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

aMAILiaBAG: Tum Tum, recruit rankings and more

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers coaches, Gophers players Updated: September 26, 2013 - 9:15 AM

Good morning loyal Gophers fans. In about an hour, ‘Tum Tum’ Nairn, already a Gophers fan favorite and the most mighty and candy-filled of the 3 Ninjas, will head to his high school gym at Sunrise Christian Academy to make his college decision. The contenders: Minnesota, Michigan State, Indiana, Oklahoma. The Gophers have been there every step of the way and have made some good in-roads with the four-star point guard. That said, at this point, the masses are so strongly calling a Spartans victory that Tum Tum picking the Gophers would seem like an upset.

So much drama. So much anticipation. The moment of reckoning is near, when we find who wins the prize of …

In the meantime, let’s move on to questions (your Qs in bold; my As in regular type):

Is it wrong that I will be equally disappointed if 'Tum Tum' doesn't choose Minny because of BB & the greatest name in sports.


No, Gerk, it is not wrong. Tum Tum is a fantastic name. Sniff. Now I’m starting to tear up. Personally, I would greatly miss playing the video, above. (But I will take that stroll down memory lane if Nairn, for example, picks Michigan State and the Gophers play him twice a year.)

Your professional opinion on our chances [with Tum Tum]? I'm not sure what to think.


Brace yourself, Furry. Why don't you sit down. Grab your box of tissues and your Cosco-sized moose tracks-flavored bucket of icy despair. I don’t know how to break this to you, pal, but I think it’s over. Don’t beat yourself up, though. It’s not you. I really feel that Tum Tum likes the Gophers – truly, I think he does. Just not as much, say, as he likes that flirty Michigan State.

Can we get a new recruiting power rankings? Curious how other recruits officials are going? #aMAILiaBAG


I’m glad we’ve moved on. There are plenty of fish in the sea, right? Here are my picks (Again, in order of how likely they are to pick Minnesota. These are not ALL of the recruits. Just the main targets):

1. Josh Martin – This weekend’s official to Pittsburgh will obviously be the wildcard with the Seattle PF, but right now, I think Minnesota’s chances are looking good.
2. Riley LaChance – The interest is there for Wisconsin’s LaChance, and it could come down to Minnesota and Iowa. If Tum Tum goes off the board, this could be your PG of the future.
3. Josh Cunningham – This relationship only seems to be growing: the Chicago wing will visit in October.
4. Carlos Morris – It looks like the JUCO guard could be in town this weekend. Seton Hall is Morris’ only visit so far, and the additions of a couple SGs by the Pirates (including Isaiah Whitehead) seem to take them out of contention.
5. Abdoulaye Gueye – Auburn will be involved, but the Gophers got in early with the Birmingham, Ala. big and have made steady progress.
6. Adonys Henriquez – Word is UCF is the favorite, but the Gophers just made the Florida shooting guard’s short list.
7. Bonzie Colson – I think Colson, a Rhode Island power forward, is gettable – but if the Martin thing plays out, Colson will end up elsewhere.                                                                                                    

8. Tum Tum Nairn – I’ll eat crow if I’m wrong, but it looks as though Tum Tum will be wearing more green than maroon and gold in the future.
9. Reid Travis – He’s still the most likely of the 'Big Three' Minnesota recruits, but it seems to be getting less likely. A talked about official visit at Minnesota has not happened.
10. Rashad Vaughn – The Gophers are still on the list, but the list is pretty big. Being away from the land of the lakes at prep school in Vegas does not help.
11. Tyus Jones – Maybe go and see if there’s any of that Moose Tracks left in the bottom of the industrial-sized ice cream tub. Yes, you may have to fish it out of the trash.

#aMAILiaBAG When is @squatcher going to invite you to appear on #FindingBigfoot?


As soon as we can convince my editor I need to take a vacation in the middle of the season to audition to go find the hairy man. You start.

Why does a coach have to meet with a player three times in one week?  It seems a bit much.


I think any coach or assistant will tell you that – especially in the days of smart phones, Twitter and general information/communication overload – the most important thing is getting face time. It forces the kids to focus and pay attention, for one thing, and it solidifies a new type of memory in the recruit’s brain. I’m talking like a psychologist here, and I’m definitely not one. Let me just go back to saying it’s important. Anyone can call a kid. Anyone can text. If you’re flying across the country constantly to SEE him when your schedule is already insane, it shows that you’re serious.

How common is it for potential recruits to view a school more favorably after other highly ranked recruits commit to a school? For example, let's say a player like Vaughn commits to the Gophers. Is it common for other recruits - who don't play the same position - to look more favorably at Minnesota after a player like Vaughn commits? I assume the coaches would use that to "sell" the program to other recruits...


Jeff -- from Blaine

Well, it does and it doesn’t. If a school signs an elite recruit and that recruit then flourishes quickly – I think that could be very attractive to kids. But just signing the kid, in the absence of any results, is generally a non-factor. For example, just because Isaiah Whitehead decided to head to Seton Hall, I don’t think recruits are now looking at Seton Hall in a new light. If he brings success in 2014, that could be a different story.

Are any gopher bball alumni involved in recruiting this year?


Not directly in recruiting – that’s an NCAA violation. Pitino has said he’s open to bring in alumni for possible pep talks/instructional things throughout the season, but nothing is planned currently.

What is typical ratio off recruits to scholarships available?


I don’t think there’s any specific ratio that programs go by, but in general there are a lot more feelers out there than there are spots – that’s just common sense, right? As much as the Gophers’ staff is being evaluated and considered by recruits, so are the recruits being evaluated and considered by the Gophers on an ongoing basis. Offering a kid is an important step in letting him know you are very interested. Taking the time to talk to a staff and set up a visit indicates reciprocated interest on the part of the recruit. Neither locks in either side. It’s like online dating. You’re likely looking for one partner, but in the searching, you have many dates and no one calls you a floozy. (Note: mostly because that word is no longer in circulation.)

Is anybody ever going to sign with the #gophers???


No, I said I WASN’T a psychologist. Which means I can’t answer the same crazy question over and over again. The Gophers have plenty of very worthy targets. They cast a wide net, so there have been some ‘Nos.’ Have patience, lad.

Does the lack of a Tyus Jones decision affect how PG recruits view Minnesota? #aMAILiaBAG


No, I don’t think so. Minnesota is not a favorite for Jones, so I don’t think that’s on the mind of a lot of PG recruits.


Tampa 0 Top 5th Inning
Philadelphia 2
LA Clippers 48 3rd Qtr 9:07
Chicago 52
Cleveland 2:30 PM
Golden State 5:00 PM
Philadelphia 5:00 PM
Portland 5:00 PM
Charlotte 5:00 PM
Oklahoma City 5:30 PM
LA Lakers
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Los Angeles 3:00 PM
Tampa Bay 4:00 PM
Columbus 4:00 PM
Toronto 6:00 PM
Anaheim 7:00 PM
St. Louis 8:30 PM
SMU 10 1st Half 11:12
Connecticut 15
Quinnipiac 15 1st Half 10:25
Manhattan 14
Fairfield 11 1st Half 11:50
Niagara 12
Marist 8 1st Half 12:25
Rider 5
Iona 15 1st Half 9:55
Saint Peters 23
Oregon State 2:00 PM
South Florida 2:00 PM
Marquette 2:30 PM
Michigan State 3:00 PM
Siena 3:30 PM
Pittsburgh 5:30 PM
Wake Forest
Oregon 6:00 PM
Purdue 6:30 PM
Ohio State
Arizona State 7:30 PM
Washington St 8:30 PM
Georgetown 66 FINAL
Providence 81
Binghamton 38 2nd Half 12:02
Elon 52 2nd Half 13:30
Hofstra 29
Virginia Tech 41 2nd Half 10:45
Boston College 34
(8) Louisville 43 2nd Half 11:54
Virginia 43
Texas 41 2nd Half 12:50
West Virginia 36
Creighton 37 2nd Half 11:00
Villanova 35
Seton Hall 63 2nd Half 5:00
Butler 65
UNC-Wilmington 40 2nd Half 15:50
Coll of Charleston 33
(5) Maryland 51 2nd Half 9:30
(25) Northwestern 37
Saint Josephs 51 2nd Half 8:19
La Salle 36
Louisiana Tech 24 2nd Half 15:12
TX-San Antonio 39
Rhode Island 13 1st Half 12:29
Massachusetts 10
Richmond 8 1st Half 11:33
VA Commonwealth 13
Davidson 8 1st Half 13:20
Fordham 15
St Bonaventure 12 1st Half 9:40
Duquesne 13
George Mason 2 1st Half 12:21
(22) George Washington 21
Indiana 13 1st Half 10:37
(20) Rutgers 17
(12) Texas A&M 6 1st Half 15:33
LSU 13
Ole Miss 9 1st Half 12:32
(11) Miss State 6
Clemson 13 1st Half 12:09
Pittsburgh 4
Maine 15 1st Half 10:12
New Hampshire 9
Vermont 7 1st Half 10:32
Albany 18
Quinnipiac 11 1st Half 11:45
Monmouth 7
Saint Peters 8 1st Half 14:24
Siena 6
(4) Notre Dame 14 1st Half 12:16
NC State 8
Wisconsin 16 1st Half 9:46
Penn State 12
Stony Brook 7 1st Half 13:39
Hartford 7
Northeastern 9 1st Half 11:49
William & Mary 18
St Johns 6 1st Half 15:09
Xavier 4
James Madison 13 1st Half 11:39
Delaware 19
Towson 2:00 PM
Illinois State 2:00 PM
Southern Ill 2:00 PM
Northern Iowa 2:00 PM
Wichita State
Minnesota 2:00 PM
(17) Iowa
(15) North Carolina 2:00 PM
(16) Duke
Alabama 2:00 PM
(9) Florida State 2:00 PM
Arkansas 2:00 PM
Georgia 2:00 PM
Dayton 2:00 PM
Saint Louis
Drake 2:05 PM
Missouri State
Colorado 3:00 PM
(10) Arizona State
(19) Stanford 3:00 PM
Marquette 3:00 PM
Southern Miss 3:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Vanderbilt 4:00 PM
(6) Tennessee
(2) South Carolina 4:00 PM
(13) Kentucky
Utah 4:00 PM
Ohio State 4:00 PM


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