The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns men's basketball team opens its 103rd season on the hardwood on Friday as it faces Big 10 opponent Minnesota at Williams Arena.
Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game is available on BTN Plus and can be heard in the Lafayette area on KHXT-FM 107.9 FM.
Louisiana, which finished 19-15 last season, returns starters Jay Wright, Bryce Washington and Johnathan Stove for seventh-year head coach Bob Marlin. Newcomers Frank Bartley, Kadavion Evans, Jerekius Davis, Larenz Stalcup, Roydell Brown and P.J. Hardy will all be part of a group that looks to replace 2016 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year Shawn Long.
The Ragin' Cajuns defeated West Florida, 94-72, in their lone exhibition game at Blackham Coliseum behind 25 points and 12 rebounds from Washington. Bartley scored 13 points for the Ragin' Cajuns with Stove and Davis scoring 12 and 11 points respectively.
Minnesota, under fourth-year coach Richard Pitino, welcomes six newcomers to a team that finished 8-23 last season. Among the top players returning for the Gophers is forward Jordan Murphy, who was selected to the 2016 Big Ten All-Freshman Team after averaging 11.6 points and 8.0 rebounds per game a year ago.
Junior guard Nate Mason is the team's leading returner offensively after he led the Gophers with 13.8 points per game a year ago, along with a team-high 121 assists. In total, the Gophers return 56.4 percent of their scoring and 68 percent of their rebounding to this year's roster.
After facing Minnesota, Louisiana will return to action on Monday (Nov. 14) when it travels to Bozeman, Mont., to face Montana State.
GAME 1: Louisiana (19-15 in 2015-16) at Minnesota (8-23 in 2015-16)
November 11, 2016 | 7 p.m. | Minneapolis, Minn. | Williams Arena (14,625)
TV: BTN Plus
Radio: KHXT 107.9 FM | Talent: Steve Peloquin (PBP)
Live Stats: RaginCajuns.com
Twitter Updates: @RaginCajunsMBB; @ULRaginCajuns
Series: Minnesota leads, 1-0
In Lafayette: 0-0 | In Minneapolis: Minnesota, 1-0
Head Coach: Bob Marlin (Mississippi State, 1981)
Career Record: 455-258 (24th season), Record at UL: 107-92 (7th season)
Head Coach: Richard Pitino (Providence, 2005)
Career Record: 69-65 (5th season), Record at UM: 51-51 (4th season)
• Louisiana begins its 103rd season of collegiate basketball where the Ragin' Cajuns have posted a 1,373-1,045 (.567) all-time record.
• The Ragin' Cajuns open the season with two road games for the first time since playing three games at the San Francisco Hilltop Challenge. Louisiana will travel to face Montana State on Monday (Nov. 14) in Bozeman, Mont.
• Louisiana returns 33.8 percent (915 points) of its scoring from the 2015-16 season and 29.5 percent (417) of its rebounds.
• Louisiana led the Sun Belt Conference in scoring for the fourth straight season, averaging 79.6 points per game. The Ragin' Cajuns finished 29th among Division I schools in scoring offense.
• The Ragin' Cajuns +8.1 rebounding margin in 2015-16 led the Sun Belt Conference and was 13th nationally.
• Bryce Washington led the Sun Belt Conference in field goal percentage (.590) in 2015-16.
• Louisiana opens the season against a Big 10 school for the first time since the 1978-79 opener (at Purdue).
• The meeting on the hardwood between Louisiana and Minnesota is the second between the schools with the Gophers claiming a 94-73 victory in the third round of the 1980 NIT (March 13, 1980).