Minnesota Gophers Cam Christie Earns Big Ten Freshman of the Week Honors

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Minnesota
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Golden Gophers basketball team has been a pleasant surprise so far this season. After being nearly universally picked to finish dead last in the Big Ten entering the 2023-24 season Minnesota has gone 15-7, including a 5-5 record in conference play.

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With just over a month left in the regular season, the Gophers find themselves in the middle of the Big Ten (7th) and still very much a part of NCAA tournament conversations.

Cam Christie Earns Big Ten Freshman of the Week

After a thrilling, come-from-behind, overtime win against Northwestern this past Saturday at the Barn, Cam Christie was awarded Big Ten freshman of the week with a 15 point, 6 rebound performance; 10 of his points came in the second half.

Cam grabs the Gophers first Freshman of The Week award since 2019(!) when former Minnesota big man Daniel Oturu took home the honors. This is also only the second “of the week” award any Gopher has received this season, with Dawson Garcia earning Player of The Week previously this season.

Christie, younger brother of Lakers SG Max Christie, went 6 of 12 from the field and 3 of 7 from beyond the arc, including his biggest shot of the game being a three coming with just under a minute left in regulation to give the Gophers their first lead of the second half, eventually leading to an OT win.

Saturday night vs Northwestern wasn’t the only big game Christie has had recently. It didn’t count toward his award-winning week but Cam had a really nice game two weeks ago vs Penn State, scoring 17 points, grabbing 8 rebounds and dealing 5 assists in a victory against Penn State.

Minnesota Gophers an NCAA Tournament Team?

The Gophers will look to keep the momentum going as they welcome Michigan State to the Barn this Tuesday. They are in the thick of conference play, and currently sit half of a game back of fourth place in the Big Ten, with matchups against Iowa and second ranked Purdue coming up after the Spartans.

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I’m not saying they are going to be a top seed, but finishing strong in Big Ten play, with the possibility of an upset against a team like Wisconsin or Illinois, this team could have a serious case for a chance to be on the right side of an upset come tournament time.