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.

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).


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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