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IU basketball: Minnesota at Indiana game day essentials

Game Day Essentials

Indiana (11-3, 2-2) v. Minnesota (10-2, 1-2)

  • Tip Time: 12:00 p.m. Eastern
  • Location: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Indiana
  • Television: BTN (Chris Vosters – Play-by-Play; Nick Bahe – Analyst)
  • IU Radio Network: IU Radio Network
  • Stream:  Fox Sports Live
  • Point Spread: Indiana is an 11-point favorite
  • KenPom Projected Score: Indiana W, 71-62
  • Series: Indiana leads 104-69.  Indiana is currently on a three-game win streak over the Gophers. Minnesota’s last win over the Hoosiers was an 84-63 win Feb. 16, 2019 at Williams Arena.

Coach Ben Johnson

Sunday’s game marks the first meeting for two new Big Ten head coaches in Ben Johnson and Indiana’s Mike Woodson.  Both coaches were hired just six days apart at their respective alma maters.

On March 22, 2021, Johnson was named head men’s basketball coach at the University of Minnesota. Johnson, 40, is Minnesota’s 18th head coach in program history.

Johnson, who graduated from Minnesota in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, returns to his alma mater after spending three seasons at Xavier as an assistant coach. Johnson previously served as an assistant coach at Minnesota from 2013-18 and was a two-time captain during his playing career for the Gophers.

Johnson helped lead Xavier to consecutive top-30 recruiting classes in 2019 and 2020 and the Musketeers posted a collective record of 51-37 in three seasons with him on the bench.

In his previous stint at Minnesota, Johnson helped recruit local standouts and current NBA athletes in Daniel Oturu and Amir Coffey to the Gophers. Johnson was instrumental in recruiting and developing Jordan Murphy, who finished his career atop the Gopher record books in rebounds (1,307), free throws made (460), free throws attempted (698) and second in scoring (1,802 points).

Minnesota Notes

  • Today’s game marks the first road contest for the Gophers since Dec. 11, when Minnesota and head coach Ben Johnson got its first Big Ten win of the season and his head coaching career with an upset of Michigan.  The Gophers are 3-0 in true road contests this season and 5-0 away from Williams Arena this season.
  • Minnesota has won on the road the past three consecutive games at Pittsburgh, at Mississippi State and at Michigan.
  • Minnesota has 10 newcomers to the Golden Gopher roster, however some with multiple years of collegiate basketball experience. Both Luke Loewe and Eylijah Stephens played four years of collegiate ball at William & Mary and Lafayette. Payton Willis returns to the Gophers after a year at College of Charleston. In addition, Jamison Battle saw two years of action at George Washington before coming to Minnesota.
  • Jamison Battle is ranked sixth in Big Ten overall scoring. He averages 18.2 points per game, while Payton Willis ranks 11th in the league at 15.7. Willis holds this league’s best three-point percentage at 44.1 percent. Battle leads the league averaging 36.5 minutes played. The duo also ranks third and seventh in three-point average with 2.5 and 2.4 respectively. Willis also ranks fourth in the league in steals per game (1.8).
  • Battle added 10 points against Illinois, which marked his 27th straight double-figure scoring game dating back to last season at George Washington. Battle’s season high is 27 points (at Michigan), while his career high is 29 (vs. Duquesne). He has scored over 20 points for the Gophers in five games this season.
  • The last Gopher road win at Indiana dates back to Jan. 12, 2012 when Minnesota won, 77-74. Minnesota was led by Austin Hollins who scored 18 on 7-of-10 shooting.

KenPom Notables

Tempo – No. 239

Offense – No. 110

  • UM’s overall 52 percent effective field goal percentage offense is No. 97 nationally, consisting of 35.5 percent (No. 84) from three and 51.4 percent (No. 116 from two).
  • Minnesota takes care of the ball.  Their 14.1 percent turnover percentage is No. 10 nationally.
  • The Golden Gophers are the worst offensive rebounding team in the country with just a 16.5 percent rate, No. 358 in the nation.

Defense – No. 62 

  • UM’s effective field goal defense is 45.6 percent, No. 37.  That is largely due to opponents shooting just 25.8 percent from three, No. 5.  Minnesota appears to run teams off the three-point arc, as opposing three-point attempts account for just 32.9 percent of total field goal attempts, No. 45.
  • The Golden Gophers only force a 17.4 percent turnover rate which comes in at just No. 263.
  • Teams generally don’t get to the free throw line.  Opposing free throw attempts are just 22 percent of field goal attempts, No. 20


  • Don’t expect much from the bench.  UM’s 14.8 percent bench minutes are the lowest in the country.
  • Minnesota puts one of the most experienced teams on the court, No. 18 nationally.

The Daily Hoosier –“Where Indiana fans assemble when they’re not at Assembly”