Marcus Fuller of the Pioneer Press is reporting that the Gophers will be a part of the 2009 field of the 76 Classic basketball tournament. The tournament will occur over the Thanksgiving weekend next year and the eight team field will include...
- UCLA - assume will be highest ranked team
- Texas A&M - leading scorer will be gone, returns the rest
- West Virginia - leading scorer will be gone, returns the rest
- Long Beach State - Dan Monson's club
- Clemson - has two significant seniors on current team
- Butler - zero seniors on roster
- Portland - zero seniors on roster
- Minnesota - no significant seniors on roster
This is going to be a decent little tournament. Looking at current rosters every team brings back almost their entire roster. UCLA loses a LOT but we all know they'll reload. Other than that Clemson loses two, and the rest of the field brings back nearly all of their significant contributors.
As far as the Gopher's schedule is concerned we know that Nebraska is on the schedule and of course we'll get an ACC opponent that will be at our perceived level of competence. So at the very least we'll have three or four quality opponents on the non-conference schedule as opposed this year's two. Likely we'll play two or three good teams in the 76 classic which will be a nice change of pace compared to the previous few seasons.