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The Gophers men's basketball team will compete in the SoCal Challenge during Thanksgiving week for the 2022-23 season, event organizers announced Tuesday.

The eight-team event in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., is scheduled for November 21 and 23 with two divisions.

The Surf Division features the Gophers, UNLV, Southern Illinois, and Cal Baptist, while the Sand Division features Cal State Northridge, Central Michigan, Tennessee State, and High Point. High Point is coached by G.G. Smith, the son of former Gophers coach Tubby Smith, who retired after coaching his alma mater last season.

Last season, the inaugural SoCal Challenge was won by Fresno State and Utah Valley in their respective divisions.

The Gophers are expected to host Central Michigan on Nov. 18 at Williams Arena as part of the multi-team event. The season opener is Nov. 11 vs. St. Francis-Brooklyn at the Barn.

Second-year Gophers coach Ben Johnson will have a nearly revamped roster after finishing 13-17 in his first season with his alma mater, but he returns leading scorer and rebounder Jamison Battle. Part of the incoming newcomers is North Carolina transfer Dawson Garcia.

"We're looking forward to playing in the SoCal Challenge and facing some great competition Thanksgiving week," Johnson said in the news release. "We know our student-athletes will have a first-class experience at such a well-run national tournament. I'm excited for our Gophers fans to experience a fun, warm destination that they can travel to and enjoy."

Fans are already able to book packages to watch the Gophers play in the SoCal Challenge at Creative Charters. Not only does it seem to be an appealing trip for Gophers faithful to follow Johnson's new team, but the Gophers also have strong California ties this year.

Gophers assistant Marcus Jenkins, who has California as one of his recruiting bases, grew up in Lompoc, Calif., which is about four hours away. Jenkins helped the U land incoming freshman Jaden Henley from nearby Ontario. Henley went to Colony High School, which is less than an hour from San Juan Capistrano.

Lastly, Dartmouth graduate transfer Taurus Samuels grew up only 30 minutes away in Oceanside, Calif. Chances are high there will be a strong Gophers crowd in attendance in this year's SoCal Challenge.

Early look Gophers men's hoops non-conference schedule 2022-23

Nov. 11 — vs. St. Francis-Brooklyn

Nov. 18 — vs. Central Michigan*

Nov. 21 and Nov. 22 — SoCal Challenge in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. (Cal Baptist, UNLV and Southern Illinois other teams)

Dec. 11 vs. Mississippi State

Dec. 22 vs. Chicago State

Dec. 29 vs. Alcorn State

* - Part of the SoCal Challenge MTE