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

The Barn is shaking now more than Rodney Williams has ever seen it

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers players Updated: January 16, 2013 - 2:42 PM

At some point, Rodney Williams just got tired of the stories. The “Oh the Barn was so great when” and the “Boy, you should have felt the way it shook.”

For all of the senior’s experience, it had been a shell of that former glory, a quirky venue often with more memories than fans, it seemed.

But then, this season happened. With Minnesota fielding its best basketball team in more than a decade, Gophers fans showed up in droves for the Big Ten opener on New Years’ Eve against Michigan State. And when the game tipped, it was a different Barn than the one Williams had gotten to know so well. This version, well, rocked.

“You definitely get sick of hearing stories like that,” Williams said. “And then, when it finally happened, it was a real special moment for me, because I’ve never seen it like that, in all my four years. … When it got loud in there, it definitely sent chills through my body.”

Knowing better than ever what a raucous home crowd can do for a team after losing at Indiana to the soundtrack of the ear-splitting Assembly Hall fan base, the Gophers are hoping that the new Williams Arena vibe will remain through a tough season against an improved Big Ten, including their game against No. 5 Michigan on Thursday.

“I was just careless with the ball, those unforced turnovers,” Andre Hollins said of how the Hoosiers crowd was felt by the Gophers on Saturday. “The atmosphere, it definitely got to me a little bit. That’s what crowds do to you. Crowds are a big factor in games, when they’re loud like that. When they got the ball off the tip, it just erupted … We definitely want some of that home-court advantage.”

Other notes from today’s access:

  • Coach Tubby Smith said one of the big issues for the Gophers on Saturday at Indiana was that with Andre Hollins having a hard time guarding Hoosiers point guard Yogi Ferrell one-one-one, other players would be forced to come off their guys – which Ferrell would promptly dish to for an open jumpshot. Against Michigan’s Trey Burke, the job isn’t going to get any easier considering the wide array of scoring threats the Wolverines have as well. “I’m going to have to contain him, keep him out of the lane because they have a lot of shooters,” Hollins said. “So I’m going to have to make him take tough shots, be on his hip and I’m going to tell everybody – don’t help too much, because they can shoot the ball.”
  • In light of the way the bench has been used in a minimized capacity recently, Rodney Williams said he believes all five starters are conditioned well enough to play 35 minutes, if they needed to, every game. In the last two games, the bench has scored just a total of eight points.
  • A year ago, the Gophers were a little like this Michigan team, just in terms of age and experience. While the Wolverines have talented sophomore Trey Burke at point and veteran Tim Hardaway Jr. bolstering the lineup, they are also relying on major contributions from freshmen – with five altogether that get significant minutes. On Monday, coach John Beilein admitted that the team’s age showed in the Wolverines’ close loss at Ohio State, in which Michigan came back from a large deficit but then played rushed and panicked at the end. Austin Hollins remembers that journey well. “It’s really tough” he said. “You don’t know what to expect when you’re going in there. And when you walk into hostile environment – I would say our arena is a hostile environment – but Michigan State, Indiana, going into places like that when you’ve never been there and trying to play, you know, it’s tough. But it’s a learning experience and you get used to it.”
  • Andre Hollins said he watched Tuesday night’s Wisconsin win at Indiana and felt again as though the Gophers let one slip away at Assembly Hall. “They just defended them,” he said. “They defended Jordan Hulls well, they rebounded well, they made shots, they played a great game, and that’s what it takes to beat a Big Ten team on the road. You have to be focused, don’t let the runs get you.”


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Detroit 69 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Portland 94 FINAL
Cleveland 99
Sacramento 102 FINAL
Toronto 119
Boston 98 FINAL
Minnesota 110
Dallas 94 FINAL
Houston 99
Denver 93 FINAL
New Orleans 85
Brooklyn 102 FINAL
Atlanta 113
Oklahoma City 92 FINAL
New York 100
Charlotte 86 FINAL
San Antonio 95
LA Clippers 94 FINAL
Utah 89
Washington 98 FINAL
Phoenix 106
Toronto 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Pittsburgh 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Chicago 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Temple 86 FINAL
UCF 62
Winthrop 75 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 68
Lafayette 59 FINAL
Colgate 54
Northeastern 60 FINAL
Drexel 65
Wake Forest 76 FINAL
Florida State 82
Rhode Island 64 FINAL
Fordham 63
Delaware 82 FINAL
James Madison 88
South Carolina 58 FINAL
LSU 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Maine 58
Seton Hall 80 FINAL
Marquette 70
Binghamton 68 FINAL
American Univ 54 FINAL
Navy 64
Elon 65 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 82
Wright State 76 FINAL
Oakland 84
Minnesota 58 FINAL
Penn State 63
Duquesne 55 FINAL
Richmond 86
South Florida 52
Hartford 66 FINAL
Stony Brook 72
Albany 47 FINAL
Vermont 44
Hofstra 79 FINAL
William & Mary 100
UNC-Asheville 74 FINAL
Longwood 64
Radford 84 FINAL
Char Southern 77
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 73 FINAL
Notre Dame 77
Texas Tech 36 FINAL
Oklahoma 81
Oregon State 55 FINAL
Arizona State 73
Morehead State 82 FINAL
Austin Peay 69
Drake 69 FINAL
Bradley 57
Lehigh 62 FINAL
Bucknell 68
Rice 48 FINAL
Houston 59
Missouri State 57 FINAL
Illinois State 67
Loyola-Chicago 47 FINAL
Wichita State 58
Nebraska Omaha 64 FINAL
South Dakota St 86
Northern Iowa 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
Louisville 81 FINAL
Boston College 72
St Johns 74 FINAL
Creighton 77
East Carolina 58 FINAL
Memphis 70
Georgia Tech 70 FINAL
Miami-Florida 50
Miss State 73 FINAL
Ole Miss 79
Clemson 68 FINAL
NC State 57
Indiana 67 FINAL
Purdue 83
Kansas 64 FINAL
TCU 61
Oregon 56 FINAL
Arizona 90
Air Force 66 FINAL
San Jose St 52
Stanford 84 FINAL
Washington 74
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
Binghamton 55
Akron 60 FINAL
Ohio U 72
Ball State 72 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 55
Memphis 56 FINAL
Cincinnati 44
East Carolina 32 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 87
Murray State 59 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 75
Kent State 63 FINAL
Central Michigan 65
UT Martin 64 FINAL
Tennessee St 58
Eastern Michigan 56 FINAL
Western Mich 83
Bucknell 61 FINAL
Lehigh 76
Indiana 57 FINAL
Michigan State 72
Colgate 56 FINAL
Lafayette 58
Fordham 66 FINAL
Davidson 45
Duquesne 76 FINAL
St Bonaventure 64
George Mason 66 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 70
Detroit 59 FINAL
Youngstown St 58
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
Tulsa 74
Oklahoma St 54 FINAL
Kansas State 52
West Virginia 57 FINAL
Texas Tech 73
Denver 56 FINAL
South Dakota 82
Northwestern St 46 FINAL
Central Arkansas 63
Austin Peay 67 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 87
Kansas 61 FINAL
Iowa State 56
Bowling Green 50 FINAL
Northern Ill 67
Penn State 64 FINAL
Minnesota 75
San Jose St 80 FINAL
Air Force 83
Boise State 82 FINAL
Colorado State 83
Utah State 51 FINAL
Wyoming 86
San Diego State 50 FINAL
Fresno State 57
Nevada 52 FINAL


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