If Minnesota’s players were wondering what life in the NBA would be like, they are getting a taste of it this week.
On Wednesday night, when Minnesota (7-18, 1-14 Big Ten) plays at Maryland (18-9, 9-7), the Golden Gophers will be in the middle of an NBA-style three-game road trip.
The schedule includes four games in a span of eight days, necessitated by Minnesota’s postponement of a contest earlier this month at Illinois because of COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
The makeup came Monday night when the Golden Gophers lost on the road to the Illini, 78-69. That game came two days after Minnesota fell 76-69 at home to Penn State.
It’s a rugged slate for a team already hampered by injuries and saddled with a 10-game losing streak.
On Monday night at Illinois, Jamison Battle had a season-high 31 points but the Golden Gophers got zero points in 33 minutes from their bench.
One of the injured Golden Gophers, Dawson Garcia, returned Saturday after missing six games and provided 41 points and 15 rebounds in the two defeats.
“We show up in the first half of some games and then in other games it’s the second half,” Minnesota coach Ben Johnson said. “We have to find a way for 40 minutes to combine it.”
Maryland, coming off a 70-66 overtime loss Sunday at Nebraska, will be happy to return home where they are 8-0 in conference games.
At Nebraska, Julian Reese continued to show his progression as an interior force with 16 points and 16 rebounds. Jahmir Young added 16 points and six assists but missed an open look at the end of regulation.
“We had our opportunities,” Maryland coach Kevin Willard said. “I love our shot at the end of regulation but give them credit.”
Donta Scott continued his struggles on the road as he made just 2 of 16 shots from the floor. In seven league losses, Scott is shooting just 29.1 percent from the field.
Maryland’s lone road win in the Big Ten came at Minnesota, 81-46, earlier this month. It was the Terps’ eighth straight win in the series.
–Field Level Media