Opponent Preview: Penn State

Minnesota hits the road tonight and travels to Sate College, Pa. to take on the Nittany Lions of Penn State. Both teams are looking for their seventh win in Big Ten play. Tip-off at the Bryce Jordan Center is set for 6:00 pm. and will be televised by ESPN.

Minnesota (17-8, 6-7) vs. Penn State (13-11, 6-7)
State College, Pa. – Bryce Jordan Center
6:00 p.m. -- ESPN (Bob Wischusen, Stephen Bardo)

Quotable

"Yeah, its definetly a big game. We kind of got out of our four-game slump there versus Iowa. But I think this game is ever more as important because we need to get some wins here if we want to pursue our goals of getting into the NCAA tournament. Towards the end of the year here that's when people start talking about it, it's on ESPN on all the time but we just need to realize that we need to get some wins here on the board and finish the Big Ten season out on the right note." — Blake Hoffarber on the importance of getting a win against Penn State.

"As we get ready for a very good Penn State team that is already coming off a good win. They beat Northwestern pretty handily. They're very tough at home and a player like Taylor Battle who's one of the top scorers in the history of the Big Ten, not just at Penn State. He's always been a challenge and a tough player to guard. It's going to be coming upon us to really know where he is on the court." — Tubby Smith on the Gophers' upcoming game against Penn State.

"We've always seemed to have been able to win the game against them." — Penn State coach Ed DeChellis, who improved to 11-4 against Northwestern with Sunday's 65-41 win. DeChellis is 27-88 against the Big Ten's other nine teams in eight seasons at Penn State.

PREGAME NOTES

Last Season Showdown: Minnesota won all three games last season against Penn State. The Gophers swept the regular season series by scores of 75-70 at home at Williams Arena and 66-64 on the road in State College, Pa.. The third meeting came in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, a 76-55 victory.

Coaching Preview: Ed DeChellis is in his eighth season as the head coach at Penn State University, his alma mater. He holds a career record of 213-227 in this his 15th season. He was named 2009 Big Ten Coach-of-the-Year by the media voters—a season in which he led the Nittany Lions to a school-record 27 wins.

Series History: Minnesota leads the brief series between the two teams with a 19-4 record all-time. The season series dates back to 1993 when PSU joined the Big Ten as the eleventh team in the league.

Big Time Scoring: Similarly to Minnesota, Penn State boasts three players that average double digits in scoring. Guard Talor Battle (20.4 ppg) and forwards Jeff Brooks (13.6 ppg) and David Jackson (10.4 ppg) will test the Gophers defense tonight.

Mr. 2000: Senior Talor Battle became just the second player in team history, and the first in 56 years, to score 2,000 career points in Penn State's defeat of Northwestern on Feb. 13. Battle scored 19 points and now has 2,015, 123 shy of Jesse Arnelle's school record.

Projected Starters:
G 12 Talor Battle (6-0, 170, Sr.) - 20.4 ppg, 3.2 apg
G 23 Tim Frazier (6-1, 160, So.) – 4.8 ppg, 4.4 apg
F 15 David Jackson (6-7, 210, r-Sr.) - 10.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg
F 22 Andrew Jones (6-10, 245, r-Sr.) - 6.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg
F 25 Jeff Brooks (6-8, 200, Sr.) – 13.6 ppg, 7.0 rpg


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