And the season gets started. Year three under Ben Johnson. They face the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, led by Reggie Theus, former first-round pick and Timberwolves assistant coach.
Record: 0-0 (0-0)
KenPom Rank: 350
So the Wildcats were not very good last year, and do not appear to be headed in a better direction this year. Ranked 350th out of 362 in KenPom’s preseason rankings is not encouraging. This is likely the worst team we will face this year. So can the Gophers take care of business and start the season 1-0?
KEYS TO A GOPHER WIN
Stop Zion Harmon - The Wildcat’s best player is a sophomore guard. Harmon was the SWAC Freshman of the Year and was 2nd team All-SWAC. He led BC in scoring at 13.7 and looks to be the focal point of the offense again.
Play together - The exhibition game against Macalester was one where the Gophers had a LOT of assists. Want to see an offense that moves the ball and works together to get shots.
Rebound - The Wildcats seem to have decent size, which didn’t translate into rebounds last year, but we also sucked at rebounding. Would love to see that be a little different this season.
I’m not bullish on Gopher hoops this year, but this will be a win. Harmon may light up the scoreboard and it may be close in the first half. But Minnesota pulls away and wins this early season game.
Minnesota - 76
Bethune-Cookman - 60