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Minnesota Basketball: Previewing North Florida

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Gophers continue final non-conference tune up with A-Sun foe

NCAA Basketball: North Florida at Louisiana State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Gophers resumed their non-conference season on Saturday, and looked like a team that’s used to playing upper-tier opponents, dismantling the visiting Arkansas State Red Wolves 72-56. For Minnesota, it was a bit of a reprieve from a brutal schedule that had them traveling coast to coast and facing teams from a variety of major conferences.

For the Gophers, it was never really in doubt, and they jumped out to a 21-2 lead and never led by fewer than 12 points the rest of the way.

Things don’t get much more difficult for the rest of the non-con season, though the games will be few and far between. Minnesota faces North Florida on Tuesday before taking 10 days off for semester exams, returning to face North Carolina A&T and then playing Mount St. Mary’s nine days later to close out the non-conference season.

The Gophers will be without Dupree McBrayer in this one, who traveled home to New York earlier in the week for the funeral of his mother, who passed away from cancer last week.

Essentials:

Who are the Gophers playing?

North Florida Ospreys (4-5)

What time are they playing?

Tuesday, Dec. 11 @ 8 p.m. CT

Where are they playing?

Williams Arena

Can I watch the game on TV?

Yes. BTN.

Can I listen to the game on the radio?

Yes, KTLK 1130 AM/103.5 FM

Tell me more about the opponent.

North Florida is coming off of a 10-day break, but is on a two game winning streak, having dispatched Charleston Southern and Florida A&M in recent weeks. Will the be rusty? It may not matter.

The Ospreys are out of the Atlantic Sun, a conference the Gophers are 6-0 against historically. And while North Florida is picked to challenge Lipscomb for the conference title, they shouldn’t pose much of a threat to Minnesota.

Junior forward Noah Horchler is the standout, and leads the UNF offense and defense in three different categories, as he averages a double-double (16.0 points, 10.4 rebounds) while blocking two shots per game. Junior guards Garrett Sims and Ivan Gandia-Rosa are also averaging in double figures as the Ospreys are averaging 75 points per game.

Predictions

The Gophers are the clear favorite in this one, which isn’t surprising. KenPom likes Minnesota by 15, giving them a 86-71 nod. I’ll take Minnesota by 15.