Previewing Mount St. Mary's at Minnesota

The Golden Gophers are looking to remain undefeated on the season when they host Mount St. Mary's on Monday night. Tip-off at Williams Arena is scheduled 7:00 p.m. The game can be viewed at or listened to on ESPN 1500 Twin Cities.

Minnesota (3-0) vs. Mount St. Mary's (1-2)
Minneapolis, Minn. -- Williams Arena
7:00 p.m. – (Matt Nelson, Quincy Lewis)


Season to Date: Mount St. Mary's enters Monday's game with a 1-2 record. The Mountaineers opened the season at No. 22 Marquette and got trounced 91-37. The lone win came against Hartford, 63-50. Mount St. Mary is hoping to rebound from its more recent loss to Siena, 65-53, at home. The Mountaineers shot just 30.0 perfect from the field and allowed a 25-to-3 run in the first to Siena—a run they would never recover from.

Stifling Defense: The Mountineers have led the Northeastern Conference in scoring defense in league games in each of the past two seasons. They have finished either first or second in the conference since 2006.

Big Ten Domination: Mount St. Mary's is 0-10 all-time against the Big Ten Conference since moving to NCAA Division I in the 1988-89 season. The Mountaineers almost pulled of an upset of Penn State last year before falling 57-53. Penn State's Talor Battle nailed a 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds left break a 53-53 tie to put the Nittany Lions up for good.

Coach Preview: Robert Burke is in his second season as the head coach at Mount St. Mary's, where he has compiled a 12-23 record. Prior to arriving at MSMU, Burke spent a year as an assistant at American University and before that, nine seasons at Georgetown under John Thompson III as a coach.

Series History: The two teams met for the first time in 1995 when the Gophers handed the Mounts a 87-62 loss—the win has since been vacated by Minnesota.

Projected Starters:
F 42 Danny Thompson (6-7, 230, Sr.) – 9.7 ppg, 11.3 rpg
F 35 Raven Barber (6-8, 220, Jr.) – 10.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg
G 23 Julian Norfleet (6-2, 165, So.) – 11.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg
G 12 Josh Castellanos (6-1, 170, So.) – 11.3 ppg, 5.3 apg
G 11 Chad Holley (6-0, 160, Fr.) – 2.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg

Top Reserves:
G 21 Kelvin Parker (6-1, 185, Fr.) – 3.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg
F 30 Xavier Owens (6-5, 220, Fr.) – 1.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg

Location: Emmitsburg, Md.
Enrollment: 2,100
Conference: Northeast Conference
Nicknames: Mountaineers, The Mount
Colors: Blue & White
Head Coach: Robert Burke
Record at MSM: 12-23
2010-11 Record: 11-21 (9-9)


Minnesota is riding a three-game winning streak to start the season. The Gophers have struggled in the middle part of games, letting their competition stay close, but have managed to pull away at the end to remain perfect on the year. Minnesota has been stout defensively but has struggled to score when the starters are not on the floor. Tubby Smith will look to add a more consistent attack at the non-conference season progresses.

Most of Minnesota's success has come in the paint from the play of star power forward Trevor Mbakwe. The Minnesota native has been electric thus far, averaging a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds per game. Mbakwe has also been a force on the defensive end, blocking two shots per contest. Arguably Mbakwe's greatest contribution has come at the free throw line where he has drained 30 of his team-high 40 opportunities. With an inexperienced backcourt, the Gophers will look to utilize Mbakwe's strength and athleticism to exploit the St. Mary's frontcourt on Monday night.

Projected Starters:
F 32 Trevor Mbakwe (6-8, 245, Sr.) – 18.0 ppg, 10.0 rpg
F 33 Rodney Williams (6-7, 205, Jr.) – 5.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg
C 50 Ralph Sampson III (6-11, 230, Sr.) – 8.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg
G 1 Andre Hollins (6-1, 200, Fr.) – 7.7 ppg, 1.7 apg
G 20 Austin Hollins (6-4, 185) – 8.7 ppg, 1.3 apg

Key Reserves:
G 00 Julian Welch (6-3, 194, Jr.) – 2.3 ppg, 1.3 apg
F 10 Oto Ošenieks (6-8, 220, Fr.) – 5.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.3 apg

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