Gophers fighting to get back to .500 in Big Ten play with win Saturday vs. Northwestern

Ben Johnson on Gophers plans for second half of Big Ten season

Gophers men’s basketball coach Ben Johnson met with reporters on Friday ahead of Alumni Weekend. 20 or so former players attended Friday’s practice, and around 55 former players will be at Saturday’s game vs. Northwestern.

Center Pharrel Payne (back) is trending in the right direction to be back Saturday. He missed last weekend’s win at Penn State.

With a win Saturday, the Gophers can be at 5-5 at the halfway point of the conference schedule.

***Click the video box above to watch Johnson’s session with reporters on Fri. Feb. 2***

Johnson noted the importance of this two-game homestand — Michigan State comes to the Barn on Tuesday. In Johnson’s opinion, Northwestern and Michigan State are NCAA Tournament teams. So, either or both would be noteworthy wins.

Saturday’s game starts at 1 p.m.