The Minnesota Golden Gopher’s men’s basketball team has had an up-and-down early part of the season, and they are coming off a double overtime loss to South Dakota last Saturday. They’ll face a second straight team from a state that directly borders to the west, as South Dakota State will come to Williams Arena Tuesday night. The Jackrabbits are 7-1 so far this season, with their most recent win coming over Division II Wayne State.
Line: Minnesota (-2.5)
Radio (Minnesota): 1500 AM-KSTP
Radio (South Dakota State): 570 AM-WNAX, 910 AM-KJJQ
Players to Watch (with season stats)
F Joey King-17.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists per game-53.7 percent from three-point range
F Jordan Murphy-10.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game; back-to-back double-doubles (43 points and 27 rebounds)
G Nate Mason-12.8 points, 4.5 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game
C Bakary Konate-5.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocked shots per game
South Dakota State:
G Deondre Parks-16.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game
F Mike Daum-12.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game; 12 or more points in four of the last five games
G George Marshall-12.9 points, 2.9 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game
G Jake Bittle-10.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game; 41.2 percent from three-point range
The Golden Gophers should be able to handle the Jackrabbits, but nothing can be taken for granted right now in terms of a definite mark in the win column. Coach Richard Pitino will surely see to it that the team does not take South Dakota State lightly, and Minnesota should ultimately prevail.
Score Prediction: Golden Gophers 75, Jackrabbitts 68