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

Gophers Pregame: Tubby Smith goes for win No. 500 at USC

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers players Updated: December 8, 2012 - 8:55 PM

UPDATE: Joe Senser's in Roseville said they do not have the correct channel afterward.

Twitterer @kajthompson alleges that both Normandy Inn in Minneapolis and Poor Richard's Commonhouse (Bloomington) have PAC-12/Dish Network and can play the game.

 

I hear things are pretty rough over there in the Twin Cities.

You’re going to get blasted with snow, most of you can’t get the Gophers’ game on your home TV and even if you wanted to risk the trek to a sports bar, well, there’s not a whole lot of luck there either.

Boy. Sounds awful. **adjusts sunglasses**

I attempted to find you guys places to watch tonight’s game at USC – but unfortunately I don’t have a lot of good news for you. After first posting yesterday a list of bars that would be showing the game, I learned that the DirecTV representative I spoke with, well, simply didn’t know what he was talking about.

The reality is: the PAC-12 Network owns all the rights to tonight’s game, so only providers with the PAC-12 network in one of their packages will have the game. Comcast AND DirecTV both do not. (What a shame.) Gophers’ All-Access will not have (it can’t because of PAC-12 owning the rights). That leaves Dish Network.

IF YOU HAVE THE PROPER DISH NETWORK PACKAGE, THE GAME WILL BE ON CHANNEL 413. The game will be on at 9:30 p.m. central time.

I called 22 bars today, and only one of them said they have Dish: Joe Senser’s in Roseville.

**However, if you plan to go, you should call ahead of time. They sounded very skeptical about the quality of reception they would be able to get in this storm **

Just so you don’t waste your own time, all of the following bars have confirmed THEY WILL NOT HAVE THE GAME:

*Mac’s Industrial Bar
*Hubert’s
*Bulldog Northeast
*Bulldog St. Paul
*Brothers
*Liquor Lyle’s
*The Pourhouse
*508
*The Loop
*Senser’s in Bloomington
*Sneaky Pete’s
*Green Mill
*Alary’s
*Park Tavern
*Library Bar
*Chatterbox Minneapolis
*Chatterbox St. Paul
*Bullfrog Minneapolis
*Buffalo Wild Wings on campus
*Buffalo Wild Wings at the MOA
*PrimeBar
*McGovern’s
*Shamrock’s
*Big Ten Tavern (Arden Hills)
*Wild Bills (Apple Valley)
*Jimmy’s Food and Drink (Vadnais Heights)
*Psycho Suzi’s
*Champps (Richfield)
*Uptown Tavern

If you have another favorite bar not on this list, my suggestion is to call and ask if they have Dish, and specifically the Pac-12 Network (and if they do, let me know!)

To make matters more complicated, a union which represents crew members working for PAC-12 Network started striking TODAY because of what they say are unfair practices, and so far it is unclear whether that will impact tonight’s broadcast.

On the basketball side of things, just a few notes:


· USC has not gotten out to the start it planned. At 3-5, the season has been pretty disappointing so far with losses to Illinois, Marquette, San Diego State, Nebraska and New Mexico State. Things were supposed to be better this year with four newly eligible transfers, plus getting back point guard Jio Fontan (who tore his ACL prior to last season). So far, no one has really done enough.


· J.T. Terrell is the closest thing the Trojans have to a go-to scorer, but while the guard has made 18 shots from 3-point range, he’s averaging a modest 12.5 points a game – not shabby by any means, but not enough to lead a team that has only one other player averaging double digits (fellow transfer Eric Wise has 10.9 per game).

· In general, shooting has probably been USC’s biggest weakness throughout the season, not a good situation as the Gophers and their defensive prowess come to town. The Trojans’ strengths have come on the boards (although they managed just 23 in their last game against New Mexico State) and in limiting turnovers (they are averaging 12.9 per game on the year).

· If the Gophers win tonight’s game it will be coach Tubby Smith’s 500th career win. “That’s a testament to longevity, just being able to stay in the game, and a testament to the good players I’ve had, because I haven’t made a shot since 1973,” Smith said. “Every shot, every basket scored, every win, it’s not because of me, it’s because of the players I’ve had the good fortune to work with.”


Extra hits:

*Watch the game live on Dish Network (channel 413 in the Twin Cities).
*As usual, fans can listen to the game live on 1500-a.m.
*In today’s Star Tribune: Coleman puts team ahead of himself, even to a fault.
*On the blog: Defense is the Gophers’ bread and butter, but that doesn’t mean shooting isn’t important.
*Matchup preview here. 

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