Gophers Have An Identity; Tubby Points To Poise

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Tubby Smith, University, Of Minnesota, Gophers, Head, Coach

Head coach Tubby Smith of the Minnesota Golden Gophers calls out in the first half during the first round of the 2010 NCAA men’s basketball tournament against the Xavier Musketeers at the Bradley Center on March 19, 2010 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota has reached the halfway point of the Big Ten season with plenty of momentum.

The question for the Gophers is whether they can keep it going and get back to the NCAA tournament despite the loss of star Trevor Mbakwe and four straight losses to start conference play.

Coach Tubby Smith was asked Tuesday about his team’s identity. He says it boils down to poise. That was evident down the stretch in Saturday’s overtime win over Illinois, and the freshmen and sophomores have been more productive in crucial situations than the upperclassmen.

Minnesota plays at Iowa on Wednesday, an opportunity to avenge an earlier loss to the Hawkeyes.

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