Andy Greder / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ROCKWALL, Texas — Jacob Clark’s first start as a high school quarterback in Texas was under a spotlight against defending state champion Dallas Highland Park in the 2017 season opener. Moving from his mother’s home in Overland Park, Kan., to his dad’s place in Rockwall earlier that spring, Clark sought to test himself against the state’s prestigious level of competition.
MINNEAPOLIS - A group of Gophers football players is expected to be suspended for the program’s appearance in the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit on Dec. 26, sources told the Pioneer Press on Tuesday. This appears to stem from an off-the-field issue after Minnesota beat Wisconsin 37-15 in the Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe on Nov. 24. The Gophers have not held availability for media since they were awarded a spot in the Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field on Dec. 26. Minnesota (6-6) will play Georgia Tech (7-5) in the first bowl appearance at the U for second-year head coach P.J. Fleck.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Gophers men’s basketball team led North Florida for the final 14 minutes Tuesday night, Dec. 11, at Williams Arena. But there was little comfort in Minnesota’s 81-71 win over a program from the little-known Atlantic Sun Conference. Minnesota (9-2) overcame another poor 3-point shooting night to survive North Florida, a 12-year-old Division I program with only one NCAA tournament appearance four years ago.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Rest in peace, RPI. The Rating Percentage Index had been a primary metric for qualifying men’s basketball programs for NCAA tournament selection since 1981, but this year it has been cast aside for the NCAA Evaluation Tool, or NET. NET will rely on game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency, and quality wins and losses. When the games are played will be omitted, and margin of victory will be capped at 10 points to prevent an incentive to produce the biggest blowouts.
GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Bill McGuire doesn’t occupy a windowed corner office inside Minnesota United’s workplace in Golden Valley. Instead of a space befitting his title, the principal owner of the Major League Soccer club occupies something more like a cubicle, without a window and in a row of many just like it.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Gophers men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino challenged Amir Coffey before Wednesday’s game against Nebraska. “I said, ‘You know, I’m sick and tired of going into every game and they talk about (Jordan Murphy) for us and then they talk about all the potential pros on the other team,’” Pitino said. “When are they going to start talking about you? And that is on you.’”
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Gophers volleyball powerhouse has been built as a meritocracy. With that standard, two freshmen will be counted on when second-seeded Minnesota (27-3) faces No. 15 Oregon (22-10) in an NCAA tournament Sweet Sixteen matchup at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, at Maturi Pavilion in Minneapolis.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Gophers volleyball team has bulldozed most of its opponents this season, but they’ve been run over themselves twice -- and one of the culprits is up next. That would be No. 15 Oregon, which beat second-ranked Minnesota way back on Sept. 7, 3-1, during a tournament in Palo Alto, Calif. The teams meet again Friday, Dec. 7, with a trip to the Elite Eight on the line. “I mean, they’re good,” Gophers coach Hugh McCutcheon said of the Ducks. “We knew they were good, and they’re still good.”
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Gophers senior forward Jordan Murphy asked head coach Richard Pitino an off-the-court question a few weeks ago: What should he say to Dupree McBrayer? McBrayer’s mother, Tayra McFarlane, was not well and Murphy wasn’t sure how to approach it with his teammate. “Nobody knows what to say,” Pitino told him. “You just say you’re there for them and you be there for them all the time.”
MINNEAPOLIS — The intrigue Sunday was less about where the Gophers would play their bowl game and more about who they would play. Answer, Georgia Tech in the Quick Lane Bowl on Dec. 26 at Ford Field in Detroit. Since Minnesota became bowl eligible with a 37-15 win at Wisconsin on Nov. 24, most national experts had the Gophers headed to the Quick Lane Bowl for the second time in four years. To get there, Minnesota had to win two of their last three regular-season games.