Gophers men’s basketball releases 2023-24 schedule

Dawson Garcia #3 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers celebrates his three-point basket against the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the first half of the game at Williams Arena on December 11, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Bulldogs defeated the Golden (David Berding / Getty Images)

The University of Minnesota men’s basketball team released its 2023-24 regular season schedule on Tuesday, and it starts with seven straight games at Williams Arena.

Ben Johnson opens his third season with the Gophers on Nov. 6 against Bethune-Cookman. The Gophers will also host Dennis Gates and Missouri on Nov. 16. Gates was thought to be a candidate to replace Richard Pitino at Minnesota before Johnson got the job.

Minnesota will open Big Ten play with a pair of December games. The Gophers will travel to Ohio State on Dec. 3, a reunion with transfer Jamison Battle, and host Nebraska on Dec. 6.

Minnesota will have Saturday Big Ten home games against Northwestern on Feb. 3, and March 2 against Penn State. They’ll also have a Sunday Big Ten game at Williams Arena against Maryland, on Jan. 7.

Minneapolis will be the host to this year’s Big Ten Tournament, March 13-17 at Target Center.

The Gophers have six players back from last year’s squad, including top scorer and rebounder Dawson Garcia. Also back are Braeden Carrington, Pharrel Payne and Joshua Ola-Joseph. The team recently announced that forwards Isaiah Ihnen and Parker Fox, who have both missed the last two seasons with knee injuries, have been medically cleared for full contact basketball activities.

Johnson added Pepperdine guard Mike Mitchell Jr. and Howard guard Elijah Hawkins out of the NCAA transfer portal, as well as big man Jack Wilson out of Washington State, and has a talented freshman guard in Cameron Christie coming in.

The Gophers are 22-39 overall in Johnson’s first two seasons, including 6-33 in Big Ten play.