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Gophers' Braeden Carrington back from concussion, but Joshua Ola-Joseph out at Northwestern

EVANSTON, ILL. – Gophers sophomore reserves Braeden Carrington and Joshua Ola-Joseph were recovering from concussions this week, but only Carrington was cleared to play Saturday night at Northwestern.

Carrington, who averaged 5.0 points and 3.4 rebounds in 25 games this season, missed the past two games against Penn State and Indiana.

Ola-Joseph, who averaged 7.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 28 games, was ruled out of Wednesday's loss against the Hoosiers by medical staff.

"He actually came to our trainer in the last game, and he was in concussion protocol," Gophers coach Ben Johnson said. "I think he got banged up. He had a reoccurrence of a headache at halftime."

Before the concussion, Ola-Joseph saw his playing time decrease after having started the first 19 games of the season. The 6-7 forward had nine consecutive double-digit scoring games in December and January, but he hasn't reached double figures since a 14-point performance in a Jan. 27 victory at Penn State.

Ola-Joseph's first game off the bench this year was in the first meeting with Northwestern, a 75-66 overtime victory on Feb. 3. He scored 10 points in the last eight games combined, but he hasn't played more than nine minutes.

"You only have so many minutes," Johnson said. "And Parker [Fox] has been playing really well. It's hard when Parker and Dawson [Garcia] at the 4 spot are playing well. We kind of looked at him as playing that four, so when those guys are rolling you've got to decide as a coach what you want to do."

Carrington's return gave the Gophers their top perimeter defender back. The former Park Center standout typically defended the opposing team's top guard. Northwestern's Boo Buie had 20 points in the last game against the Gophers, but he shot 5-for-14 from the field.

Practice at Christie's high school

The Gophers got a chance to practice on the same court where freshman Cam Christie starred at Rolling Meadows in Arlington Heights, Ill.

Johnson said they flew to Chicago a day early Friday to use Christie's high school gym. There was a scheduling issue to practice in Minneapolis.

"Normally we practice at home," Johnson said. "His place is right by the airport. We were looking for spots and I'd rather not practice on Northwestern's campus."

Christie, a 6-6 former four-star recruit, has a chance to be named to the All-Big Ten freshman team this season, which hasn't happened for the program since Amir Coffey in 2016-17. He had a stretch of double-figure scoring in nine of 10 games, including a season-high 23 points in a loss at Illinois.

In the Gophers' victory in February against Northwestern, Christie had 15 points, six rebounds and three assists. Christie's mother, Katrina, was a 1,000-point scorer for the Wildcats when she played during the 1990s.