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: Gophers' fate in the B1G tourney? Has Minnesota figured out the zone? Best Williams dunk? And what's up with these bigfoot hoaxers?

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers players Updated: March 5, 2013 - 9:45 AM



aMAILia BAG is a weekly installment on this blog where you send me questions (to @AmeliaRayno on Twitter or and I answer them here. Questions below are in bold, while my responses are in regular type.


Who do you want to see the Gophers play in the NCAA tournament? Or is there a seed you'd like to see them at that would give them the best chance to advance?

Brandon Proctor
Mounds View, MN

Ps. Sorry I wasn't in my chewbacca costume [Saturday]!

Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Brandon – you have a Chewbacca costume and you didn’t wear it on Saturday? Did you not see my tweets of pleading? Did you not feel my sasquatch-less pain? At least loan it out to someone who WILL don the hairs of the intelligent beast.

I considered not answering your question for this offense, but I decided to use the opportunity, instead, to publicly scold you. But now we’ll move on. (I hope you’ve internalized my message and will show up as Chewbacca for the 2013-14 season opener).

There are a lot of teams I could enjoy watching the Gophers play. Personally, it would be very cool for me for the Gophers to match up with NC State or North Carolina. It would be very interesting for the Gophers to get Colorado State (former Gopher Colton Iverson is killing it with the Rams right now. California for the same reason (but swap in Justin Cobbs). VCU for obvious reasons (Shaka Smart bonanza); who out-coaches the other? Plus these teams are kind of striving to be the same kind of team – one that gets out in transition and creates “havoc” on defense. Missouri because the Tigers still intrigue me, and frankly I’ve been waiting for this matchup since the Gophers didn’t get it in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. Those off the top of my head.

Here’s what else I would like: the Gophers to end up in the San Jose or Austin brackets so I’ll have somewhere cool to visit along the way.

How did Penn State beat Michigan? It was witchcraft, wasn't it? I bet it was. #aMAILiaBAG


Witchcraft and 3-pointers, maybe. Combined with a lackluster Trey Burke and shoddy Michigan ball handling. But boy was it hard to reckon after the Gophers trampled them on Saturday.

Gophers finishing 6th in B1G. What will be B1G tourney seed and who will they lose to in the semifinals this year? #aMAILiaBAG


Well, the Gophers are at sixth in the Big Ten right now, but they could end up anywhere from 6th to 9th, with Illinois, Iowa and Purdue all bunched around them. Whatever their place of finish is is also their seed in the conference tourney. Only the top four seeds get a bye, and the Gophers can’t possibly get higher than a sixth seed, so they will certainly play on Thursday. I do think the Gophers will win both of their remaining conference games and I think Illinois will lose at least one of their final games, giving Minnesota the 6th seed and putting them up against Nebraska (which will get the 11 seed after finishing 0-fer while No. 10 Northwestern tops Penn State).

If they win in the first round, my best guess is they would be up against Michigan State. And well, that would be a tough one to pull out.

Wrote more on that here.

Has [Minnesota] figured out zone riddle or did [Indiana] not play much [zone] and [Penn State] zone was just bad?


I think it’s hard to put a “solved” stamp on the zone just yet considering it’s been just three games since the Gophers were stunned and abused by Iowa’s extended zone just a little over two weeks ago.

Indiana did use a zone, but only situationally and the Hoosiers certainly didn’t sit it in for long periods. Penn State was just completely overwhelmed in every regard, with their zone being no exception -- and the Gophers were making some shots around the perimeter as well. The Gophers handled Nebraska’s zone just fine that time around, but then, that’s a little bit of the same story.

The Gophers have been using a little bit of a “new” half-court offense, going back to the super simple flex from the end of last season. It’s treated them well so far, but it’s really meant to attack man defenses. So if Minnesota ends up seeing, say, Northwestern in the Big Ten tournament, the Gophers’ zone attack could certainly be a theme once more.

Your all-time fave Rodney dunk? [Saturday's] was just sick. #aMAILiaBAG


This question inspired me to seek out a whole bunch of Rodney Williams dunks highlights and that’s not always a quick trip, so thanks, Matt, for sending me down that rabbit hole.

If you’d like to do the same, there are some good ones here.

Re-watching and re-watching the one from the Penn State game – you know, when Williams defied gravity to snag a poorly tossed Julian Welch lob – it’s hard to find competitors. The only ones that come close, in my opinion, would be the first 360 (last year against USC) or this crazy baseline dunk he had against Nebraska last year, where he, once again, practically flew. But boy that Penn State one was good. I’m hesitant to say that’s his best, though, which really says a lot about the kid’s talent.

Hi Amelia:

Any updates on the Gophers' recruits for 2013? What do you see them doing with their remaining two scholarships?



My only real update for you, Joel, is that Gavin Schiling – the guy at the top of the list for scholarship No. 3 – has narrowed his list to four schools, one of which is Minnesota.

If the Gophers don’t get him, they’ll have to scramble – Schilling likely isn’t making a decision until sometime this spring and the cache of available and likely big men is already very thin.

After that, the Gophers will most likely stop and hold on to that final scholarship for the strong 2014 class.


It's a little early to start thinking about next year, but looking at the roster, it appears to be very thin - especially at PG and the front line.

Can we expect immediate contributions from their 2013 commits (Foster and Ellis)? Has there been any word on how Buggs has looked in practice? Will they look to add a PG in the 2013 class?


Never too early, Jamie.

No point guard is in Minnesota’s sights until 2014 – while Andre Hollins has his shortcomings at the position, the Gophers think he can handle it well enough (maybe with the help of Maverick Ahanmisi) to get them by.

As for Alex Foster and Alvin Ellis, the Gophers will need at least one of them to play significant minutes considering Minnesota is losing Trevor Mbakwe, Rodney Williams and Andre Ingram. Charles Buggs is very athletic and has some capability as well – I liked what I saw from him in the exhibitions – but make no mistake, there is going to be a lot of trial-and-error, a lot of growing pains next season.


I find myself going on you tube watching random Bigfoot videos and think I know which are real and which are hoaxes. You?


If you’re asking whether I sometimes spend a substantial amount of time on the internet looking at bigfoot videos, you are correct, sir.

Many of the hoaxes are easy to spot a mile away – just some really bad attempts. There have been some that have fooled me, though. I was really, sort of heart broken to find out that Todd Standing’s Sylvanic bigfoots, were, like, an elaborate hoax. I can’t understand people that do this. Also, this blog is really fantastic about breaking all the major sightings down. Kudos to them for really getting into the details and calling out some hoaxers.


Philadelphia 24 FINAL
Washington 27
San Diego 38 FINAL
San Francisco 35
Minnesota 12:00 PM
Baltimore 12:00 PM
Detroit 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12:00 PM
Atlanta 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12:00 PM
New England 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 3:25 PM
Seattle 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Phoenix 99 FINAL
New York 90
Portland 114 FINAL
New Orleans 88
Utah 86 FINAL
Charlotte 104
Atlanta 104 FINAL
Houston 97
San Antonio 93 FINAL
Dallas 99
Indiana 73 FINAL
Denver 76
Milwaukee 102 FINAL
LA Clippers 106
Arizona 2 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Colorado 5 FINAL
Buffalo 1
Philadelphia 7 FINAL
Toronto 4
Ottawa 1 FINAL
Montreal 4
Washington 4 FINAL
New Jersey 0
Tampa Bay 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Florida 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
NY Rangers 3 FINAL(SO)
Carolina 2
Chicago 2 FINAL(SO)
Columbus 3
Nashville 6 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 5
Calgary 2 FINAL(OT)
Vancouver 3
St. Louis 2 FINAL(OT)
San Jose 3
VA Commonwealth 68 FINAL
Cincinnati 47
Charlotte 78 FINAL
Georgetown 81
Michigan 51
Louisville 76 FINAL
Western Ky 67
Mount St Marys 45 FINAL
American Univ 46
Abilene Christian 33 FINAL
Boise State 77
UMass Lowell 63 FINAL
Duquesne 79
South Alabama 65 FINAL
Ohio State 74 FINAL
North Carolina 82
Massachusetts 65 FINAL
Providence 85
Syracuse 77 FINAL
Villanova 82
Citadel 61 FINAL
Virginia Tech 64
Belmont 73 FINAL
Fairfield 61
St Bonaventure 69 FINAL
Binghamton 51
Montreat 64 FINAL
Campbell 90
Delaware 74 FINAL
Fair-Dickinson 76
South Florida 62 FINAL
Florida State 75
Vanderbilt 60 FINAL
Georgia Tech 65
SC State 71 FINAL
Houston 63
Missouri 59 FINAL
Illinois 62
Truett-McConnell 55 FINAL
Jacksonville 84
Toledo 83 FINAL
McNeese State 69
Elon 71 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 64
Drexel 68 FINAL
Penn State 73
St Francis-PA 73 FINAL
Rutgers 68
Albany 64 FINAL
Yale 60
PSU-Beaver 74 FINAL
Longwood 106
Eastern Ill 60 FINAL
Indiana State 56
Indiana 82 FINAL
Butler 73
Marshall 58 FINAL
Arkansas State 67
Lafayette 69 FINAL
Kansas 96
Oral Roberts 63 FINAL
Memphis 78
Western Mich 61 FINAL
Northwestern 67
Delaware State 70 FINAL
Oregon 83
Fla Atlantic 56 FINAL
St Francis-NY 61
Arkansas Tech 57 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 94
Howard Payne 50 FINAL
Texas-Arlington 89
Kennesaw St 53
St Josephs (IN) 54 FINAL
Chicago State 76
Eastern Mich 77 FINAL
Missouri State 65
Kentucky 83
UC Davis 81 FINAL
Air Force 75
Houston Baptist 67 FINAL
UC Riverside 78
Davidson 80 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 68
USC Upstate 53 FINAL
Miss State 51
NC Central 94 FINAL
Miss Valley St 60
Illinois State 77 FINAL
Murray State 89
Louisiana 85 FINAL
Northwestern St 89
Oakland 77 FINAL
Pittsburgh 81
Detroit 55 FINAL
Rhode Island 69
Presbyterian 60 FINAL
UT Martin 77
Monmouth 74 FINAL
Wagner 66
Southern U 39 FINAL
Wyoming 57
Iowa State 83 FINAL
Drake 54
Wake Forest 50 FINAL
Florida 63
High Point 80 FINAL
James Madison 71
Texas Southern 71 FINAL
Michigan State 64
New Hampshire 60 FINAL
Sacred Heart 73
Northeastern 78 FINAL
Santa Clara 72
Huston-Tillotson 56 FINAL
Texas State 90
Purdue 63 FINAL
Notre Dame 94
Prairie View 44 FINAL
Sam Houston St 61
Xavier 88 FINAL
Auburn 89
Bluffton 53 FINAL
Akron 92
Central Conn St 76
Hofstra 77 FINAL
Columbia 82
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Dayton 78
Iona 81 FINAL
George Mason 86
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IUPU-Ft Wayne 72
Texas A&M 64 FINAL
Kansas State 71
Morgan State 69 FINAL
Manhattan 73
Saint Josephs 75 FINAL
Marist 58
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UNC-Wilmington 66
Richmond 65 FINAL
Pepperdine 63
La Salle 67 FINAL
Towson 53
Incarnate Word 110 FINAL
UMKC 104
CS-Bakersfield 59 FINAL
Idaho State 50
Iowa 44 FINAL
Northern Iowa 56
Milwaukee 56 FINAL
SIU Edwardsville 61
Long Beach State 68 FINAL
Texas 78
TX-San Antonio 57 FINAL
TCU 88
SE Missouri St 67 FINAL
Arkansas 84
Lehigh 84 FINAL
Arizona State 81
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New Mexico St 67
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Washington 69
Utah Valley U 61 FINAL
Weber State 73
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Northern Colorado 69
St Edwards 55 FINAL
Grand Canyon 81
NC State 69 FINAL
West Virginia 83
CS-Northridge 68
Cal Poly 50 FINAL
Gonzaga 63
Fresno State 68 FINAL
Pacific 71
Montana State 60 FINAL
Portland 87
Ball State 57 FINAL
San Diego St 70
South Dakota St 68 FINAL
Utah State 65
Stanford 77 FINAL
BYU 79
Utah 59 FINAL
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
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
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
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
Livingstone 77 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 81
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Dartmouth 70
Georgia Tech 65 FINAL
St Francis-NY 59
Auburn 49 FINAL
St Johns 56
East Tenn St 56 FINAL
Jacksonville St 57
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Detroit 57
Cal-Irvine 42 FINAL
Wright State 80
Gardner-Webb 47 FINAL
Kennesaw St 50
(7) Stanford 40 FINAL
(11) Tennessee 59
Alabama A&M 47 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Central Michigan 45 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 80
Nebraska Omaha 50 FINAL
Creighton 67
Western Carolina 83
Houston 65 FINAL
Nicholls 47
St Thomas Aquinas 45 FINAL
Army 70
St Bonaventure 72 FINAL
Niagara 60
Texas State 57 FINAL
Stetson 75
George Mason 65 FINAL
ULM 53
Grambling 38 FINAL
Kansas State 61
Missouri 79 FINAL
Wake Forest 64
Robert Morris 59 FINAL
Cornell 70
Air Force 44 FINAL
Abilene Christian 80
Hampton 53 FINAL
James Madison 85
American Univ 64 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 52
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 68
Tenn Tech 49 FINAL
NC A&T 54
Presbyterian 45 FINAL
NC Central 33
Penn 58 FINAL
Drexel 67
Lipscomb 38 FINAL
Xavier 62
Vermont 40 FINAL
Green Bay 60
Charleston Southern 70 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 80
Ohio Christian 62 FINAL
Akron 97
Jacksonville 62 FINAL
Murray State 80
(17) Rutgers 66 FINAL
Iona 58
Indiana 88 FINAL
Oakland 61
Indiana State 64 FINAL
SMU 55
Denver 51 FINAL
Purdue 65
TX-San Antonio 48 FINAL
Texas Tech 64
Middle Tennessee 79
Campbell 66 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 55
Florida A&M 67 FINAL
SE Louisiana 69
Northwestern St 61 FINAL
Jackson State 62
Lehigh 61 FINAL
Arizona State 81
Valparaiso 65 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 77
Liberty 60 FINAL
Minnesota 74
Wofford 60 FINAL
North Florida 68
Montana State 61 FINAL
Washington St 82
Marshall 56 FINAL
(22) West Virginia 69
Morgan State 40 FINAL
Chattanooga 55
Northeastern 65 FINAL
Harvard 67
Furman 51 FINAL
(15) Georgia 58
(18) Michigan State 65 FINAL
(9) Baylor 84
Ohio U 52 FINAL
Massachusetts 59
Prairie View 48 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 86
Toledo 64 FINAL
Southern Ill 48
High Point 57 FINAL
(12) Nebraska 83
Winthrop 20 FINAL
Wichita State 66
William Jewell 59 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 52 FINAL
Utah 67
Southern Utah 51 FINAL
Gonzaga 70
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Loyola Marymount 76
San Jose St 62 FINAL
San Francisco 77
CS-Northridge 65 FINAL
San Diego State 54
Norfolk State 36 FINAL
East Carolina 65
Saint Peters 49 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 59
Arizona 60 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 72
Northwestern 92 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 44
Oral Roberts 52 FINAL
Wisconsin 70
Florida Atlantic 44 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
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Georgia State 68
(16) Oregon State 73 FINAL
Nevada 50
Sacred Heart 72 FINAL
Villanova 49
Delaware 59 FINAL
Cincinnati 67
Troy 75 FINAL
Tennessee St 71
Saint Louis 68 FINAL
Utah Valley U 66
Washington 74 FINAL
UC-Riverside 71
Pacific 43 FINAL
Long Beach St 53
Old Dominion 69 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 63
Austin Peay 62 FINAL
Montana 83
Lewis-Clark State 48 FINAL
Idaho 74
(21) Miss State 73 FINAL
Illinois-Chicago 36


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