The Gophers men's basketball team has ascended up the top 25 college rankings and the team with only one loss currently sits at No. 8. Tubby Smith's team begins the first of a three game test that will ultimately define where they sit in the Big Ten landscape. Tonight, the team heads to Illinois to battle the No. 12 Illini, Saturday they face No. 5 Indiana then then return home January 17th to face No. 2 Michigan.
"We just need to make sure we take care of ourselves as far as the way we want to play," said head coach Tubby Smith about facing Illinois. "Controlling the tempo will be a key. They are a team that likes to get it up and down the court, shot a lot of three's."
The lone blemish on the Gophers record came against Duke and even the most optimistic of fans couldn't have saw this positive of a start for the team.
"Every games important now. Whether it's for the development of the program, development of players or just keeping the momentum that we have going," said Smith. "It's always important to play well. If you play well than usually we're satisfied. If you lose, no one's happy.