Minnesota found out the hard way that the road is a tough place to win in college basketball.
The Gophers went 2-2 during a four-game stretch against ranked team, winning both home games and losing the pair on the road. Makes sense. Minnesota is good enough to beat teams better than them at the Barn, but they’re not quite good enough to beat those teams away from home yet.
And don’t be fooled by the final score, Nebraska put a pretty good beating on the Gophers. Tarran Petteway went for 35 points and the Huskers opened up a lead that grew as big as 15 in the second half. Minnesota made a run down the stretch, but Nebraska was in control most of the way.
What does this mean for the Gophers?
Well, it’s certainly not a positive, but Nebraska is better than they get credit for. The Huskers currently sit 80th in the RPI, they beat Ohio State at home and they had Michigan on the ropes. Pinnacle Bank Arena is proving to be a difficult place to play.
It’s also important to remember that Minnesota was playing without Andre Hollins, who sprained his ankle in the win over Wisconsin. That was going to catch up to them eventually. As good as Dre Mathieu can be in the open floor, he’s got a habit of getting out of control. He scored 13 points and was 4-for-5 from the field on Sunday … with nine turnovers.
The presence of Hollins on the floor will balance that.
Minnesota is going to be just fine as long as they get healthy.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.