Minnesota's Al Nolen will play Thursday
Smith said Wednesday after practice that Nolen will play Thursday when Minnesota (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today, No. 17 AP) takes on South Dakota State.
Nolen has missed the past five games because of a stress fracture in his foot. The senior is one of Minnesota's best defenders and a steady presence at the top of the key.
The Gophers start Big Ten play next week at Wisconsin.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- UNC strikes again, topples Michigan State
- Ohio State rips Maryland in Big Ten/ACC tilt
- Wisconsin (9-0) holds Virginia to 38 points
- Florida's Wilbekin (ankle) out indefinitely