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

aMAILia BAG 2: Whether this fast Gophers start is affecting recruiting, whether Ellenson chose his own destiny

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers players Updated: December 19, 2012 - 11:28 AM



aMAILia BAG is a new installment on this blog where you ask questions and I answer them here. Send your queries to Sign your email exactly how you want to be referenced or else I will take your full name attached to your email. Thanks for all your great questions!

Questions below will be in bold while my responses will be in regular type. 

Hi Amelia, it's Stu from the RandBall blog at Perhaps you're familiar with my work. Thank you, you're very kind.

ANYWAY: you need questions for your mailbag, according to the internet. Here you go: have you heard from your sources if the Gophers' hot start and relatively high national profile have helped in any way with recruiting? Or is that something that isn't even on the radar at this point?

Have your kind of day!

RandBall's Stu

Yes, yes, yes, RBS, I’m aware of who you are. You trying to wiggle your way into being a contributor on Gold in the Barn now too? How’s that ego doing? Boy.

As for your question, I think that a start like this certainly can’t hurt the Gophers other than the fact that any interested recruits might not have actually been able to WATCH THE GAMES. However, I don’t think 12 games are going to be the difference-maker with any big-name recruits. If the Gophers can perpetually sustain success like this year-in and year-out, that’s when it makes a difference. Right now, it’s nice, but the only recruit it could really be affecting would be Gavin Schilling – the guy at the top of the Gophers’ wishlist for next year. But he’s said he’s not going to make a decision until the spring (and he doesn’t seem like the guy to glance at the AP standings, gulp dramatically, and pick up the phone to call coach Tubby Smith RightNowBecauseHeNeedsToBeAPartOfThisThing). By the spring, whatever the Gophers are doing now will be long forgotten. It will be whatever they are doing in March. That is so far and so many tough games away. And as for guys like Tyus Jones, well, all other seven teams on his list are doing versions the same thing, and most of them are doing it every year.

How does the Gophers guard play stack up against other Big Ten teams in terms of ballhandling, passing, 3 point shooting, and defense?

-Michael Soderlind

To get to the point:

In turnover margin, the Gophers are 7th in the Big Ten with +1.5, meaning that opponents turn the ball over an average of 1.5 more times per game than the Gophers. Wisconsin (+4.55), Ohio State (+4.33), Indiana (+3.60), Illinois (+2.67), Michigan (+2.0) and Northwestern (+1.82) are all better in that regard. Three teams (Penn State, Michigan State and Purdue) have negative margins.
In assist-to-turnover ratio, the Gophers are also 7th, barely keeping a positive ratio with 1.1 assists to 1 turnover. Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan, Northwestern (all 1.5/1), Indiana (1.4/1) and Iowa (1.2/1) lead them.
However, the team ranks third in assists per game, notching an average of 16.5 (behind only Northwestern, with 17.1 and Indiana, with 17).

Is there a trend? In 3-point percentage, the Gophers are 7th in the conference, making 32.6 of their shots. Michigan (40.1). Ohio State (39.9), Indiana (39.4), Illinois (38.6), Northwestern (37) and Wisconsin (34.1) are all better in that regard. As far as the average number of 3-pointers made per game, the Gophers land all the way down at No. 10 in the conference, with 5.1. Only Michigan State and Purdue are averaging fewer.

In scoring defense, the Gophers are 7th, with an average of 60.3 points a game allowed. But when it comes to field goal percentage defense, the Gophers are third (behind Michigan State and Indiana), holding opponents to 37.1 percent of their attempts. In 3-pointer defense, the Gophers are fifth (behind Purdue, Iowa, Indiana and Ohio State), holding opponents to 30.6 percent of their shots from that range, and they rank first in blocked shots (an average of 6.9 a game) and steals (9.9).

Hi Amelia, My question: with B1G season coming up, are there any things Gophers need to do differently in order to keep winning in rugged conference play?


Well – the above answer should be a hint. Right now, the Gophers’ shooting just isn’t where it needs to be to hang with the competition in the Big Ten. Offensively, the Gophers have cruised by their cupcake competition, but even with plenty of blowouts, the team is ranked just fifth in scoring offense and field goal percentage. And turnovers, of course, remain a problem. While the Gophers have certainly looked better in that category in the last few games, consistently turning over in the teens is a problem.

While I'm sure a popular question this week, is it not preposterous that Wally Ellenson was "allowed" to determine his own fate for a redshirt year? It should be the coaches decision and that's final, seems like a ploy to stay in good graces for the youngest Ellenson who is projected to go big.

St. Paul

Yep, popular question, Alex. When it comes down to it, players are not “allowed” to choose their redshirting fate. While I got a LOT of reactions this week along the lines of “Ellenson never planned to redshirt and why let this injury get in the way further” and “A kid should be able to determine what he wants to do with his bball career and whether he wants to graduate in four years” – that, frankly, is all nonsense. Sure, a player can graduate in four years if he so chooses and is so motivated. It’s up to the coach whether he’ll be playing all of that time. You can call it a redshirt or you can call it “not playing.” OF COURSE that is up to the coach. Ultimately in this case, coach Tubby Smith decided it was best for the team if Ellenson plays this season. Does the best thing for the team include wooing brother Henry Ellenson for 2015, and keeping the family happy in the meantime? Yes it does. And it’s pretty clear that went into the decision. At the same time, Smith likely wouldn’t have decided to make that decision if he thought the addition of Ellenson would actually hurt the team now. Bottom line is, Ellenson can get his feet wet, probably benefit from the experience next year and maybe help out the team where Oto Osenieks is struggling. The one who is really missing out is Ellenson, who won’t get his full four years of eligibility. But if that’s what he wants, hey, fine. I’ve tried to be clear that while the decision is a strange one, it’s not a BAD one. I’m not sure why so many people have gotten so upset about it. Do they Gophers need Ellenson? No. Can they use him? Sure. At the same time, if the wing didn’t have a brother named Henry, I think he’d have a “did not play” on his stat line for this season.

Checking out our Big Ten schedule, and playing the magic 8-ball. What do you predict for a Big Ten record?


I’m calling for a reversal of last year’s record. 11 or 12 conference wins for the Gophers. That’s my prediction.


Since I promised I’d pick the first one off Twitter, here tis:

Have you ever seen the Sasquatch Gang? It's a really stupid comedy that has some moments of hilarity. You might like it.


No, I haven’t.

Now here’s one I picked:

Loch Ness Monster vs Bigfoot: who ya got? …


What’s the turf? Squatches aren’t strong swimmers, but I’m not sure Nessie could survive outside the lake. Neutral, imaginary turf – I’ll take Bigfoot if he can avoid getting stepped on.

To read Tuesday's aMailia bag, go here.


Buffalo 17 FINAL
New England 9
Cleveland 10 FINAL
Baltimore 20
Dallas 44 FINAL
Washington 17
Indianapolis 27 FINAL
Tennessee 10
Jacksonville 17 FINAL
Houston 23
San Diego 7 FINAL
Kansas City 19
NY Jets 37 FINAL
Miami 24
Chicago 9 FINAL
Minnesota 13
Philadelphia 34 FINAL
NY Giants 26
New Orleans 23 FINAL
Tampa Bay 20
Carolina 34 FINAL
Atlanta 3
Detroit 20 FINAL
Green Bay 30
Oakland 14 FINAL
Denver 47
Arizona 17 FINAL
San Francisco 20
St. Louis 6 FINAL
Seattle 20
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Pittsburgh 27
Arizona 1/3/15 3:35 PM
Baltimore 1/3/15 7:15 PM
Detroit 103 FINAL
Cleveland 80
Houston 106 FINAL
San Antonio 110
Oklahoma City 107 FINAL
Dallas 112
New York 79 FINAL
Portland 101
Toronto 116 FINAL
Denver 102
Phoenix 116 FINAL
LA Lakers 107
Toronto 4 FINAL
Florida 6
Vancouver 1 FINAL(OT)
Anaheim 2
Tulane 57 FINAL
St Johns 82
Central Conn St 48 FINAL
Connecticut 81
Iona 81 FINAL
Drexel 62
Concordia (MI) 42 FINAL
Eastern Mich 100
Harvard 46 FINAL
Arizona State 56
Longwood 64 FINAL
Ball State 69
Sacred Heart 76 FINAL
Brown 79
Colgate 64 FINAL
Columbia 69
MD-Eastern Shore 78 FINAL
Duquesne 69
UNC Greensboro 50 FINAL
East Carolina 71
Marist 64 FINAL
Elon 69
Lafayette 76
Cincinnati Christian 58 FINAL
Liberty 78
Morgan State 53 FINAL
Marquette 81
Campbell 56 FINAL
Samford 65
Bucknell 71 FINAL
Siena 73
Long Beach State 67 FINAL
Syracuse 85
Coppin State 80 FINAL
Evansville 85
Indiana State 70
Hofstra 88 FINAL
Long Island 62
Coast Guard 48 FINAL
Army 93
Thomas (GA) 48 FINAL
High Point 85
Texas Southern 58 FINAL
Kansas State 56
Rutgers 59 FINAL
Monmouth 58
NC Wesleyan 54 FINAL
NC A&T 58
South Dakota St 63 FINAL
Northern Iowa 74
Central Penn College 69 FINAL
Radford 119
Bowling Green 79 FINAL
South Florida 70
Harris-Stowe 66 FINAL
SE Missouri St 94
Robert Morris-IL 56 FINAL
SIU Edwardsville 104
Northland College 59 FINAL
North Dakota St 83
Milwaukee 60 FINAL
South Dakota 84
Northwestern St 92 FINAL
Arkansas 100
Saint Peters 59 FINAL
Cornell 52
St Katherine 62 FINAL
Fresno State 93
Haskell 42 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Wake Forest 65 FINAL
Richmond 63
Fla Gulf Coast 57 FINAL
Xavier 71
SD Christian 45 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Judson 46 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 80
Ill-Chicago 60 FINAL
Bradley 68
Loyola-Maryland 61 FINAL
Fairfield 59
Miss Valley St 53 FINAL
Houston 80
Lehigh 58 FINAL
Delaware State 56 FINAL
Temple 66
Belmont 56 FINAL
Butler 67
Howard 59 FINAL
Fordham 74
NW Christian 67 FINAL
Nevada 81
UC Davis 83 FINAL
Washington St 90
Abilene Christian 81 FINAL
Grand Canyon 83
Alabama 56
Stony Brook 62 FINAL
Washington 57
Buffalo 56 FINAL
Wisconsin 68
CS-Bakersfield 55 FINAL
California 52
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 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 8:00 PM
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
(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
(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
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
(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
Toledo 1/4/15 8:00 PM
Arkansas State
Drexel 71 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 54
Holy Cross 63 FINAL
Norfolk State 62
East Carolina 62 FINAL
South Florida 69
(10) Oregon State 63 FINAL
(8) Tennessee 74
Providence 51 FINAL
Boston College 79
Florida A&M 47 FINAL
Miami-Florida 83
Oakland 69 FINAL
Central Michigan 74
Chattanooga 59 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 49
Fairfield 59 FINAL
La Salle 73
St Francis-PA 59 FINAL
Pittsburgh 97
Milwaukee 72 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 78
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Longwood 63
New Hampshire 58 FINAL
Manhattan 54
Bucknell 68 FINAL
Binghamton 57
Northeastern 70 FINAL
Albany 67
George Mason 70 FINAL
Towson 72
Richmond 59 FINAL
William & Mary 56
Tulane 60 FINAL
Cincinnati 50
North Florida 51 FINAL
Florida 63
(14) Georgia 51 FINAL
Seton Hall 70
Tennessee St 75 FINAL
(12) Kentucky 87
American Univ 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 77
Massachusetts 78 FINAL
Boston U 57
Quinnipiac 69 FINAL
Saint Josephs 67
Lafayette 49 FINAL
Saint Peters 34
Northwestern 61 FINAL
(20) Michigan State 57
Duquesne 82 FINAL
Lehigh 75
George Washington 72 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 49
(17) Rutgers 66 FINAL
Indiana 51
(24) Green Bay 66 FINAL
Dayton 72
Western Mich 55 FINAL
Stony Brook 59
Davidson 67 FINAL
Virginia 57
UNC Greensboro 61 FINAL
LSU 82
Denver 63 FINAL
North Texas 55
VA Commonwealth 63 FINAL
Coppin State 52
Huston-Tillotson 36 FINAL
Houston Baptist 86
Lamar 63 FINAL
Rice 97
Miss Valley St 40 FINAL
Alabama 71
Saint Louis 63 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 49
Middle Tennessee 98 FINAL
Tenn Tech 76
Penn State 52 FINAL
(23) Iowa 77
Purdue 62 FINAL
Illinois 55
DePaul 99 FINAL
Illinois State 62
Sam Houston St 46 FINAL
Wichita State 70
South Dakota 76 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 69
(4) Notre Dame 82 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 51 FINAL
SC State 60
Alcorn State 53 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 63
Dartmouth 76 FINAL
Niagara 70
Colgate 68 FINAL
Siena 80
Michigan 53 FINAL
Wisconsin 63
Fla Gulf Coast 73 FINAL
CS-Northridge 64
Yale 51 FINAL
(25) Arizona State 69
UC Santa Barbara 34 FINAL
(16) Stanford 90
Long Island 63 FINAL
Long Beach St 71
Jackson State 56 FINAL
Louisiana 65
Eureka 50 FINAL
Western Ill 91
Cornell 59 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 76
Temple 58 FINAL
Memphis 57


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