Opponent Preview: South Dakatoa State

Minnesota will host the South Dakota State Jackrabbits on Thursday, Dec. 23 at 7:00 p.m. at Williams Arena. The game will be the final non-conference contest for both teams. The game will air on ESPN3.com.

No. 17 Minnesota (10-1, 0-0) vs. South Dakota State (8-3, 0-1)
Minneapolis, Minn. -- Williams Arena
7 p.m. -- ESPN3.com (Clay Matvick, Tom McCormick)

Game Preview

Historically the Gophers have dominated the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State. Thursday's game should be no different if the Gophers play up to their potential and do not overlook a gritty Jacks team. Fans should watch for a big game out of Rodney Williams.

Last game versus Akron, Williams had a career game with 12 points to go with 10 assists. Coach Tubby Smith said of Williams after Minnesota's victory over Akron, "He is attacking the rim and not settling for a jump shot." If Williams can continue this aggressive play he could have a huge game on Thursday night.

The Gophers will need to keep an eye on crafty guard Nate Wolters. Only a sophomore, Wolters is off to a dominant start, averaging almost 19 points per game. Not only can Wolters score, he is also quite a distributor which is shown by his 5.7 assists per contest. Minnesota will need to stop the St. Cloud native from getting into his rhythm if the Gophers want to quell the Jacks' offensive attack.

Games Notes

Quote to Note: Forward Trevor Mbakwe on his struggles in at the free throw line: "Ah man, free throws make me want to quit basketball sometimes. I've never shot this bad before in my career, so I think it's only a matter of time before that comes around—hopefully in time for the Big Ten season because that's when they become extremely important."

Season to Date: The Jackrabbits are off to a very impressive start this season, going 8-3. The Jacks' most impressive win was a 79-69 victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes in Iowa City, proving that they could play with a Big Ten team.

Coaching Preview: Scott Nagy is in his 15th season as coach for the Jacks. During this span he has amassed a record of 256-162 for a .612 winning percentage. He has also won four North Central Conference titles and has earned Conference Coach of the Year five times.

Series History:The Gophers have won all 12 meetings between the two teams dating back to 1930-1931 when the Gophers won 59-21. Last season, Minnesota beat the Jacks by a score of 92-62 behind 16 points from Blake Hoffarber.

Random Fact: Sophomore Nate Wolters is the all-time leading scorer at St. Cloud Tech High School. Wolters ended his high school career with 1,767 points.

Projected Starters:
F 42 Jordan Dykstra 7.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg
G 3 Nate Wolters 18.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg
G 5 Dale Moss 6.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg
G 10 Clint Sargent 13.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg
G 33 Griffan Callahan 9.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg

Background:
Location: Brookings, South Dakota
Enrollment: 12,816
Conference: Summit League
Nickname: Jackrabbits
Head Coach: Scott Nagy (15th season)


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