Gophers- UTSA preview: Visitors bring a towering front court


Gophers vs. Texas-San Antonio: 6:30 p.m. Friday at Williams Arena

TV; radio: Peacock; 103.5 FM

For the fans: It's Salute to Service night. The Gophers will give discounted tickets on site to veterans and current service members for the game ahead of Veteran's Day on Saturday.

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Marcus Fuller's preview:

Opening bell: It was a game of halves for the Gophers in Monday's season-opening 80-60 victory vs. Bethune-Cookman. At halftime, the Gophers led 46-22, which was larger than any halftime lead all of last season. But complacency kicked in. Minnesota was outscored 38-34 in the second half. Consistently keeping their foot on the pedal will be a factor Friday for the Gophers vs. Texas-San Antonio, which opened with a 78-68 overtime win vs. Western Illinois on Monday.

Watch him: For the second straight game, the Gophers won't have the size advantage in the paint. UTSA features 7-footer Carlton Linguard Jr., a Kansas State transfer, and 6-10, 255-pound Trey Edmonds in a towering frontcourt that combined for 27 points, 18 rebounds and three blocks Monday. Dawson Garcia was a dominant inside presence for the U with 23 points, 14 rebounds and six assists on opening night.

Injuries: For the Gophers, freshman guard Cam Christie (illness) is expected to make his college debut Friday. Christie missed the exhibition and opener.

Forecast: The Gophers showed off a fast-paced new style of play in the opener, but they struggled taking care of the ball with 17 turnovers. That and giving up 22 offensive rebounds can't become a trend if Ben Johnson's squad wants to keep on the winning track Friday. How much Pharrel Payne can help Garcia inside with a minute restriction coming off an injury is something to watch.

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