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.


Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Dallas 12/4/14 7:25 PM
Chicago 109 FINAL
Boston 102
Golden State 106 FINAL
Charlotte 101
Dallas 106 FINAL
Toronto 102
Milwaukee 104 FINAL
Detroit 88
New Orleans 91 FINAL
Atlanta 100
LA Clippers 102 FINAL
Houston 85
New York 78 FINAL
Oklahoma City 105
Orlando 83 FINAL
Indiana 98
Sacramento 104 FINAL
San Antonio 112
Phoenix 97 FINAL
Denver 122
Memphis 112 FINAL
Portland 99
Minnesota 120 FINAL
LA Lakers 119
NY Rangers 3 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
Chicago 4 FINAL
Anaheim 1
NY Islanders 2 FINAL
Washington 5
Winnipeg 1 FINAL(OT)
Boston 2
Montreal 1 FINAL
Buffalo 2
Detroit 5 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 4
Carolina 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 2
Vancouver 5 FINAL
Columbus 0
Ottawa 2 FINAL
Florida 3
Edmonton 3 FINAL(OT)
St. Louis 4
Minnesota 5 FINAL(OT)
Dallas 4
Tennessee 67 FINAL
Kansas 82
Eastern Ill 40 FINAL
NC Central 65
New Orleans 65 FINAL
Texas A&M 87
Radford 65 FINAL
NC A&T 57
Butler 64 FINAL
Georgetown 58
Prairie View 71 FINAL
Brown 81
Southern U 63 FINAL
Northern Ariz 70
Santa Clara 44 FINAL
Rhode Island 66
IUPU-Ft Wayne 67 FINAL
Dartmouth 68
Wright State 59
Texas-El Paso 77 FINAL
Xavier 73
Penn State 88 FINAL
Bucknell 80
James Madison 56 FINAL
Ohio State 73
Yale 66 FINAL
Providence 72
Lamar 59 FINAL
Texas Southern 71
Miss Valley St 66 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 75
Missouri State 55 FINAL
Alaska-Anchorage 51
Minnesota 66 FINAL
Georgia 62
Oklahoma 56 FINAL
Wisconsin 69
Stephen F Austin 83 FINAL
Austin Peay 62
Norfolk State 72 FINAL
St Francis-NY 70
Middle Tennessee 51 FINAL
Cincinnati 69
Char Southern 47 FINAL
Florida State 58
Princeton 65 FINAL
San Diego 75
Drake 46 FINAL
Valparaiso 66
Rice 74 FINAL
Washington St 76
USC Upstate 79 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 64
Rider 54 FINAL
Georgia Tech 61
High Point 59 FINAL
Clemson 62
Emerson 50 FINAL
Hartford 83
Savannah State 71 FINAL
Jacksonville St 74
Monmouth 56 FINAL
Maryland 61
South Alabama 75 FINAL
Miami-Florida 87
Boise State 54 FINAL
NC State 60
Vanderbilt 65 FINAL
Rutgers 68
Gonzaga 73 FINAL
St Johns 66
Holy Cross 48 FINAL
Syracuse 72
Bradley 49 FINAL
TCU 57
Alabama State 91 FINAL
TX-Pan American 79
Delaware State 72 FINAL
Wake Forest 65
Tennessee St 58 FINAL
Saint Peters 66
North Carolina 75 FINAL
Florida 64
Memphis 72 FINAL
Indiana State 62
Hofstra 86 FINAL
Jackson State 56
Samford 64 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 77
Cleveland State 68 FINAL
Marshall 59
UT Martin 64 FINAL
Nebraska 75
SE Louisiana 61 FINAL
Tulane 71
Creighton 68 FINAL
Ole Miss 75
Murray State 61 FINAL
Portland 64
North Texas 73 FINAL
Arkansas 89
UNC Greensboro 79 FINAL
Indiana 87
Michigan State 79 FINAL
Marquette 68
Western Mich 79 FINAL
San Jose St 60
Stetson 62 FINAL
Northern Colorado 82
Texas-Arlington 81 FINAL
Montana State 104
Pacific 64 FINAL
Colorado State 75
Miss State 75 FINAL
Saint Louis 50
La Salle 56 FINAL
Virginia 64
North Dakota 53 FINAL
Utah 90
UAB 76
Baylor 54 FINAL
Illinois 62
Long Beach State 70 FINAL
Washington 80
Mercer 53 1st OT 5:00
UC Santa Barbara 53
Texas A&M 17
(6) TCU 48 FINAL
Texas 10
Northern Ill 31 FINAL
Western Mich 21
Nebraska 37 FINAL
Iowa 34
Western Ky 67 FINAL
(19) Marshall 66
So Florida 0
Houston 35 FINAL
Akron 24 FINAL
Kent State 27
Ball State 41 FINAL
Bowling Green 24
Buffalo 41 FINAL
Massachusetts 21
Toledo 52 FINAL
Eastern Mich 16
Arkansas 14 FINAL
(17) Missouri 21
Navy 42 FINAL
South Alabama 40
(13) Arizona State 35 FINAL
(12) Arizona 42
Stanford 31 FINAL
(9) UCLA 10
(21) Colorado State 24 FINAL
Air Force 27
Virginia 20 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
East Carolina 49 FINAL
Tulsa 32
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UCF 12/4/14 6:30 PM
East Carolina
Northern Ill 12/5/14 6:00 PM
Bowling Green
(12) Arizona 12/5/14 8:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Marshall 12/6/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State 12/6/14 2:00 AM
(5) Baylor
Iowa State 12/6/14 2:00 AM
(6) TCU
Oklahoma State 12/6/14 2:00 AM
(20) Oklahoma
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Michigan 76 FINAL
Washington St 64
Green Bay 71 FINAL
Georgia Tech 50
Eastern Kentucky 71 FINAL
Western Carolina 62
Florida Atlantic 57
Fordham 74 FINAL
Incarnate Word 42
Furman 63 FINAL
Florida State 94
Illinois State 44 FINAL
Miami-Florida 95
Eastern Michigan 74 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 78
George Washington 74 FINAL
NC State 66
Ohio State 55 FINAL
Wichita State 70
Western Ky 69 FINAL
Tulane 64
La Salle 71 FINAL
Long Island 66
Binghamton 51 FINAL
St Johns 67
UNC-Asheville 52 FINAL
NC Central 55
North Florida 55 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 41
Akron 73 FINAL
Belmont 58
Miss Valley St 46 FINAL
Liberty 80 FINAL
Penn State 68
Colgate 44 FINAL
(21) Rutgers 60
Mercer 80 FINAL
Saint Louis 75
Northeastern 72 FINAL
No Dakota State 79
(10) Maryland 80 FINAL
James Madison 64
Villanova 46 FINAL
Arizona State 51
Tulsa 87 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Boston College 90 FINAL
Brown 80
Wyoming 63 FINAL
Iowa State 84
Weber State 100 FINAL
New Mexico St 97
Texas Tech 53 FINAL
Purdue 69
Washington 81 FINAL
Hartford 70
Fla Gulf Coast 86 FINAL
Clemson 61
Drake 69 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 61
UNC Greensboro 64 FINAL
Navy 71
(15) Nebraska 71 FINAL
Northern Iowa 58 FINAL
Hofstra 61
Austin Peay 71 FINAL
Southern Miss 80
(17) Iowa 67 FINAL
Arkansas 77
Cal-Irvine 54 FINAL
Bowling Green 62
Samford 56 FINAL
Georgia State 61
Siena 78 FINAL
Denver 62
Abilene Christian 88 FINAL
George Mason 86
Towson 49 FINAL
Rhode Island 60
Howard 55 FINAL
St Marys-CA 80
Houston 67 FINAL
Idaho State 73
Texas Southern 71
East Carolina 61 FINAL
Wisconsin 43
Sam Houston St 67
Minnesota 54 FINAL
Vanderbilt 71
Kent State 47 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 57
Montana 55 FINAL
Princeton 80
(9) Kentucky 92 FINAL
Oklahoma 88
Arizona 65 FINAL
FIU 58
Northern Ky 52 FINAL
Grand Canyon 45
Stetson 57 FINAL
Marist 50
American Univ 59 FINAL
Gonzaga 56
Loyola Marymount 66
Oral Roberts 38 FINAL
NC A&T 47
Stony Brook 42 FINAL
(8) Duke 72
Colorado State 76
(5) Stanford 54 FINAL
(11) North Carolina 70
Monmouth 82 FINAL
Wagner 59
Portland 59 FINAL
Nevada 84
Stephen F Austin 62 FINAL
UC-Riverside 90
Alcorn State 33 FINAL
Rice 61
Lafayette 61 FINAL
(12) Louisville 102
Florida 81 FINAL
Georgetown 73
Miami-Ohio 51 FINAL
Oakland 65
SE Missouri St 62 FINAL
Southern Ill 78
Florida A&M 46 FINAL
SMU 77
Northern Colorado 67 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 58
Montana State 66 FINAL
CS-Northridge 78
(22) Syracuse 63 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 67
Dartmouth 74 FINAL
Cal Poly 61
Utah State 43 FINAL
(13) Baylor 99
Toledo 64 FINAL
Virginia 62
Christian Brothers 39 FINAL
Arkansas State 79
South Florida 67 FINAL
Illinois 61
Coll of Charleston 24 FINAL
(3) Connecticut 85
Wake Forest 65 FINAL
Charlotte 58
San Jose St 87 FINAL
(14) California 110
Central Michigan 73 FINAL
Oregon 67
Fresno State 93 FINAL
San Diego 88
Boston U 49 FINAL
New Mexico 56
Missouri State 59 FINAL
Colorado 87
Ole Miss 52 FINAL
Utah 38
Prairie View 58 FINAL
Hawaii 72
Army 61 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 39
Cincinnati 52 FINAL
Creighton 63


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