Gophers Basketball
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Jordan Murphy got off to one of the hottest starts of any Gophers basketball player in recent memory with 17 straight double-double games to open last season, tying Tim Duncan’s mark at Wake Forest in 1996-97.

While you won’t see the Gophers receiving much preseason hype entering the 2018-19 season after finishing with a 15-17 record last season, Murphy, a 6-foot-7 senior power forward, will be on the cover of at least one college basketball preseason magazine this fall.

Street & Smith’s basketball annual for this year features Murphy and Iowa’s Tyler Cook (also smaller pic of Illinois' Trent Frazier) on one of its regional college covers. The last time I can remember a U player as one of the main cover boys on a preseason hoops magazine was Andre Hollins in Athlon Sports back in 2014-15.

That was the second year for Richard Pitino coaching at Minnesota, while this is his sixth season in Minneapolis. Murphy, who averaged 16.8 points and a Big-Ten best 11.3 rebounds last season to earn all-conference honors for the second straight year, is as deserving to be on the cover as any player Pitino has coached.

Street & Smith assistant editor Will Long explained why Murphy was picked on the cover this year: “(Murphy's an) experienced senior forward who averaged a double-double last season and should be instrumental in helping the Golden Gophers contend in the Big Ten while rebounding from a 15-17 record in 2017-18.”

Street & Smith pro/college magazine arrives in stores on Sept. 18 and predicts the Gophers to be fourth in the Big Ten. Already on newsstands in some areas are Athlon Sports and Lindy’s Sports annuals with Wisconsin players Ethan Happ and Maple Grove's Brad Davison on separate regional covers. Athlon and Lindy's picked the Gophers to be 11th and ninth, respectively.

Here’s a breakdown of where the Gophers have been picked by preseason magazines during Pitino’s tenure and where they actually finished in the Big Ten standings from 2013-18:

Season

Athlon

Lindy's

SN/S&S

Actual

13-14

9th

9th

9th

7th

14-15

9th

4th

9th

10th

15-16

12th

11th

13th

13th

16-17

12th

13th

12th

4th

17-18

2nd

3rd

4th

11th

18-19

11th

9th

4th

???