Gophers men’s basketball to compete in SoCal Challenge

The University of Minnesota men’s basketball team is set to be one of eight teams competing in the annual SoCal Challenge, the university announced Tuesday.

The event is scheduled for Nov. 21 and 23 at the Pavilion at JSerra in San Juan Capistrano, California.

The U of M is one of four teams in the Surf Division, joining the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Cal Baptist and Southern Illinois in participating.

“We’re looking forward to playing in the SoCal Challenge and facing some great competition Thanksgiving week,” head coach Ben Johnson said in a statement. “We know our student-athletes will have a first-class experience at such a well-run national tournament. I’m excited for our Gophers fans to experience a fun, warm destination that they can travel to and enjoy.”

“Teams and fans alike loved the first SoCal Challenge,” Steve Barnes, founder and co-executive director of the SoCal Challenge, said in a statement. “We had a packed venue for both nights and are grateful that we were accepted by the college basketball media as if we’d been around forever, making sure we reached millions of people. This year’s lineup of teams will be just as competitive and exciting.”