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Gopher report: Johnson off to a perfect start as head coach

Ben Johnson's five consecutive wins to start a tenure with the Gophers is tied for the fourth longest in school history.

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Ben Johnson coaches his first game as the head coach of the University of Minnesota men’s basketball program as the Golden Gophers played Concordia-St. Paul on Nov. 1 in Minneapolis. Scott Takushi / St. Paul Pioneer Press
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Minnesota at Pittsburgh

6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021

Rookie head coach Ben Johnson is one of four first-time Division I head coaches this season with a perfect record.

D-I, Undefeated Rookie Head Coaches – 2021-22
(No Prior Season Coaching Any D-I Team)

  • Mike Woodson, Indiana 6-0
  • Mark Adams, Texas Tech 6-0
  • Tommy Lloyd, Arizona 6-0
  • Ben Johnson, Minnesota 5-0

Johnson’s winning streak to start a tenure with the Gophers is tied for the fourth longest in school history – O.B. “Ozzie” Cowles (13, 1948-49), Jim Dutcher (8, 1975-76), Dan Monson (6, 1999-2000) and Richard Pitino (5, 2013-14).

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Additional team and player notes

  • Minnesota defeated Jacksonville, 55-44, at The Barn last Wednesday, holding the Dolphins to 6.7% shooting from behind the arc. The Gophers had not held a team under 10% from 3-point range since Dec. 28, 2013 (Texas A&M – Corpus Christi, 6.7).
  • Against Jacksonville, Jamison Battle was 5-for-5 on two-point attempts and Sean Sutherlin was 5-for-6. For the season, Battle and Sutherlin have combined to shoot 69.8 percent on 2-pointers while the rest of the team is shooting 46.9% inside the arc.
  • Minnesota has not faced Pittsburgh since a 72-43 win in 1950. The Panthers won the other two meetings, in 1932 and 1933. The Gophers have three straight wins against ACC foes, their longest such streak since a four-game streak in 1996-2000 (first two wins vacated).
  • Pittsburgh is 2-4 after falling to UMBC, 87-77, on Saturday. The Panthers have been outscored by 7.3 points per game this season, the worst points-per-game differential among the 76 major conference teams.
  • The Panthers’ top four scorers are underclassmen, and 70% of Pittsburgh’s points have come from underclassmen, the fifth-highest mark among major conference teams.
Related Topics: BASKETBALL
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