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

Richard Pitino is blogging about all of his players

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers coaches, Gophers players Updated: July 9, 2013 - 4:26 PM

Interested in knowing what new coach Richard Pitino is thinking?

Well, you can find a small, occasional window to his hoops brain here, in his first official Gophers blog.

I have to say, I can't imagine former coach Tubby Smith doing this.

There are plenty of interesting nuggets to glean in this space as Pitino discusses the development and needs of each player on the roster. Some highlights:

  • According to Pitino, Maverick Ahanmisi has the capability of being the team's leader.
  • Malik Smith is perhaps playing the best basketball on the team, Pitino said.
  • Mo Walker has now lost 45 pounds. Pitino still wants him to continue to get into better shape, which will take more time. Also called him the "best passer on the team by far."
  • Pitino lauds Joey King for his toughness and an "infectious" intensity.
  • Daquein McNeil already has a nickname -- DayDay -- and Pitino calls him "the biggest pleasant surprise so far."
  • Charles Buggs is not close to it yet, but Pitino says the redshirt freshman has the "most potential to grow" of anyone on the team.
  • Deandre Mathieu is still in summer school at home and therefore isn't yet practicing with the Gophers.

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