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Sampson to start against LaSalle in NIT

Ralph Sampson will be back in the Gophers’ lineup Wednesday night when Minnesota takes on LaSalle in the opening round of the NIT tournament. Sampson sat out the Big 10 tournament last week with a sprained knee, but coach Tubby Smith tells the Pioneer Press his senior center “looks good.”
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Ralph Sampson will be back in the Gophers’ lineup Wednesday night when Minnesota takes on LaSalle in the opening round of the NIT tournament. Sampson sat out the Big 10 tournament last week with a sprained knee, but coach Tubby Smith tells the Pioneer Press his senior center “looks good.”

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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.

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.

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As expected, Tubby Smith’s Golden Gophers didn’t receive an invitation to the NCAA Tournament. Instead, they received a No. 6 seed in the National Invitational Tournament. They play third-seeded LaSalle in the first round Wednesday.

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It's the Gophers against Washington in the NIT Final Four tonight at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The game is expected to be a fast-paced affair with the potential for high scoring. Ralph Sampson III is questionable as he continues to battle a knee injury.

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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.

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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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Both players are recovering from minor ankle injuries, but Ralph Sampson III and Andre Hollins are expected to start Saturday when the Gophers host St. Peter's. Sampson returned to action against Appalachian State, but Hollins left the game early and didn't return.

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.