Sophomore point guard Jasmine Powell happens to be playing for a coach who was one of women's basketball's greatest point guards.
Junior guard Marcus Carr, the Gophers' top scorer, also needs to create more opportunities for his teammates.
All seven conference teams will participate in the three-day, single elimination event.
The Gophers have won two consecutive games for the first time this season, with back-to-back road wins at Nebraska and Penn State. Both victories were sealed with strong fourth quarters.
Michael Rand will host and Star Tribune Sports reporters and columnists will contribute every weekday morning to the all-sports, all-topics shows.
Because of COVID-19, how the men's tournament committee will choose its 16 teams is a work in progress. Here's a far-off projection of the field, which could have a strong Minnesota flavor among the top seeds.
A young, energetic coach that has a good track record? Yes, other teams are going to express their interest in hiring him.
Shane Wiskus, a senior from Spring Park, moved to Colorado in November to train for this summer's Olympics.
Gophers respond with a big fourth-quarter rally following a scolding from Lindsay Whalen.
Gadiva Hubbard snapped out of a shooting slump in U's victory at Nebraska.
Stephanie Samedy had 14 kills and six blocks and the Gophers beat Michigan State in three sets Sunday at Maturi Pavilion.
The Gophers broke a two-game losing streak with a come-from-behind 76-71 victory at Nebraska on Tuesday, one in which the Cornhuskers were held to 8-for-33 shooting in the second half.
The Nebraska native did not sign with the rest of the class during December's early signing period and instead will sign with another team in February.
Saturday's home loss further exposed a glaring Gophers basketball deficiency that can only be fixed in recruiting. They took 23 three-point shots, made only five and the offense deteriorated.
The Gophers have beaten four ranked opponents at Williams Arena this season, but couldn't avoid the letdown after beating Michigan.
Minnesota's 25-18, 26-24, 25-16 victory wasn't always smooth. But the Gophers got strong performances from several returners and solid debuts from a pair of freshmen.
A look back at Saturday afternoon's game
A game against Maryland this afternoon is another test for the nation's No. 17 team.
Last seen at the 2019 Final Four in a loss to Stanford, the Gophers will open a new season on Saturday against Michigan State.
Iowa won the first nine matches to rout the Gophers 35-4 on Friday night at Maturi Pavilion