MINNESOTA (6-0) at ILLINOIS (4-2)
Tuesday, December 15
6:00 p.m. CT
Champaign, Ill. (State Farm Center)
Series: 182nd Meeting (66-115)*
Series (Away): 88th Meeting (20-67)*
Current Streak: L-1
Richard Pitino vs. Illinois: 4-5
Minnesota vs. Big Ten: 770-846*
Richard Pitino vs. Big Ten: 53-85
* – excludes vacated games
• Minnesota opens Big Ten play Tuesday when it faces No. 13 Illinois, in Champaign, Ill. The Golden Gophers only played the Illini once last year, also in Champaign. Illinois won the contest, 59-51, on Jan. 30, 2020. Daniel Oturu led the Gophers with a game-high 20 points and Alihan Demir added eight points. Minnesota has gone 3-2 the last five games against the Illini.
• The Gophers start a juggernaut of the Big Ten season, as they will face four ranked conference opponents in their first four Big Ten games. Minnesota plays at Illinois (currently ranked No. 6), home against Iowa Dec. 25 (currently ranked No. 3), home against Michigan State, Dec. 28 (currently ranked No. 4), and on the road at Wisconsin Dec. 31 (currently ranked No. 13).
• Minnesota closed out a six-game home stretch to start the season. 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. This year and in 2016, Minnesota went 6-0 to start the season.
• Minnesota’s last action came on Dec. 10, when the Gophers won, 90-61 over Kansas City. Isaiah Ihnen added his first career start after Brandon Johnson missed the game due to an injury. Ihnen played 29 minutes and provided 11 rebounds in the win. Liam Robbins held his best point production in a Minnesota uniform when he had 27 points, including 12-14 at the charity stripe. In all, Minnesota had 13 players see action in the win, including freshmen Martice Mitchell and David Mutaf as they recorded their first collegiate points.
• Marcus Carr is averaging 23.8 points per game. That ranks 11th nationally and third within the Big Ten. Carr also averages 34.8 minutes per game, which ranks first in the league. Both Gach also ranks high in the Big Ten in field goal percentage (.564) at eighth overall and fourth in free throw percentage (22-25 for .880).
(info courtesy of Gopher Sports)