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.

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Teague: Facilities plan should be finalized by April; thoughts on Tubby Smith

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Williams Arena Updated: February 28, 2013 - 4:15 PM

Minnesota’s new master facilities plan – with a basketball practice facility as one of the priorities -- should be finalized by April, Gophers athletic director Norwood Teague said at a press gathering on Thursday.

“I’m very excited for the future,” Teague said. “It’s going to be a fun next five to 10 years.”

A basketball facility is near the top of the list, with Teague again describing the implementation as a “need” and not a “want.”

“I guess it’s been a phenomenon of the last 10 years, and you can say, ‘Are they really needed?’ You do really need them,” Teague said. “Our guys have trouble at times getting into shoot, and our women have trouble at times getting into shoot. There’s a lot of people that use it, our dance team’s in there, or there’s an event that’s in there in the middle of the day, and it limits the availability … I think the money to raise is out there, it’s just a matter of fitting it into plan and moving it forward. So I do feel good about that, but it’s critical.”

Breaking down the total project into costs for individual pieces, like the practice facility, will come down the road. But for now, Teague estimated that the full facilities plan could cost in the $80 million to $125 million range. Teague has said in the past that the full plan could include a basketball practice facility, a new football building, a women's gymnastics facility, a wrestling facility, office enhancements and a center for student-athlete academics and dining.

The university is still looking at exactly where all the money will come from – how much they can feasibly raise privately and where the rest would come from.

“Money doesn’t grow on trees, and I know with the state budgets and things like that, we want to be very smart about what we do,” Teague said. “If it’s too expensive, we’ll have to cut back in areas. But right now with construction costs being pretty favorable, it’s different than it was five years ago, so you’ve got to go in and evaluate it. We need to get what we need and be smart about that. We don’t want to go crazy and spend in a way that’s going to be unwise.”

In that regard, Teague noted that the facilities don’t have to be extravagant, as seems to be the trend in college athletics – not just building something functional, but something with an overload of “flash” as Teague called it, and luxurious amenities.

“We’ve traveled around to a lot of facilities that maybe are a little over the top, and I don’t know if we need to do that,” Teague said. “I think you need to get what you need and have it done in a first-class way, and then after that, your people make all the difference. And if you have great people, combined with the facilities that you need, I think then you’re rolling.”

Once a blueprint is in place, Teague said a tour around the state is planned to help raise money and drum up excitement for the program and the plans.

“Really go around and shake hands and renew, rejuvenate the pride in Gopher athletics,” he said. “I’ll tell you what because one thing I have learned after being here eight months is that it seems like everybody cares about the U and Gopher athletics. You maybe didn’t go here, but your dad went here or your mom went here or your great uncle went here. And it’s the only Division I school in the state. And I’ve been in four states with Divison I schools and it doesn’t compare. And that’s a positive, but it’s something we have to do a better job of reaching out.”


Other notes from today’s press conference:

  • Teague reiterated that he would not evaluate Gophers basketball coach Tubby Smith’s performance until the season was over, saying that he wanted to make that a university policy in general with all coaches. He did however, remark on a couple of aspects concerning Smith.
  • Teague said he talks with Smith often about the ups and downs of the season, and said he has been handling the wear like “a pro.” “All coaches take it hard when they lose,” Teague said. “No matter who they are. I don’t think we can ever understand the amount of anguish they go thorugh. Weight loss. Stress on the face. He’s not immune to that … He’s done this a long time, and he rolls with the punches.”
  • Teague on the buyouts the university is still paying off (Glen Mason, Dan Monson, Tim Brewster): “It’s a part of the whole financial equation of everything we do, not just a specific sport. It always plays into your budget decisions. But for us, the buyouts that we’re paying now have been budgeted, so it’s not like it’s new. So it is what it is.”
  • On Smith’s poor record in February: “I’m aware of it. But I’m also aware of a lot of other places it happens. Greg Paulus at Ohio State is a good friend. We went to breakfast the morning of the Ohio State game and Greg said, ‘Norwood, you have to understand. These are the two toughest weeks in college basketball for players.’ They’re in the heart of the regular season. Christmas is long in the rearview mirror, and they can’t see March yet. Teams do erratic things during that time period. I look at it for every program, that February is tough. It’s a grind.”
  • Teague said he gave Smith a hug in the locker room after the Indiana game on Tuesday. His general thoughts on the atmosphere: “The Barn was as good as I’ve seen it, and obviously, I’ve been here a short period period of time. I get a lot of e-mails and comments about bring the Barn back to where it used to be, and I hear everybody loud and clear, but it shows that that place is as good as any place in college basketball. I know it is older, but it’s classic. We need to get that thing back to where it’s consistent like that on a regular basis because it was absolutely fantastic. My ears were ringing all day yesterday after being in there.
  • To that point, Teague reiterated that he doesn’t have any plans to tear down Williams Arena and rebuild. Instead, he wants to add amenities and do a few touch-ups. Overall, he’s happy with the state of the inner bowl, including the number of seats, he said. “I just think it’s too classic,” he said. “It’s too historical; it’s too much a part of the state. I’ve seen when you move arenas and leave your classic place, it hurts in many ways. It hurts your crowd atmosphere and feel of your arena. And we’ll do some things, some touchups on Williams, but I don’t think we need to blow up the inner bowl. There’s a lot of great things that are there.”

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Minnesota 14 2nd Qtr 3:25
Miami 7
Baltimore 0 2nd Qtr 6:30
Houston 6
Detroit 7 2nd Qtr 4:00
Chicago 0
Cleveland 3 2nd Qtr 2:36
Carolina 3
Atlanta 6 2nd Qtr 6:12
New Orleans 7
Green Bay 10 2nd Qtr 4:55
Tampa Bay 0
Kansas City 6 2nd Qtr 3:50
Pittsburgh 10
New England 7 2nd Qtr 2:33
NY Jets 7
NY Giants 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 3:25 PM
Oakland
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Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
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Miami
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LA Lakers 5:00 PM
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Boston
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Toronto 6:00 PM
Chicago
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Winnipeg
Harvard 27 FINAL
Virginia 76
Maine 29 2nd Half
Army 29
Ferris State 37 2nd Half
Bowling Green 36
San Francisco 32 2nd Half 18:57
Cleveland State 28
Oregon State 33 2nd Half 14:13
Quinnipiac 37
Coastal Carolina 19 1st Half 2:23
Central Arkansas 25
Holy Cross 2 1st Half 18:40
Canisius 0
Southern Miss 0 1st Half 18:54
Georgia State 2
Western Carolina 0 1st Half 19:38
UNC-Asheville 0
Creighton 3 1st Half 16:37
North Texas 6
Maryland 0 1st Half 20:00
Oklahoma State 0
Cornell 0 1st Half 18:43
Radford 2
Vermont 1 1st Half 18:00
Saint Louis 4
Loyola-Maryland 3 1st Half 18:10
Stony Brook 0
Reinhardt 1:00 PM
Winthrop
Ark-Little Rock 4 1st Half 16:33
Green Bay 8
TX-Pan American 6 1st Half 17:00
Nebraska Omaha 9
Alabama State 0 1st Half 20:00
Evansville 0
FIU 1:30 PM
Hartford
Goshen 1:35 PM
Valparaiso
Bryant 2:00 PM
Denver
Austin Peay 2:00 PM
Lipscomb
Tennessee St 2:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
South Dakota 2:00 PM
Montana
ULM 2:00 PM
Samford
Coker 2:30 PM
South Carolina
USC 3:00 PM
Boston College
Northern Ariz 3:00 PM
Hampton
SD Christian 3:00 PM
San Diego
UC Irvine 3:30 PM
Bradley
Troy 3:30 PM
Nicholls
Seton Hall 5:00 PM
Georgia
Appalachian St 5:30 PM
Alabama
North Dakota St 6:00 PM
Kent State
San Jose St 6:00 PM
Washington St
Alcorn State 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Sacramento St 9:00 PM
Seattle
Nevada 3 FINAL
Louisiana 16
Utah State 21 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 6
(23) Utah 45 FINAL
Colorado State 10
Western Mich 24 FINAL
Air Force 38
South Alabama 28 FINAL
Bowling Green 33
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Cal-Irvine 55 FINAL
Denver 63
St Marys-CA 52 FINAL
George Washington 70
TX-San Antonio 49 FINAL
Nicholls 57
Portland State 71 FINAL
Columbia 66
Tenn Tech 62 FINAL
Morgan State 56
SMU 43 FINAL
Auburn 56
Quinnipiac 70 FINAL
Hartford 58
Hofstra 75 FINAL
Boston College 61
Eastern Washington 55 FINAL
Georgia Southern 42
Liberty 24 2nd Half 16:03
(1) South Carolina 51
Fairleigh Dickinson 45 2nd Half 13:19
Brown 44
Buffalo 39 2nd Half 17:57
Long Island 33
Bucknell 41 2nd Half 14:54
Mount St Marys 30
Stony Brook 40 2nd Half 17:37
Wagner 35
FIU 45 2nd Half 16:00
Wofford 33
Duquesne 21 2nd Half
Providence 25
Maine 33 2nd Half 13:27
William & Mary 33
Alabama State 20 2nd Half 17:55
Samford 31
TX-Pan American 28 2nd Half 17:47
VA Commonwealth 38
South Dakota St 44 2nd Half 15:46
Marist 47
Saint Josephs 31 2nd Half 12:45
(5) Notre Dame 51
Radford 29 2nd Half 17:55
Virginia Tech 32
(3) Texas 22 1st Half 4:20
(4) Texas A&M 28
Rhode Island 23 1st Half 2:43
Bryant 18
NC A&T 1:00 PM
Chattanooga
Fairfield 1:00 PM
Iowa State
Richmond 1:00 PM
Eastern Kentucky
Kent State 1:00 PM
Colgate
Saint Peters 1:00 PM
Navy
NJIT 1:00 PM
Lafayette
Davidson 1:00 PM
Charlotte
South Florida 4 1st Half 18:06
Penn State 2
Sam Houston St 4 1st Half 16:39
TCU 4
Evansville 0 1st Half 18:33
IUPUI 4
(14) Maryland 9 1st Half 16:54
Coppin State 5
Mercer 6 1st Half 18:06
Coll of Charleston 0
Princeton 0 1st Half 20:00
Monmouth 0
Eastern Illinois 4 1st Half 17:49
Lehigh 2
Rider 2 1st Half 17:14
Binghamton 4
SC State 0 1st Half 19:33
Clemson 0
Cleveland State 12 1st Half 14:35
Morehead St 9
South Alabama 5 1st Half 14:59
UAB 13
Youngstown St 9 1st Half 14:45
Pittsburgh 12
Indiana State 1:30 PM
St Johns
Southern U 1:30 PM
Florida
Wright State 1:30 PM
Purdue
(19) Oklahoma St 2:00 PM
USC
Houston 2:00 PM
Texas Tech
Ark-Little Rock 2:00 PM
Tulsa
Dayton 2:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Northern Ariz 2:00 PM
New Mexico
UNC-Asheville 2:00 PM
USC Upstate
North Dakota 2:00 PM
South Dakota
Western Ill 2:00 PM
Marquette
Elon 2:00 PM
(6) North Carolina
Ball State 2:00 PM
Western Ky
(8) Kentucky 2:00 PM
(13) Duke
New Orleans 2:00 PM
Alabama
Chicago State 2:00 PM
Milwaukee
Bowling Green 2:00 PM
Bradley
Ill-Springfield 2:00 PM
SE Missouri St
Northern Ill 2:00 PM
Northern Iowa
(23) Iowa 2:05 PM
Drake
Central Michigan 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Western Carolina 2:30 PM
North Florida
Wyoming 3:00 PM
Colorado
Portland 3:00 PM
Boise State
Cal Poly 3:00 PM
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No Dakota State 3:00 PM
Grand Canyon
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Oklahoma 3:00 PM
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Idaho State 3:00 PM
Seattle
(18) Michigan State 3:00 PM
(19) Syracuse
Northwestern 3:30 PM
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North Texas
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Oregon
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Coastal Carolina
UNLV 4:00 PM
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UCLA 4:00 PM
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(24) California
Howard 5:00 PM
Virginia
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
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Illinois-Chicago 8:30 PM
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