Series: 163rd Meeting (67-95)*
Series (Home): 82nd Meeting (46-35)*
Current Streak: W-1
Richard Pitino vs. Indiana: 3-5
Minnesota vs. Big Ten: 767-842*
Richard Pitino vs. Big Ten: 50-81
* – excludes vacated games
PITINO PREGAME TALK
Gopher head coach Richard Pitino sat down with MNN Sports Director Mike Grimm:
• The Minnesota men’s basketball team welcomes the Indiana Hoosiers to Williams Arena for the two teams’ first of two meetings in a 14-day span. The Gophers have won two of the last three against IU played in Minneapolis.
• 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.
• On Jan. 23, Marcus Carr’s last-second heroics helped lift the Gophers to a season sweep of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Minnesota won in Columbus for the first time since 2005, which also marked the last time that the Maroon and Gold swept the Scarlet and Grey during the regular season. It also was the first regular-season sweep by the Gophers since doing so against Penn State in 2014.
• Minnesota has been tested early and often, playing one of the nation’s toughest schedules. Through the games of Feb. 17, the Gophers’ schedule ranks as the second toughest in NCAA Division I according to KenPom.com and the toughest according the ESPN’s Basketball Power Index (BPI).
• The Gophers rank highly among the nation’s college basketball teams in several categories. As of Feb. 18, Minnesota is 22nd in fewest turnovers (B1G: 3rd) 25th in blocked shots per game (B1G: 3rd). Daniel Oturu is ninth in rebounds per game (B1G: 1st), 14th in the country in blocks (B1G: 1st), and 31st in field goal percentage (B1G: 1st). Oturu’s 13 double-doubles rank 14th in the country and second in the Big Ten. Marcus Carr is 11th 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.
SCOUTING THE HOOSIERS
• Indiana is tied with the Gophers in the Big Ten standings, having lost five out of its last six games. Most recently, the Hoosiers dropped an 89-65 decision at Michigan on Sunday afternoon.
• The Hoosiers are in the middle of a grueling stretch of four games out of five on the road.
• Trayce Jackson-Davis is a four-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week and leads the team wih 13.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. He is tied for the freshman lead in scoring among Big Ten players.
• Indiana leads the Big Ten and ranks 29th in the country in free throw attempts.
• The Gophers begin the final five-game stretch of the season on the road, traveling to Northwestern looking for their second season sweep of the year.
• Tip off is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston.
(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)