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Amelia Rayno: Answering submitted questions from excited Gophers fans

  • December 3, 2012 - 8:09 PM
Amelia Rayno: Answering submitted questions from excited Gophers fans

aMAILia bag is a new installment on the blog where I answer your questions every Monday. Send your questions throughout the week to amelia.rayno@startribune.com. Let's get to the questions:

Q Every year I get super excited about the team's up-tempo style and success in nonconference play. Yet, it seems we always struggle come conference time. This is clearly Tubby's most talented team, but I worry about our ability to win drag it out, slow down, half-court conference games, which happens frequently in conference season.

A I understand your hesitation, Kent, and there's plenty of cause for it. Take for example, last season -- with basically the same team-- when the Gophers went 12-1 over the nonconference schedule and then got shell-shocked as they entered Big Ten play. What. A. Difference. However, I think there are a few major factors that indicate things could be different when the league schedule starts this season: 1) Better D. Even if the Gophers don't have the most prolific offense in any particular game, they are capable of holding the opponent defensively while they adjust. 2) More balanced offense. 3) Better poise, and a killer instinct. For the most part, the Gophers put their foot down early and keep it there.

Gold in the Barn: www.startribune.com/gophers

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