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

Where will the locals go in tonight's NBA draft?

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under Gophers players Updated: June 27, 2013 - 3:58 PM

Today is The Big Day for 60 former college basketball players (and international players), all of whom will find a new home tonight with a pro team in the NBA draft. Plenty more will be disappointed after not hearing their name called – and will have to take a tougher path toward their dreams.

Where will the Minnesota locals land on that sliding scale of emotions? That depends on who you talk to.

In every mock draft I’ve seen both St. Cloud-native Nate Wolters and Roseville's Mike Muscala go late in the first or early-to-mid second. The fate of the two Gophers’ stars – Minneapolis’ Rodney Williams and St. Paul’s Trevor Mbakwe – however, is not as guaranteed. Ex-Gopher Colton Iverson could also go in the second round.

Several weeks ago, Williams and Mbakwe were getting some love in predictions -- with Williams picked in some mock drafts and Mbakwe picked in others. Now, Williams appears to have lost steam. The shooting guard/wing-sized player exhibited the athleticism he’s always been touted for in the NBA pre-combine in New Jersey (registering a 42 ½-inch max vertical leap!), but his on-court showing has been less promising and questions remain about whether his ballhandling and shooting skills are NBA-ready. Will a team take a chance on him – banking on his role as a dunk-happy energy guy? It’s possible, but none of the mock drafts I’ve seen think so (please let me know if you have seen one that does).

As for Mbakwe -- considering how the slimmer forward performed in the NBA combine and impressed in his 13 NBA team workouts -- his stock appears only to have risen. He’s still undersized for a power forward, but his power, instincts and intensity seems to have turned some heads. Mbakwe has smartly been working on his 15-foot jump shot, which he’ll need if he wants to be competitive at the next level. There’s still the legal baggage and history of injuries to consider, but right now, it looks like a pretty good bet that Mbakwe could find a new home tonight. The guys at CBS (Gary Parrish and Matt Moore), as well Chad Ford at ESPN say “no,” but Draft Express, and USA Today all say “yes.”

Keep in mind, too, that the Timberwolves – who worked out Mbakwe at Target Center earlier this month -- have two late second-round picks (No. 52 and 59) so Mbakwe landing at a new Minneapolis home isn’t out of the question. Should make for an interesting night.

Some mocks for you to peruse:

Draft Express
CBS Sports’ dueling mocks
USA Today’s Hoops World
ESPN’s Chad Ford


Buffalo 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12:00 PM
Dallas 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 12:00 PM
Jacksonville 12:00 PM
San Diego 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12:00 PM
Chicago 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 3:25 PM
Detroit 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 3:25 PM
Arizona 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 3:25 PM
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
Memphis 103 FINAL
Miami 95
Indiana 110 FINAL
Brooklyn 85
New Orleans 100 FINAL
Chicago 107
Atlanta 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 85
Philadelphia 71 FINAL
Utah 88
New York 129 FINAL
Sacramento 135
Minnesota 97 FINAL
Golden State 110
NY Islanders 3 FINAL(SO)
Buffalo 4
Detroit 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 3
Boston 2 FINAL
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 4 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 3
Washington 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 4 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Nashville 4
Anaheim 1 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 2
Chicago 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Edmonton 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
San Jose 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 3
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
North Carolina 89
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 42 FINAL
Western Ky 89
Tennessee St 46 FINAL
Tennessee 67
Kennesaw St 45 FINAL
Illinois 93
Colorado State 58 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
Portland 61 FINAL
San Diego 58
Wayland Baptist 63 FINAL
Utah State 75
Bristol University 59 FINAL
Weber State 109
Sacramento St 74 FINAL
Utah Valley U 49
Southern Utah 45 FINAL
SD Christian 50 FINAL
San Diego St 72
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
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 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 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
(2) Connecticut 96
Houston 50
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 87 FINAL
Portland 65


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