The Gophers are desperate for a Big Ten win after dropping a tough, two-point loss to Iowa on Wednesday that kept Minnesota winless in league play at 0-3. Junior guard Julian Welch has been a consistent option for the Gophers as they continue trying to make up for the loss of Trevor Mbakwe. Welch is averaging 13 points per game in Big Ten play.
Ralph Sampson III has been up and down for Minnesota flashing the ability to be a positive force. Sampson should have an advantage over Purdue's front court and his ability to deliver down low could be the difference in this game.
Purdue will be focused after suffering their first Big Ten loss by 20 points at Penn State on Thursday. Robbie Hummel makes the Boilermakers go with 16.4 points per game, but to win Purdue needs another player or two to step up and support Hummel.
Guards Ryne Smith and Lewis Jackson are usually the candidates that pitch in for Purdue's winning formula which also requires their signature pressure defense to be on point.
The game tips off at 5:00 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
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