Gophers vs. South Dakota State: 5 things to watch for

by Jace Frederick

The Gophers tee it up with South Dakota State on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at Williams Arena. It's the ninth straight season the Jackrabbits will make the trip from South Dakota — Minnesota has won all eight of the previous meetings.

Here are my five things to watch for:

Roster returns to form: Gophers head coach Richard Pitino said he expects both Malik Smith and Elliott Eliason to play on Tuesday after both suffered left ankle injuries in the days leading up to Saturday's victory over New Orleans. Now the question is will Eliason start? Pitino said he probably will, provided he practiced well yesterday. He probably should, as well. Eliason's defensive presence down low has been immeasurable for the Gophers early in the season. 

The return of Anders Broman: If the name sounds familiar, it might be because he is the Minnesota state high school record holder for points scored in a career. Broman dumped in 5,119 points in six years of action at Lakeview Christian Academy in Duluth, Minn. He didn't receive offers from any power conference schools during his recruitment, but South Dakota State's guard can fill it up.

Bringing it for 40 minutes: The Gophers experienced lapses of effort and concentration at the beginning of the year. It looked like a problem Minnesota fixed, until the New Orleans game. The Gophers were outscored in the second half of their 80-65 win over the Privateers on Saturday. Can the Gophers maintain concentration and put forth a full-fledged 40 minutes on Tuesday?

Andre Hollins: Hollins scored 22 points in 23 minutes in the Gophers 88-64 win over South Dakota State last season. What does he have in store for the Jackrabbits this time around?

Austin Hollins highlight reel: Austin Hollins is making highlight-reel plays a routine occurrence at Williams Arena of late. His latest feature — a one-handed finish on a lob from DeAndre Mathieu against New Orleans — was No. 5 on Sportscenter's Top 10 Plays on Saturday. Will he have a follow-up performance on Tuesday?