Opponent Preview: Indiana

The Minnesota Golden Gophers are back home in Williams Arena after playing their first two Big Ten games on the road. The Gophers will host the Indiana Hoosiers on Tuesday. Tip-off is set for 6:00 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN2.

No. 21 Minnesota (11-3, 0-2) vs. Indiana (9-6, 0-2)
Minneapolis, Minn. – Williams Arena
6:00 p.m. CT – ESPN2 (Dave O'Brien, Dan Dakich)


"There is no question about that. Last year, their size took advantage of us in the sense that we didn't play as smart early on in that game, especially defensively on the pick-and-roll side of things. The first play of the game was a hi-lo so there is no question that we are going to see that size and that experience and that explosiveness. And then you add Trevor Mbakwe to the situation and it makes it that much more of a formidable challenge up front.

"But one of the reasons they are good is because they have such a good inside-outside presence. They have the 3-point shooting and they have the speed. Now that they have Al Nolen back, he is one of the premier defensive guards not only in the Big Ten but in the country.

"When you play against Blake Hoffarber and Jon Diebler in back-to-back games, you are pretty much an expert on who two of the best shooters in the country are. They bring a lot to the table and they will be hungry because they are at home and we have to match that hunger." – Indiana head coach Tom Crean on the challenges that the size of Minnesota's frontcourt presents.


Season to Date: Indiana enters Tuesday's contest with a 9-6 overall record. The Hoosiers are riding a four-game losing streak including two straight Big Ten losses to Penn State (69-60) and No. 2 Ohio State (85-67). Sophomore forward Christian Watford leads the team in scoring and rebounding at 17.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

Coaching Preview: Tom Crean is the 28th men's basketball coach at Indiana and is in his third year with the Hoosiers. He holds a 215-148 all-time as a head coach. Crean came to Indiana from Marquette where he was 190-96 in nine seasons and made five NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 2003 Final Four.

Last Meeting: The Gophers won 81-58 due in large part to shooting 55.4 percent (31-for-56) overall and 9-for-20 (.450) from beyond the arc. Lawrence Westbrook lead the Gophers with 20 points and Ralph Sampson III pulled down eight rebounds to go along with 11 points and five assists. Indiana's Devin Dumes lead the Hoosiers with 20 points.

Series History: Indiana leads the all-time series against Minnesota 87-61. The series dates back to 1912 in a game the Gophers won 34-7. The Gophers and Hoosiers split the season series in 2009-10, both teams won at home. Indiana won 81-78 on Jan. 17 in Bloomington while Minnesota won 81-58 Feb. 20 at Williams Arena.

Stat to Watch: Tubby Smith is 12-5 against Indiana as a head coach, 4-3 since becoming the Minnesota head coach.

Projected Starters:
02 Christian Watford (6-9, 230, So.) – 17.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg
32 Derek Elston (6-9, 235, So.) – 6.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg
01 Jordan Hulls (6-0, 175, So.) – 9.7 ppg, 3.2 apg
03 Maurice Creek (6-5, 200, So.) – 8.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg
12 Verdell Jones III (6-5, 185, Jr.) – 12.2 ppg, 3.4 apg

Location: Bloomington, Ind.
Enrollment: 42,347
Conference: Big Ten
Mascot: Hoosiers
Colors: Cream and Crimson
Coach: Tom Crean (3rd Season)

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