Indiana Hoosiers vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers Pick & Prediction JANUARY 12th 2024

Minnesota will go for its eighth win in a row when it visits Indiana in a Big Ten Conference matchup Friday night in Bloomington, Ind.

The Golden Gophers (12-3, 3-1 Big Ten) are coming off back-to-back conference wins against Michigan and Maryland. They already have surpassed last season’s total of nine victories, and they are off to their first 3-1 start in the Big Ten since the 2016-17 campaign.

Minnesota coach Ben Johnson senses momentum building in his third season.

“There are expectations now,” Johnson said. “You can talk about it, but you have to go through it.

“(Beating Maryland) is another really good win. It shows we can be competitive with a lot of teams in this league if we play our style and stick to who we are.”

Next up is a test against Indiana (11-5, 3-2), which is eager to bounce back after dropping two of its past three games. The Hoosiers are coming off Tuesday’s 66-57 loss on the road against Rutgers.

In that contest, Indiana shot only 26.7 percent (4-for-15) from the free-throw line.

Hoosiers coach Mike Woodson expressed exasperation at his team’s struggles.

“If I had a magic pill that I could give them about making free throws, I would,” Woodson said. “That’s all mental. When you get fouled and you’ve got to go to the line, they’re free. So you should feel good about yourself and go up and knock them down and punish them for fouling you.

“And we didn’t do that (against Rutgers). That’s unacceptable. We’ve got to get better at making free throws. You’re not going to beat teams in the Big Ten doing that.”

Indiana’s top scorer is Malik Reneau, who is averaging 16.3 points per game on 59.2 percent shooting from the field. Big man Kel’el Ware is scoring 14.7 points per game to go along with a team-high 9.3 rebounds.

Minnesota is led in scoring by Dawson Garcia, who is averaging 16.7 points along with a team-high 7.6 rebounds. Three others are averaging double-digit scoring including Mike Mitchell Jr. (11.1 points per game), Joshua Ola-Joseph (10.7) and Cam Christie (10.6).

Indiana is 8-1 at home this season. Minnesota is 1-1 in true road games.

–Field Level Media

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