Minnesota-Lipscomb Basketball Preview

The Minnesota Gophers open the regular season with a 3:00 Sunday game versus Lipscomb. Lipscomb, completing its first year in the Atlantic Sun Conference, is also completing its first year as an active Division I member. Their head coach, Scott Sanderson, is entering his fifth year with Lipscomb. Sanderson is 76-73. The Bisons finished 7-21 last season and 4-16 in Atlantic Sun play. They are projected to finish in the bottom of the conference.

They return two starters in Brian Fisk, a 6-foot-2 sophomore guard and James Poindexter, a 6-foot-1 junior guard. Fisk was a member of the Atlantic Sun first-team All-Freshman and is a preseason candidate of All-Atlantic Sun honors. Fisk averaged 11.5 points and 4.1 rebounds per game last season. He finished 18th in the conference in scoring, sixth in steals (1.86 per game) and 12th in free throw percentage (71.8) last year. Fisk scored 12 points and grabbed seven boards in an 87-73 victory over Freed-Hardeman University Tuesday night in an exhibition game.


Poindexter averaged 10.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per contest last season and led the team with 19 points and eight rebounds in their exhibition opener.


Labrian Lyons, a 6-foot-3 freshman, had seven assists in the opener to go along with six points. He is the third guard in the three-guard attack.


Matt Jarboe, a 6-foot-7, 230-pound senior is the lone senior in the starting lineup. He had 14 points in the opener and averaged 6.1 points and 2.8 rebounds per game last season.


Shaun Duarant, a 6-foot-8, 250-pound junior center, had 10 points in the opener. Durant is originally from London, England and averaged 15.2 points and a team-leading 9.5 rebounds per game at Kaskaskia (IL) CC.


An NCAA rule change will allow the Lipscomb men's basketball team to compete for an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time next season. They would love nothing more than a win over a Big Ten team to start the season.


The Gophers are 4-0 against Atlantic Sun squads. They defeated Mercer 80-59 in 2001, Centenary 93-59 and Jacksonville 62-48 in 1982 and 52-50 in 1983.


Lipscomb signed Eden Prairie center Kris Alpers to a letter of intent in the early signing period, so it is likely that the Bison could face the Gophers again down the road.


PREDICTION: Minnesota 79, Lipscomb 56




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