The South Dakota State Jackrabbits just thumped Minnesota in Minneapolis. The Jackrabbits' fans, figuratively, were foaming at the mouth to strike down the program that takes its home-state players (Iverson, Elliason, etc.) and also receives a lot more national attention. The Gophers have lost two straight basketball games courtesy of SDSU and USD. Minnesota will now head for South Dakota after an up and down four-game homestand, in hopes of pointing the ship in the right direction.
Minnesota takes on Oklahoma State, which is one of the many power-5 teams that has slipped up against some mid-majors this season. Oklahoma State is coming off a loss against in-state rival Tulsa and a border battle loss against Missouri State. Sounds very similar to a team we know, doesn't it?
Oklahoma State vs. Minnesota preview:
Where: Sanford Pentagon, Sioux Falls, SD
When: Saturday, 7:30 CT
TV/Radio: BTN, 1500 ESPN
Conference: Big 12
Last season record: 18-13 (8-10)
Current record: 5-3
Key departure from last season: LeBryan Nash (17.2 ppg)
OkSt. has enjoyed a lot of success in recent years, minus the past two. They brought in Igor Ibaka who as a freshman has only played 2 mpg. Igor Ibaka is of course Serge Ibaka's brother of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The freshman is said to have the athleticism, but has come in very unpolished like his brother had from the Republic of the Congo. Oklahoma state does seem to have a player in fellow freshmen, Jawun Evans. Evans at 5'11" is averaging 10pts/4reb/4assists on 48% shooting from the field. They also have a couple of senior guards that are averaging in double figures, that's Phil Forte (13.3 ppg) and Jeff Newberry (13.0 ppg).
Both Oklahoma State and the Gophers are coming off losses that have stirred the hornet's nest that is the diehard hometown basketball fans. Both programs are in desperate need of a win. Show up or shut up time as the Gophers face their last power-5 out of conference team before B10 play.