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Gophers basketball will go as far as "big three" take them

Seniors Trevor Mbakwe, Ralph Sampson III and junior Rodney Williams, are the core of the 2011-2012 squad. The triumvirate open the season at Williams Arena against Bucknell on Nov 11.
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Seniors Trevor Mbakwe, Ralph Sampson III and junior Rodney Williams, are the core of the 2011-2012 squad. The triumvirate open the season at Williams Arena against Bucknell on Nov 11.

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Gopher men take down Bucknell 70-58 in season opener

Tubby Smith's Golden Gophers are off to a nice start after defeating Bucknell 70-58 at Williams Arena Friday night. Trevor Mbakwe led Minnesota with 17-points and 10-rebounds.

Mbakwe & Sampson glad to be Gophers

Trevor Mbakwe and Ralph Sampson III nearly entered the NBA Draft, but decided against it before it was too late. Now the seniors are glad they decided to return. Not only do they want to finish their careers, but the NBA lockout would have them sitting at home anyway.

Mbakwe lifts Gophers past D-II Augustana in exhibition

The Gophers men’s basketball team defeated Augustana 72-60 Monday in exhibition action. Trevor Mbakwe led Minnesota with 22 points and 13 rebounds. It was their final tune-up before regular season play begins with a non-conference game against Bucknell Friday night at Williams Arena.

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 narrowly escape NDSU, 63-59

The Gophers needed a full 40-minutes to shake off the rust of a nine-day layoff tonight as they defeated North Dakota State University, 63-59. Ralph Sampson III scored 15-points and pulled down 6-rebounds. Rodney Williams finished with 14-points and 8-rebounds.

Gophers blanked by Big Ten awards

Not a single Golden Gopher men's basketball player was named to the first, second, third or even honorable mention Big Ten teams on Monday. The only Gopher to take home an award of any kind was Ralph Sampson III. The senior was given a Big Ten Sportsmanship award.

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Minnesota (12-1, 4-6 Big Ten) will play at Nebraska Sunday afternoon for the first time as Big Ten foes. Tubby Smith is looking for more from his leaders, Ralph Sampson III and Rodney Williams. Smith told the Star Tribune "if they're not doing it, we have to find guys that will do it." The two veterans only had four rebounds combined in the tough 63-59 loss at Iowa on Wednesday.

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The Gophers' basketball team debuted without Trevor Mbakwe Wednesday night and walked out of Williams Arena with a 58-55 win over Virginia Tech in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Rodney Williams played his best game of the season, finishing with 14-points and 8-rebounds.