GOPHERS HOST #9 MARYLAND
Tip Time: 8:07 p.m. CT, Williams Arena, Minneapolis
Series: 12th Meeting (2-9)
Series (Home): 6th Meeting (1-4)
Current Streak: L-3
Richard Pitino vs. Maryland: 2-5
Minnesota vs. Big Ten: 768-843*
Richard Pitino vs. Big Ten: 51-82
* – excludes vacated games
• The Minnesota men’s basketball team welcomes its second top-10 foe to Williams Arena of the season, hosting No. 9/8 Maryland in the Gophers second-to-last home game of the regular season,
• Sophomore center Daniel Oturu was named to the John R. Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 List and Citizen Naismith Trophy Midseason Watch List, both of which rank him among the top candidates in the nation for the men’s basketball player of the year. He is also a finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award for the nation’s top center. The awards will be announced in April.
• The Gophers have now completed two season sweeps (Ohio State, Northwestern), something that hasn’t been done since the 2009-10 season (Penn State, Iowa).
• Minnesota is seeking its third win over a top-25 ranked opponent this season. Under head coach Richard Pitino, the Gophers have racked up 15 wins over ranked opponents, a figure which ranks third among all-time Minnesota head coaches, behind Jim Dutcher (20) and Ozzie Cowles (16). Last season, Pitino led the Gophers to five wins over ranked foes, a single-season school record.
• The Gophers rank highly among the nation’s college basketball teams in several categories. As of Feb. 25, Minnesota is 26th in fewest turnovers (B1G: 4th) and 26th in blocked shots per game (B1G: 3rd). Daniel Oturu is seventh in rebounds per game (B1G: 1st), 12th in the country in blocks (B1G: 1st), and 34th in field goal percentage (B1G: 2nd). Oturu’s 15 double-doubles rank ninth in the country and second in the Big Ten. Marcus Carr is ninth in the country in assists per game (B1G: 2nd) and leads the Big Ten in minutes per game (NCAA: 19th). Gabe Kalscheur leads the Big Ten in total 3-pointers made and treys per game.
MNN Sports Director Mike Grimm talked with Gopher head coach Richard Pitino about tonight’s game:
SCOUTING THE TERRAPINS
• Maryland enters Wednesday’s game with a two-game lead atop the Big Ten standings, having won nine of its last 10 games. On Sunday, the Terrapins’ nine-game win streak came to a close with a 79-72 loss at Ohio State.
• Three Maryland players average double figures, led by Anthony Cowan’s 16.4 points per game along with a team-best 4.6 assists and 1.0 steals per game. Jalen Smith is averaging a double-double of 15.1 points and 10.4 rebounds per game and leads the conference with 17 double-doubles.
• The Terps average 14.9 personal fouls per game, the fewest in the Big Ten and 18th fewest nationally.
PITINO MOVES UP THE LIST
• Sunday’s win at Northwestern marked the 125th victory of head coach Richard Pitino’s tenure at Minnesota.
• In his seventh season, Pitino now stands fifth among all-time Gopher head coaches in win total, moving past Tubby Smith (124).
• Ranking ahead of Pitino are L.J. Cooke (250), Dave McMillan (196), Jim Dutcher (190), and O.B. Cowles (147).
• The Gophers begin a two-game road trip on Sunday evening, looking to sweep their rival Wisconsin for the first time since 2009. Additionally, the Maroon and Gold will seek to win in Madison in consecutive years for the first time since 1983-84.
• Tip off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)