The Gophers men’s basketball team won’t be able to pig out on Thanksgiving dinner at home this week.
Instead, they’ll be in Honolulu, enjoying the warmth at the Hawaii Pacific Thanksgiving Classic.
Minnesota is scheduled to kick-off the tournament against the host Sea Warriors on Friday, and will compete in two more games before returning home late Sunday night.
Other teams at the tournament include Georgetown, TCU, Siena, the College of Charleston, Central Florida and Duquesne.
The talent level isn’t the highest in Honolulu, making the Gophers (2-0) one of the favorites. None of the eight teams were in the NCAA tournament a year ago.
After returning to campus, Minnesota next travels to Tallahassee, Fla. No, the Gophers won’t be helping with the presidential vote recount, they’ll be taking on Florida State Tuesday night.
Minnesota’s opponent for the Micronpc.com Bowl on Dec. 28 will be announced during a conference call this morning.
North Carolina State is the front runner to be paired against the Gophers, although Virginia and North Carolina are still being considered.
Bowl chairman Mitch Morrall was in a meeting late Tuesday, likely making the final decision, and couldn’t be reached for comment.
Center Ben Hamilton and wide receiver Ron Johnson were named this season’s co-most valuable players at Monday night’s football banquet.
Hamilton, who will likely repeat as an All-American again this year, was a key ingredient in the success of the Minnesota offensive line.
The senior was also credited with his leadership on this season’s bowl-bound Gophers.
Johnson became just the third receiver in school history to reach 1,000 yards in a single season.
The junior’s 22 touchdowns receptions are a school record.
While all-state catcher Joe Mauer will likely jump from Cretin-Derham Hall High School to the professional ranks this spring, the Gophers baseball team announced the signing of two other catchers yesterday.
Jake Elder of Delta, British Columbia and Andy Hunter of Mendota Heights were two of the four players who signed letters of intent with Minnesota.
Also coming to Minnesota is Nate Broehm, a 6-foot-6 right-handed pitcher. Filling out the list is outfielder Paul Dean from Naperville, Ill.