A day after the Gophers men’s basketball team announced its nonconference schedule for this season, the first scheduled games for the 2018-19 season were released.
Minnesota and Texas A&M are the first two official teams in the Vancouver Basketball Showcase, an inaugural eight-team tournament scheduled for Nov. 18-20 next year at the Vancouver Convention Center. The other six teams have yet to be annnounced.
Richard Pitino’s Minnesota team is expected to challenge for the Big Ten title in 2017-18. A year from now, the Gophers will lose five seniors, but Pitino’s newcomers will include members of a highly-rated 2018 recruiting class of Minnesota prospects Daniel Oturu, Gabe Kalscheur and Jarvis Thomas.
Texas A&M is coached by Billy Kennedy, who has compiled a 118-85 record in six seasons with the program.
Former Aggies player Davonte Fitzgerald played two seasons with Kennedy before transferring to Minnesota. Fitzgerald will be a sixth-year senior forward in 2018-19 after being given an extra year of eligibility after sitting out last year with a knee injury.