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Sampson unlikely to play tonight

Sources close to the Gophers' basketball team told the Star Tribune that Ralph Sampson III is unlikely to play in tonight's game against Mount St. Mary's. Sampson III turned his ankle in the closing moments of last week's win over Fairfield.
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Sources close to the Gophers' basketball team told the Star Tribune that Ralph Sampson III is unlikely to play in tonight's game against Mount St. Mary's. Sampson III turned his ankle in the closing moments of last week's win over Fairfield.

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Sampson starting for Gophers tonight

Ralph Sampson III is back in the starting lineup tonight as the Gophers host Appalachian State in non-conference play at Williams Arena. Sampson missed the previous two games because of a turned ankle. Andre Hollins is also starting despite turning an ankle in Saturday's win over USC.

Ankle still bothering Ralph Sampson III

A twisted ankle is still bothering Gophers' center Ralph Sampson III. He missed Monday's win over Mount St. Mary's and did not participate in contact drills Wednesday. Tubby Smith isn't sure if Sampson will play Thursday against DePaul, but he's hoping he will play at some point during the Old Spice Classic.

Sampson III may not play against USC

University of Minnesota center Ralph Sampson III could miss his second consecutive game Saturday when the Gophers host USC. The senior center is still experiencing some soreness in his ankle. He missed Wednesday's win over Virginia Tech as well.

Gophers could be without Sampson

The Gophers could be without starting big man Ralph Sampson III against Northwestern in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday. Sampson injured his knee two days ago and hasn't practice since.

Sampson's ankle feeling better

It's still unclear if Ralph Sampson III will play Tuesday night when the Gophers host Appalachian State, but he was moving around much better during Monday's practice. The 6-foot-11 senior center has missed the last two games.

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With No. 6 Michigan State in town -- and a three-game losing streak threatening to sink the season -- Gophers coach Tubby Smith is asking veterans Ralph Sampson III and Andre Hollins to take more of a leadership role.

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Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse says frustrated Gophers coach Tubby Smith wants Ralph Sampson III to go strong to the basket and not settle for jumpers -- even though that's never been his game.