This is Amelia Rayno's third season on the Gophers men's basketball beat. She learned college basketball in North Carolina (Go Tar Heels!), where fanhood is not an option. In 2010, she joined the Star Tribune after graduating from Boston's Emerson College, which sadly had no exciting D-I college hoops to latch onto. Amelia has also worked on the sports desk at the Boston Globe and interned at the Detroit News.

  Follow Rayno on Twitter @AmeliaRayno

Minnesota v. Northern Illinois: Time to build chemistry

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under Gophers game day Updated: December 15, 2009 - 6:35 PM

The Gophers face Northern Illinois tonight at Williams Arena.

Should be an easy win for Minnesota.

But with just two games left in its nonconference season, Minnesota needs to continue to build chemistry.

It looks like Smith will stick with the three-guard lineup. I think it helps the Gophers because they have a better idea of whom they'll play next to.  I like the way that the second unit is playing right now. And I think part of their success can be attributed to familiarity.

The Gophers need to be comfortable with themselves and their teammates entering Big Ten play. Another win, using similar rotations will certainly help the Gophers achieve that desired level of comfort in time for the Dec. 29 Big Ten opener.

Prediction: Minnesota 95, Northern Illinois 70

 

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