The first week without injured senior forward Trevor Mbakwe has to be considered a success for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Minnesota earned a pair of wins over major conference foes, and those could pay dividends in the long run when it comes to making the NCAA Tournament.
This week the Gophers have a pair of easier game, as they host two mid-majors at the Barn starting Tuesday night when they host Appalachian State at 7 p.m. The Mountaineers enter the game with a 4-3 record, but just two of their wins have come against Division I competition. Minnesota will be the first major conference opponent this season for the Southern Conference program.
On Saturday at noon the Gophers will welcome a team that played in last season's NCAA Tournament. St. Peter's was a surprise conference tournament winner that earned an automatic berth before fellow Big Ten member Purdue blasted them in round one. St. Peter's is off to a rough start at 2-5 with wins over Siena and Binghamton.