PISCATAWAY -- Rutgers hosts Minnesota in Big Ten action on Saturday , at the RAC. The Scarlet Knights feature three players in double figures, including guard Corey Sanders, who averages a team-high 13.1 points. The Golden Gophers boast five players in double figures, led by Nate Mason's 14.4 points-per-game.
While Rutgers (13-12, 2-10 B1G) needs three wins over its final six regular-season games to sneak out of the Big Ten basement and possibly secure a .500 campaign, Minnesota (17-7, 5-6) sits in a tie for seventh place in the conference standings.
"Talented. I mean, there's a lot of things that concerns me,'' Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell said of a Minnesota team coached by Richard Pitino. "Mason's a terrific point guard; I think he's one of the best on both ends of the ball. He poses many problems for us.
"They're the best shot-blocking team in the league. They start every game off basically and you're 0-for-10 off the bat because they block 10 shots. But we're a team that gets a lot of shots blocked, so we talked a lot about that the past few days. We can't be one of those teams where the blocked shot is the first pass in their fast break.''
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Rutgers posted its lone Big Ten win last year at the expense of Minnesota, topping the undermanned Golden Gophers, 75-52, in the regular-season finale. But this is a different Minnesota team, one that has its sights on an NCAA Tournament berth.
"I think they have really talented shooters and scorers on the perimeter,'' Pikiell said. "They attack the rim. They play good defense. They're very talented and obviously a much-improved basketball team from last year to this year at every position. They're going to present many problems for us.''
Here is everything you need to know about the game:
Who: Minnesota (17-7, 5-6 Big Ten) vs. Rutgers (13-12, 2-10 Big Ten).
When: Saturday, Feb. 11, 12 p.m. Eastern.
Where: The RAC, Piscataway, N.J.
TV: ESPNU (Clay Matvick and Sean Harrington on the call).
Radio: 1450 AM and 710 AM (Jerry Recco and Joe Boylan on the call); 88.7 FM.
Game notes: Rutgers. Minnesota. Big Ten.
Keith Sargeant may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @KSargeantNJ. Find NJ.com Rutgers Football on Facebook.
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