15.7 points per game along with 4.1 assists per game. He is one of three double-figure scorers joined by Bruno Fernando (14.1 ppg) and Jalen Smith (11.2).
• Fernando is the Big Ten’s top rebounder in conference play, averaging 11.4 boards in 19 Big Ten games, 0.5 rebounds ahead of Minnesota’s Jordan Murphy.
• The Gophers will open play in the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday, Mar. 14 at United Center in Chicago. Minnesota is assured of a second-round matchup on the second day of the tournament, with seedings yet to be decided.
(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)