MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The Gopher men’s basketball team is getting ready for the Big Ten Tournament, and junior guard Amir Coffey earned a league honor for the second straight time.
Coffey was named the Big Ten Co-Player of the Week Monday after tying a career high with 32 points in a win over No. 11-ranked Purdue. He added eight rebounds, three assists and three steals in the win over the Boilermakers, which likely solified an NCAA Tournament berth for Minnesota (19-12). It was also the Gophers' last regular season home game.
He scored 23 points and added six assists Friday in a 69-60 loss at No. 24-ranked Maryland to end the regular season. Coffey finished the Big Ten season fifth in scoring at 17.6 points per game and with three straight 20-plus point games.
Coffey shared the weekly award with Juwan Morgan of Indiana.
The Gophers are the No. 7 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and face No. 10-seeded Penn State Thursday night.
Minnesota has likely already secured an NCAA Tournament berth regardless of what happens at the Big Ten Tournament. It would be the second in three seasons for Richard Pitino. Wisconsin’s win at Ohio State Sunday locked up a No. 7 seed for the Gophers, and likely eliminated the Buckeyes from NCAA Tournament contention. A win over the Nittany Lions on Thursday locks up an at-large bid for the Gophers.
Minnesota has Quadrant 1 wins over Washington, Purdue, Wisconsin and Iowa, has several Quadrant 2 wins and most importantly, doesn’t have any Quadrant 3 or 4 losses.
As of Monday morning, Jerry Palm of CBS Sports has the Gophers as a No. 10 seed facing VCU in the first round. Joe Lunardi of ESPN has Minnesota as a No. 10 seed, facing Louisville. College basketball analyst Andy Katz has the Gophers firmly in the Big Dance.