MINNESOTA AT INDIANA
Tip Time: 6:01 p.m. CT
Series: 164th Meeting (67-96)*
Series (Away): 80th Meeting (19-60)*
Current Streak: L-1
Richard Pitino vs. Indiana: 3-6
Minnesota vs. Big Ten: 768-845*
Richard Pitino vs. Big Ten: 51-84
* – excludes vacated games
Gopher head coach Richard Pitino spoke with MNN Sports Director Mike Grimm about tonight’s game:
• The Minnesota men’s basketball team plays its final road game of the season, traveling to Indiana on Wednesday night. The Gophers are looking to split the season series and earn their first win at IU since 2012.
• Redshirt sophomore guard Marcus Carr became the Gophers’ all-time single-season assists leader on Wednesday against Maryland. Carr had seven assists which moved him past Arriel McDonald’s 26-year old record of 179 assists. The Toronto, Ontario native now has 186 on the season, and is four away from tying Ray Williams’ record of 118 in Big Ten games with two remaining conference contests.
• 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. Oturu is the only player in the country averaging 20+ points and 11+ rebounds per game.
• 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).
• The Gophers rank highly among the nation’s college basketball teams in several categories. As of Mar. 2, Minnesota is 26th in fewest turnovers (B1G: 4th) and 26th in blocked shots per game (B1G: 3rd). Daniel Oturu is eighth in rebounds per game (B1G: 1st), 18th in the country in blocks (B1G: 1st), and 24th in field goal percentage (B1G: 1st). Oturu’s 17 double-doubles rank seventh 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: 16th). Oturu is the Big Ten’s second leading scorer while Carr ranks seventh in the conference in points per game.
SCOUTING THE HOOSIERS
• Indiana is one game ahead of the Gophers in the Big Ten standings, dropping two of its last three after defeating Minnesota at the Barn on Feb. 19. Most recently, the Hoosiers were edged at Illinois, 67-66, on Sunday afternoon in Champaign.
• Indiana closes the season with two straight home games, the only Big Ten team to do so.
• Trayce Jackson-Davis is a five-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week and leads the team wih 13.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. He holds the freshman lead in scoring among Big Ten players, as well as field goal percentage and blocks while ranking seventh in rebounding among first-year B1G players.
• Indiana leads the Big Ten and ranks 28th in the country in free throw attempts.
• The Gophers close out the regular season at home, hosting Nebraska in the two teams’ only meeting of the season on Sunday afternoon.
• Tip off is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. CT with BTN and KFAN 100.3 FM carrying the action live from Williams Arena.
• Prior to the game, Minnesota’s senior class of Alihan Demir, Michael Hurt and Brady Rudrud will be honored.
(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)