Tubby taking his team on the road to Colorado State

Coach Tubby Smith has spoke several times of âÄúbringing players alongâÄù with a less-than-strenuous nonconference schedule, with the hopes of building momentum for conference play. One of his tactics is keeping the team at Williams Arena. Including exhibitions, 12 of the teamâÄôs 14 nonconference games are at home, as well as its first two Big Ten games. The Gophers (3-0) play their first away game Saturday against Colorado State, which starts at 9 p.m. and wonâÄôt be aired on local television. Their other away game comes Dec. 20 against current-No. 3 Louisville on a neutral court in Glendale, Ariz. Smith said earlier this week that junior forward Damian Johnson, who broke his non-shooting hand in October, should be ready for the game. His presence will take some pressure off of freshmen big men Ralph Sampson III and Colton Iverson. Colorado State (2-0) is coached by Tim Miles, who coached at North Dakota State and was one of the candidates for the Minnesota head coaching job after they fired Dan Monson before last season. The school will hand out 2,000 âÄúTimmy vs. TubbyâÄù T-shirts at the game.