Minnesota News Briefs: Gophers take on Tennessee State in men's hoopsMinnesota Sports
-- The University of Minnesota men's basketball team returns to the hardwood tonight against Tennessee State at Williams Arena.
MINNEAPOLIS - The University of Minnesota men's basketball team returns to the hardwood tonight against Tennessee State at Williams Arena.
Minnesota has won its first two games over American University and Toledo. After tonight's contest, the Gophers will host Richmond on Sunday. Tennessee State is 0-2 after a setback at South Dakota State on Tuesday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Two high school basketball players who grew up playing together in Chicago will play together in college at the University of Minnesota. Guard Alvin Ellis and forward Alex Foster yesterday signed National Letters of Intent to be Golden Gophers. The pair played high school basketball together at DeLaSalle High School in Chicago for three years before Foster left for a prep school in Michigan for this season. As juniors at DeLaSalle, Ellis averaged 17-points and four-assists per game, while Foster scored 15-points per game and grabbed ten-rebounds per contest.
University of Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill says his offensive line will once again be short-handed when Minnesota visits No. 14 Nebraska on Saturday. Injuries have forced him to move starting left guard Zac Epping back to center, where he played earlier this year. Tommy Olson is just returning from a leg injury and will now try to start Saturday's game at left guard. Ed Olson is close to returning, as well, and could see some action at left tackle. Saturday's game kicks off at 2:42 p.m.
The Orange Bowl and Atlantic Coast Conference have agreed to a 12-year contract that will place the annual ACC champion in the South Florida bowl game. The deal begins on January 1st, 2015. The ACC title game winner will face a program from the Southeastern Conference or Big Ten or Notre Dame.
Former Twin and current Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey is the 2012 National League Cy Young winner. The 38-year-old is the first knucklebaler in history to win the award. Dickey went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA, beating out the Nationals' Gio Gonzalez and 2011 winner Clayton Kershaw of the the Dodgers. Dickey spent the 2009 season with the Twins, appearing in 34 games out of the bullpen and making one start. He was not re-signed by the Twins after that season and inked a deal with the Mets prior to the 2010 season.
Former Twins outfielder Torii Hunter is the newest member of the Detroit Tigers. The free-agent outfielder has agreed to a two-year, 26-million-dollar contract with Detroit. The deal is pending a physical exam. The 37-year-old Hunter spent the last five seasons with the Los Angeles Angels. The nine-time Gold Glove winner hit .313 with 16 home runs and 92 RBI this past season.
The WCHA has named its weekly award winners in women's hockey. St. Cloud State sophomore goaltender Julie Friend of Minnetonka is the league's Defensive Player of the Week after leading the Huskies to a shutout win last Friday over Lindenwood. Her junior teammate Julia Gilbert of Hermantown is the conference's Offensive Player of the Week after scoring goals in a pair of wins over Lindenwood. Bemidji State forward Kaitlyn Tougas of Thunder Bay is the WCHA Rookie of the Week after helping the Beavers to a sweep of Maine last weekend.
The Herb Brooks Foundation announced yesterday that it has received a donation of 90 pairs of skates and 50 sets of sticks and helmets from the National Hockey League Players' Association. The equipment will be part of the foundation's Rink Rat program, which is dedicated to providing inner-city children with the chance to learn about and play the game of hockey at no cost. The Rink Rat program has served almost 2000 kids since it began in 2009.