Minnesota enters the Big Ten/ACC Challenge riding its best start (7-0) since running off 12 straight wins to begin the 2008-09 campaign.
The biggest reason for the Golden Gophers’ undefeated start is the dominant play of junior forward and three-time Big Ten Player of the Week Jordan Murphy, who’s emerging as an early Big Ten Player of the Year favorite.
Murphy is second in the nation with a 38.0 player efficiency rating and is the only NCAA player averaging at least 22 points and 12 rebounds.
In fact, no player in the nation has recorded more double-doubles (7) than Murphy, who’s the first Big Ten player to start at season with seven straight double-doubles since Reggie Evans streak of 10 in 2000-01.
Murphy’s biggest impact has arguably been his ability to create second-chance opportunities for himself and the Gophers on the offensive glass. He’s recorded an offensive rebound on 18.4 percent of his team’s chances, which ranks first in the Big Ten and eighth in the nation.
Three of Murphy’s four highest single-game offensive rebound totals have come this season, and his 5.4 offensive rebounds per game ranks second among NCAA players.
Murphy and the Gophers will look to stay unbeaten Wednesday night as they host No. 10 Miami at 9:15 ET. The Hurricanes will be the highest-ranked non-conference opponent to visit The Barn since No. 4 Cincinnati in 1998 (game later vacated).
Coming off an 89-84 win Saturday over then 25th-ranked Alabama, Minnesota is seeking wins over ranked non-conference opponents in back-to-back regular season games for the first time since wins over No. 5 Arizona and No. 21 Villanova to open the 1994-95 campaign.