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

In the words of Trevor Mbakwe: the forward on Rodney Williams, Andre Hollins and more.

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers players Updated: August 5, 2012 - 2:04 PM
I talked to Gophers returning sixth-year senior Trevor Mbakwe for a story that ran in yesterday’s paper, and the forward had plenty of interesting things to say. Beyond the topics that got in yesterday’s article (the status of his ACL rehab, his decision to return to the Gophers, his thoughts on this fall’s team), I thought there were other items worth noting here:
 
On returning from an ACL tear: “Initially when we started doing drills on the ball and I’d be cutting, changing directions, things like that, I was kind of nervous and everything, but with time and patience, I just continued to gain confidence in my knee and trust that the doctor did a great job.
 
“There’s times I kind of think about it in my head, when I move it, and I think ‘Am I going to hurt myself?’ But for the most part, I trust that my knee is doing pretty well.”
 
Mbakwe said he is a little bit ahead of schedule and is about a month away from playing to full contact on the court.
 
On Rodney Williams: “Rodney … took it to a whole new level at the end of the postseason. I’ve been with Rodney since we came in together. We always expected that and we always saw bits and pieces of that. It’s just him being more aggressive. People say ‘Oh, his natural position is the 4,’ but I think he can do the same thing at the 3 spot and have the same advantage.: his quickness and athleticism, not many people in the country can compete with him athletically … This is his last go-round and I think he wants to just show everybody the kind of player that he is – that he’s not just one-dimensional.”
 
On Andre Hollins: “Since he came on campus last summer, I was always a big fan of Andre. He would take the winning shot in open gym and he just had that demeanor like he wasn’t scared of anything. He had that mentality of all great guards. I wasn’t surprised at all [with how he played in the postseason]. I think we all expected that out of Andre when he came here … At the end of the season, you could see he was playing with so much confidence. He played with Trey Burke and they were going at it. I think Andre’s going to have a big season and we’re going to need him. Need him to keep being aggressive.”
 
On Mo Walker: “That’s the biggest thing, just keeping him on the court. I was there at Pulley when he sprained his ankle, and it’s just getting over that. Mo’s a big guy and he’s definitely going to be a big piece. When we add his size and what he can do on the court, it’s going to make it so much better for our teammates and just myself. He can guard some of the bigger players and try to take some of that pounding away from me. I played with him his freshman year, we were kind of like the second team initially when we first got there. I love playing with him. He’s smart, he’s a smart player. And he’s been looking pretty good lately in practice, and we’ve just got to keep him healthy.”
 
On freshmen Wally Ellenson and Charles Buggs: “They’re great. It’s just making that transition that every freshman has to make. It’s a lot more physical and there’s a lot more terminology in college and your athleticism can only take you so far. There is always someone who is stronger, quicker, more athletic than you are. But they’re hard workers. Wally’s in the gym all the time. He’s a gym rat and I love that about him. And Charles is a great guy too. They’re both willing to learn. There’s ties we’re going to need them for spurts. I don’t know how much they’re going to play, because we’re kind of a deep team, but that’s a positive thing about us. They’re going to have their moments like every freshman has, but just as long as they keep working hard.
 
On the Battle 4 Atlantis, the tournament the Gophers will be playing in over Thanksgiving: We’re all pretty excited. The chance to go to the Bahamas, No. 1, get out of Minnesota winter. We get a chance to play Coach (Mike) K(rzyzewski, the head coach of Duke, Minnesota’s first-round matchup). A few of us were here when we played North Carolina in Puerto Rico (in 2010). That would be pretty cool to beat both North Carolina and Duke. We have some great pre-season games before the regular season starts. It’s exciting anytime you get a chance to play against Duke, and I think it will be a good test to show where we are at the time. It’s going to be a good chance for us. Right after that, we’re going to Florida State, which is not an easy place to play. It’s definitely going to be a good stretch.”

 

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Detroit 3:30 PM
Cleveland
Houston 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Oklahoma City 6:30 PM
Dallas
New York 8:00 PM
Portland
Toronto 8:00 PM
Denver
Phoenix 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Toronto 4:00 PM
Florida
Vancouver 7:00 PM
Anaheim
Tulane 9 1st Half 15:07
St Johns 8
Central Conn St 12:00 PM
Connecticut
Iona 12:00 PM
Drexel
Concordia (MI) 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Harvard 1:00 PM
Arizona State
Longwood 1:00 PM
Ball State
Sacred Heart 1:00 PM
Brown
Colgate 1:00 PM
Columbia
MD-Eastern Shore 1:00 PM
Duquesne
UNC Greensboro 1:00 PM
East Carolina
Marist 1:00 PM
Elon
NJIT 1:00 PM
Lafayette
Cincinnati Christian 1:00 PM
Liberty
Morgan State 1:00 PM
Marquette
Campbell 1:00 PM
Samford
Bucknell 1:00 PM
Siena
Long Beach State 1:00 PM
Syracuse
Coppin State 1:05 PM
Evansville
UMKC 1:05 PM
Indiana State
Hofstra 1:30 PM
Long Island
Coast Guard 2:00 PM
Army
Thomas (GA) 2:00 PM
High Point
Texas Southern 2:00 PM
Kansas State
Rutgers 2:00 PM
Monmouth
NC Wesleyan 2:00 PM
NC A&T
South Dakota St 2:00 PM
Northern Iowa
Central Penn College 2:00 PM
Radford
Bowling Green 2:00 PM
South Florida
Harris-Stowe 2:00 PM
SE Missouri St
Robert Morris-IL 2:00 PM
SIU Edwardsville
Northland College 2:00 PM
North Dakota St
Milwaukee 2:00 PM
South Dakota
Northwestern St 2:30 PM
Arkansas
Saint Peters 3:00 PM
Cornell
St Katherine 3:00 PM
Fresno State
Haskell 3:00 PM
Oral Roberts
Wake Forest 3:00 PM
Richmond
Fla Gulf Coast 3:00 PM
Xavier
SD Christian 3:05 PM
Northern Ariz
Judson 3:30 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Ill-Chicago 4:00 PM
Bradley
Loyola-Maryland 4:00 PM
Fairfield
Miss Valley St 4:00 PM
Houston
Lehigh 4:00 PM
UMBC
Delaware State 4:00 PM
Temple
Belmont 5:00 PM
Butler
Howard 5:00 PM
Fordham
NW Christian 5:00 PM
Nevada
UC Davis 5:00 PM
Washington St
Abilene Christian 5:00 PM
Grand Canyon
UCLA 5:30 PM
Alabama
Stony Brook 7:00 PM
Washington
Buffalo 7:00 PM
Wisconsin
CS-Bakersfield 9:00 PM
California
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
Drexel 4 1st Half 17:13
Miami-Ohio 0
Holy Cross 1 1st Half 18:45
Norfolk State 0
East Carolina 5 1st Half 18:06
South Florida 0
(10) Oregon State 12:00 PM
(8) Tennessee
Providence 12:00 PM
Boston College
Florida A&M 12:00 PM
Miami-Florida
Oakland 12:00 PM
Central Michigan
Chattanooga 12:00 PM
SIU-Edwardsville
Fairfield 12:00 PM
La Salle
St Francis-PA 1:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Milwaukee 1:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Gardner-Webb 1:00 PM
Longwood
New Hampshire 1:00 PM
Manhattan
Bucknell 1:00 PM
Binghamton
Northeastern 1:00 PM
Albany
George Mason 1:00 PM
Towson
Richmond 1:00 PM
William & Mary
Tulane 1:00 PM
Cincinnati
North Florida 1:00 PM
Florida
(14) Georgia 1:00 PM
Seton Hall
Tennessee St 1:00 PM
(12) Kentucky
American Univ 1:00 PM
Wake Forest
Massachusetts 1:00 PM
Boston U
Quinnipiac 1:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Lafayette 1:00 PM
Saint Peters
Northwestern 1:00 PM
(20) Michigan State
Duquesne 1:00 PM
Lehigh
George Washington 1:00 PM
Loyola-Maryland
(17) Rutgers 1:00 PM
Indiana
(24) Green Bay 1:00 PM
Dayton
Western Mich 1:30 PM
Stony Brook
Davidson 1:30 PM
Virginia
UNC Greensboro 2:00 PM
LSU
Denver 2:00 PM
North Texas
VA Commonwealth 2:00 PM
Coppin State
Huston-Tillotson 2:00 PM
Houston Baptist
Lamar 2:00 PM
Rice
Miss Valley St 2:00 PM
Alabama
Saint Louis 2:00 PM
Eastern Illinois
Middle Tennessee 2:00 PM
Tenn Tech
Penn State 2:00 PM
(23) Iowa
Purdue 2:00 PM
Illinois
DePaul 2:05 PM
Illinois State
Sam Houston St 2:05 PM
Wichita State
South Dakota 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(4) Notre Dame 3:00 PM
UCLA
Coll of Charleston 3:00 PM
SC State
Alcorn State 3:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Dartmouth 3:00 PM
Niagara
Colgate 3:00 PM
Siena
Michigan 3:00 PM
Wisconsin
Fla Gulf Coast 3:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Yale 3:30 PM
(25) Arizona State
UC Santa Barbara 4:00 PM
(16) Stanford
Long Island 4:00 PM
Long Beach St
Jackson State 4:00 PM
Louisiana
Eureka 4:30 PM
Western Ill
Cornell 5:00 PM
(22) Syracuse
Temple 7:30 PM
Memphis

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite Gophers head coach?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT