The young Utes are on the road for the first time this young season, as they take on Minnesota to get a better feel for where they are, and what they need to work on. The first outing for the Utes was uneven, to say the least. They came out on fire, and then things just ground to a halt against Maine. I’d expect Utah to continue to do plenty of experimentation with various lineups and matchups, as the coaches learn who plays best together. I’m really curious how well guys like Donnie Tillman, Timmy Allen and Novak Topalovic do on the road, and how they handle adversity. I’m hoping to see more controlled offensive sets, which will start with Sedrick Barefield, and continue with Both Gach. Gach got himself into some trouble against Maine, with how he handled the offense, and I want to see him continue to learn and progress.
It’s a very interesting matchup, and we should get a little bit of a better understanding of what this Utah team’s identity is after this game, even if it’s just a little bit.
From the official press release, here’s more info on Minnesota, and how you can catch the game Monday night.
The Golden Gophers opened its 2018-19 season with a home win over Nebraska-Omaha, 104-76, back on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Amir Coffey led the way with 18 points, while three other starters scored in double-figures (Dupree McBrayer, 17; Daniel Oturu, 14; Jordan Murphy, 12). Murphy led the team with 10 boards for a double-double in the game.
Minnesota went 15-17 overall in 2017-18, which included a 4-14 record in Big Ten play. The Golden Gophers were 11-6 overall when playing inside Williams Arena. Murphy is Minnesota’s leading returner in scoring, having averaged 16.8 points per game a season ago. He averaged a double-double on the year, also pulling down 11.3 boards per contest. Coffey, another top-returner for the Gophers, tallied 14.0 points in 2017-18, while playing in just 18 games.
In just one game so far this season, Minnesota as a team is shooting .629 from the field, .476 from three-point range and .696 from the charity stripe.
UTAH VS. MINNESOTA SERIES HISTORY
The Utes and Gophers will match-up for just fourth time since 1955, and the first time overall since 2003. Utah is 2-1 all-time and has won the previous two meetings. The Utes downed Minnesota, 66-54, back on Nov. 19, 2003, in Salt Lake City and also registered a 75-72 neutral-site win against the Gophers in Raleigh, N.C., back on Dec. 29, 1959. Minnesota won the initial meeting between the two teams, downing the Utes, 90-77, back on Dec. 21, 1955, in Lexington, Ky.
GAME 2: Utah (1-0) vs. Minnesota (1-0)
WHERE: Minneapolis, Minn. (Williams Arena)
WHEN: Monday, Nov. 12, 2018
TIP-OFF: 8 p.m. CT
TELEVISION: Big Ten Network / BTN