Opponent Preview: Penn State

Minnesota plays their last Big Ten regular season game the Penn State Nittany Lions Sunday in Minneapolis, Minn. Tip-off at Williams Arena is set for 12:00 p.m. and will be televised by the Big Ten Network.

Minnesota (17-12, 6-11) vs. Penn State (15-13, 8-9)
Minneapolis, Minn. – Williams Arena
12:00 p.m. – Big Ten Network (Eric Collins, Shon Morris)


"You lose a game, you're out, now you win a game, you're back in. It's like breaking up with your sixth-grade girlfriend." – Penn State coach Ed DeChellis on speculation about which teams will make the NCAA tournament field.

"He is not a selfish player. Guys who think about numbers are selfish players. When you ask him, he is only concerned about winning basketball games. That is when you become a great basketball player, and I think that is what makes Talor so good. He is not worried about records. He is worried about helping us win games." – Penn State guard Jeff Brooks on teammate Talor Battle.

"You know, he's a really good shooter. The first half we had a little stretch where we lost him and he kept knocking them in. We couldn't keep doing that. Late he hit that tough one off me, but he's a really good player. We had to just key in on him. He's really just their outside perimeter they just like to get inside. So we just wanted to take him away. He is a really good player." – Senior guard Talor Battle on guarding Blake Hoffarber following the last meeting between the two teams.


Since the Last Time We Played: Penn State enters Sunday's contest with a 15-13 (8-9 Big Ten) record. The Nittany Lions are coming off a loss to No. 1 Ohio State (82-61). In the three games since the last time the two teams met, Penn State has compiled two losses and one win. PSU's most recent victory came on the road in Evanston, Ill. against Northwestern (66-52).

Last Meeting: Penn State defeated Minnesota, 66-63, on Feb. 17, 2011, in University Park, Pa. Minnesota forward Trevor Mbakwe had 16 points and 12 rebounds while Nittany Lion's guard Talor Battle scored 28 points on 7-for-14 shooting from 3-point range for Penn State. The two teams played to a 29-28, PSU lead at halftime. The Nittany Lions held on to the lead over the final 20 to earn the 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 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 19-5 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 (13.3 ppg) and David Jackson (10.5 ppg) will test the Gophers defense tonight.

Rare Air: Senior Talor Battle needs one rebound to become the third NCAA Division I player ever to post 2,000 points, 600 rebounds and 500 assists. The only other players to accomplish this feat are Duke's Danny Ferry and Maryland's Greivis Vasquez.

Projected Starters:
G 12 Talor Battle (6-0, 170, Sr.) - 20.4 ppg, 3.1 apg
G 23 Tim Frazier (6-1, 160, So.) - 5.4 ppg, 5.0 apg
F 15 David Jackson (6-7, 210, r-Sr.) - 10.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg
F 22 Andrew Jones (6-10, 245, r-Sr.) - 6.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg
F 25 Jeff Brooks (6-8, 200, Sr.) - 13.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg

Location: State College, Pa.
Conference: Big Ten
Mascot: Nittany Lion
Colors: Blue and White
Coach: Ed DeChellis (8th season)

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