Sanden probable to miss Gophers’ first 14 games

by Michael Dougherty

The Gophers men’s basketball team will be without co-captain Kyle Sanden for at least 14 games because he is taking time off from the team to concentrate on academics.
John Blanchard, the director of academic counseling and student services for the University, said he expects Sanden to return for the spring semester, which begins Jan. 17. The Gophers’ first game after that is Jan. 19 at home against Purdue.
“It was kind of a joint decision by a number of people who are all working together,” Blanchard said. “He has the grade point and the hours (credits) for the Big Ten, but there are other Big Ten standards that we still need to reach.”
Sanden is a junior in terms of eligibility, but this is his fourth year at the University because he was redshirted during the 1996-97 season.
Blanchard denied Sanden received some bad advice from former academic counselor Alonzo Newby, but said, “(Sanden) needs to be in a degree-seeking program.”
When Blanchard was asked if there was a chance Sanden could return before Jan. 17, he said, “It doesn’t appear to be the case that he could return before that.”
Sanden’s absence will create some problems for the team, especially for sophomore center Joel Przybilla. When the team went 1-5 during its exhibition trip through Europe in August, Przybilla fouled out of three games without Sanden and was limited in another because of the flu.
Freshman center Ryan Wildenborg and sophomore forward/center John Aune will split time in place of Sanden.

More Miles
Rebounding maniac Miles Tarver is gone, but the team is trying to replace him with another Miles — Darius Miles of Lincoln High School in East St. Louis, Ill.
The 6-foot-9 Miles made his visit to Minnesota last weekend and was at the Metrodome for the Gophers football game. He attended the game with Gophers forward John Blair Bickerstaff and assistant coach Derek Thomas.
Reports say that Miles has four options — St. John’s, DePaul, Minnesota or the NBA — that remain as possibilities for his post-high school plans.
Miles is rated the second-best high school player in the country by FastBreak recruiting, and some talent evaluators have said he is as good as any of the other recent players who have made the jump from high school to the NBA.

Ticket information
ù The University ticket office said a limited number of individual game tickets will go on sale Saturday. All of the remaining seats are singles or have partially obstructed views. The University has limited the sale of tickets for conference games to two games and four tickets per game, per household. There are no limits for nonconference games. The price is $25 for each ticket and can be purchased by phone from the Gophers ticket office at (612) 624-8080, or 1-800-UGOPHER.
ù Minnesota will host the first and second rounds of the 2000 NCAA Midwest Regional. The games will be on Thursday, March 16 and Saturday, March 18. Tickets for the games went on sale on Monday and are priced at $105 and $90. The packages include four games on Thursday and two games on Saturday. Tickets are available through mail order only and are first-come, first-serve. Applications can be requested by phone from the University ticket office or online at

Michael Dougherty covers basketball and welcomes comments at [email protected]