Men's Basketball

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Gophers center Mo Walker sat out the first six games due to a suspension.
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Tue, 12/03/2013
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Elliott Eliason came in like a wrecking ball in the Gophers’ matchup with No. 8 Syracuse on Nov. 25. He recorded six points, nine rebounds and five blocks in the opening round of the Maui Invitational.

When Eliason sat out with foul trouble, Minnesota had no answer for the Orange’s big men down low.

 Gophers head coach Richard Pitino was forced to play forwards Oto Osenieks and Joey King at center, but both were undersized and overmatched as Syracuse wore down Minnesota’s front line en route to a 75-67 victory.

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Minnesota showed less fight against the Razorbacks on Tuesday afternoon.
Publish Date: 
Wed, 11/27/2013
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It was a rough 20 minutes of basketball for the Gophers.

Minnesota (5-2) allowed many easy buckets and was outscored 52-33 in the second half en route to an 87-73 loss to Arkansas (4-1) on Tuesday night in the Maui Invitational in Maui, Hawaii.

“We came out in the second half and they punched us first,” junior guard Andre Hollins said. “We didn’t play as hard as we should have.”

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Minnesota finished with 16 turnovers and were outscored 52-33 in the second half.
Publish Date: 
Tue, 11/26/2013
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It was a rough 20 minutes of basketball for the Gophers.

Minnesota (5-2) allowed countless easy buckets and was outscored 52-33 in the second half en route to an 87-73 loss to Arkansas (4-1) on Tuesday night.

“We came out in the second half and they punched us first,” junior guard Andre Hollins said. “We didn't play as hard as we should have.”

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Minnesota finished with 16 turnovers and were outscored 52-33 in the second half.
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Tue, 11/26/2013
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It’s early in the season, but in Minnesota’s first real test of the season against No. 8 Syracuse, it became pretty obvious that it ain’t easy without the Big Easy on the floor.

Gophers junior center Elliott Eliason is the X-factor on this year’s squad, and his play will have a tremendous bearing on how Minnesota finishes in the Big Ten.

In the offseason, Eliason morphed from a finesse big man into a son of a gun down low. That transformation was as crucial as any development that took place in the offseason.

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Malik Smith shot 4 of 7 from beyond the arc and finished with 16 points.
Publish Date: 
Tue, 11/26/2013
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The Gophers went toe-to-toe with No. 8 Syracuse (5-0) on Tuesday night in the first round of the Maui Invitational, but they eventually fell short.

Minnesota (5-1) lost 75-67 to the Orange — its first loss of the season and of the Richard Pitino era.

The Gophers overcame a 14-point second-half deficit and got as close as 67-65 with 2:13 to play.

But turnovers on back-to-back possessions proved to be the difference.

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Malik Smith shot 4 of 7 from beyond the arc and finished with 16 points.
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The Gophers beat up on Wofford and will now face their toughest test yet.
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Mon, 11/25/2013
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Gophers head coach Richard Pitino is no stranger to No. 9 Syracuse, Minnesota’s first-round opponent in the Maui Invitational.

While he’s never faced the Orange as a head coach, Pitino has been on the opposing bench from Syracuse Hall of Fame head coach Jim Boeheim six times. Pitino’s teams are 3-3 in those six meetings.

That familiarity helps with preparation for Monday’s matchup.

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Oto Osenieks has started every game and recently scored a career high.
Publish Date: 
Thu, 11/21/2013
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Oto Osenieks has improved many facets of his game this season.

The junior forward’s shooting and rebounding numbers are both up, and he’s played better on the defensive end.

But perhaps the biggest and most important improvement has been in his confidence.

“I feel more free,” he said.

Osenieks has seen plenty of the court early this season. He has started all four games and is averaging 23.3 minutes per contest for the Gophers.

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Oto Osenieks has started every game and recently scored a career high.
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Andre Hollins led Minnesota with 19 points in a win over the Chants.
Publish Date: 
Wed, 11/20/2013
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The Gophers attempted a lot of three-point shots Tuesday night.

It may have been too many — especially for a team that shot just 28.6 percent from the beyond the arc in the game.

Minnesota took 28 total threes — 17 in the first half — but still managed an 82-72 victory over Coastal Carolina at Williams Arena.

“We fell in love with the three,” junior guard Andre Hollins said. “We should have attacked them [and gotten] to the foul line.”

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Malik Smith came to Minnesota with Richard Pitino and has adjusted well.
Publish Date: 
Tue, 11/19/2013
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Malik Smith averaged more than eight three-point attempts per game as a junior at Florida International last season.

That’s going to be tough to do this season with the likes of Andre Hollins and Austin Hollins playing alongside him.

“I pretty much had the green light to go whenever I felt like it,” Smith said of his time at FIU. “Now I have to pick my spots.”

It’s a new role for the Gophers senior guard, who followed his head coach Richard Pitino to Minnesota and was the Panthers’ second-leading scorer last season.

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Minnesota closed the game with a 19-0 run and won 74-59 on Saturday.
Publish Date: 
Mon, 11/18/2013
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The Gophers couldn’t find an answer for Richmond’s offense Saturday night.

The Spiders ran a Princeton-style attack featuring cuts and drives to the bucket that earned them easy baskets and put Gophers junior guards DeAndre Mathieu and Andre Hollins in foul trouble.

So trailing by four with 7:25 to play, Gophers head coach Richard Pitino changed his team’s defense.

“I went zone because they were carving our man [defense] up really good and we couldn’t get stops,” he said. “It’s Princeton on steroids.”

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