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Gopher Basketball announces 2010-11 non-conference schedule

On the eve of Gopher Football-2010 officially gets going, the basketball team has announced their non-conference schedule. The Golden Gophers will be taking on the likes of Hilltoppers, Saints, Terriers, Zips and maybe the Flying Dutchman.

The schedule...

Date Opponent
2-Nov Northeastern State (Exh)
8-Nov Winona St (Exh
1-Nov Wofford
15-Nov Sienna
18-21 Nov Puerto Rico Tip-off
18-Nov Western Kentucky
19-Nov Hoffstra / North Carolina
21-Nov TBD
24-Nov North Dakota State
29-Nov Virginia
4-Dec Cornell
8-Dec @ St. Joseph's
11-Dec Eastern Kentucky
15-Dec Akron

My thoughts...

This is a very weak schedule, weaker than the previous two years. The only chance at facing a quality opponent that will boost our tournament resume is facing North Carolina in the second round of the Puerto Rico Classic. Virginia will be a decent opponent as they return some talent but they were just 5-11 last year. We'll have to go 12-1 or we'll need to get 12 Big Ten wins if we want to make the Tournament this year.

Virginia is the toughest opponent that we are guaranteed to face. North Carolina jumps to the top of that list assuming they can beat Hoffstra and we get by Western Kentucky.

Wofford is coming off a 26 win season and they are returning at least six of their top seven leading scorers. Their top three returning scorers are all Minnesota kids. Noah Dahlman (16.6), Jamar Diggs (9.5) and Cameron Rundles (6.6) are all local products who ended up with the Terriers. They nearly knocked off Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament and are very capable of beating the Gophers this November. They are fairly scary.

Eastern Kentucky returns their leading scorer who also happens to be a Minnesota native. Justin Stommes is a forward out of Cold Spring and returns his 14.2 ppg average. The other double-digit scorers from last year are gone so this should be a W.

Cornell was a great team last year but they lost a lot and should be very vulnerable.

I'm not going to go team by team but outside of Virginia, possibly North Carolina and possibly Wofford this schedule is very winable and as I said above needs to be at least a 12-1 non-conference record.