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

Ultimate guide to all things Maui Invitational

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers coaches, Gophers players Updated: November 23, 2013 - 1:01 PM

Aloha, Gophers fans. The 30th annual Maui Invitational is just two days away, and with the team arriving yesterday, I am now making my way to the islands as well. As with any tournament this time of year, there will be lots going on -- yes, even for those of you who aren’t fortunate enough to dip your toes in the sand.

So to help you keep it all straight, I’ve created this year’s ultimate guide to all things Maui Invitational. You’re welcome! Now dig in.

*Dates: Monday through Wednesday, Nov. 25-27. Each team will play three games in three days.

*TV: All games will be played on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU (what a welcome surprise after the broadcasting debacle that was the Battle 4 Atlantis a year ago, right?!) The Gophers’ opening round vs. Syracuse will be on ESPN at 4:30 CT. All other times are TBD depending on whether they win or lose each round.

*Radio: 1500-a.m. will broadcast every Gophers game.

*The bracket: View the full thing here.

*A glimpse at the Gophers’ path:  Minnesota opens with No. 9 Syracuse, the toughest team in the tournament from a rankings perspective. In the second round, the Gophers get either Arkansas or California (if the Gophers win, they get the winner of that matchup; if they lose, they get the loser of that matchup). In the third round, the Gophers would face one of the other four teams: Chaminade, No. 20 Baylor, No. 13 Gonzaga or Dayton.

*How to still buy tickets to the games: Follow these instructions.

*Other things to watch: Fans that aren’t able to come to the islands don’t have to miss out completely.  A live-streaming platform will be set up on mauiinvitational.com and will stream the following events:

  • A players’ video game challenge: Saturday, Nov. 23; 11 p.m. CT
  • Sunday morning coaches press conference: Sunday, Nov. 24; noon CT
  • Tip-off Banquet: Sunday, Nov. 24; midnight CT
  • Postgame press conferences: Monday through Wednesday after each game.

Check out all the details here.

*How to explode with jealousy: Follow me on instagram: @AmeliaRayno … I will be posting pictures of all the sights and causing you to alternately drool and curse irrationally.

*How to contain your jealousy: Pull up the Expedia page and cough up those hard-earned dollars to head over to the Aloha State yourself. Not possible? Bookmark my handy guide, throw on a Hawaiian shirt, crank up the heat in your apartment and churn out some margaritas a half hour before the Minnesota- Syracuse tipoff. And tell yourself that the team and the beat writers will be inside a gym for most of the trip anyway …

*A little on each of the tournament’s teams:

ARKANSAS

Coach: Mike Anderson

Record: 3-0

First-round matchup: California

That the Razorbacks lost their two best scorers from a year ago hasn’t seemed to matter much. Athletic wing Michael Qualls took a much bigger role and has been playing out of his mind in the last two games, while forward transfer Alandise Harris has already proved his worth, averaging 18.3 points and 4.7 rebounds a game. Arkansas likes to press and has turned opponents over at a rate of 26.8 percent, the sixth best in the nation.

BAYLOR

Coach: Scott Drew

Record: 4-0

First-round matchup: Chaminade

The Bears have been a little inconsistent this season, a trend that should benefit from the easiest first-round matchup on paper. Baylor has been strong in the paint with 7-1 center Isaiah Austin rooting the post after returning for his sophomore season rather than going pro. By his side is 6-9 forward Cory Jerfferson, who is grabbing a team-high 9.8 rebounds per game. On the outside, three-point specialist Brady Heslip looks much improved from a year ago, and has nailed 14 of 27 (.519) attempts from beyond the arc so far, helping to make up for the loss of former Big 12 scoring leader Pierre Jackson.

CALIFORNIA

Coach: Mike Montgomery

Record: 4-0

First-round matchup: Arkansas

With four starters back, the Bears should have better depth, versatility and balance from a year ago. The 6-10 Richard Soloman has been a physical presence and averaging a double-double early, has taken a step up from last season. Like the Gophers, Cal plays smaller lineups, often with Soloman as the only traditional post player. David Kravish has been effective rebounding in a wing role, and freshman Jabari Bird has been solid, leading the team in scoring with 13.5 points and a total of nine 3-pointers.

CHAMINADE

Coach: Eric Bovaird

Record: 2-0

First-round matchup:  Baylor

The only Div, II team in the Invitational, the Silverswords have also shown the capability to surprise. A year ago, the bunch upset Texas, 86-73 in the first round, before losing to Illinois. As they head into a first-round matchup with Baylor, the Silverswords haven’t played a game since Nov. 9. Christophe Varidel, a 6-3 guard, transferred to Chaminade from Florida Gulf Coast this year and impressed in his debut, scoring 30 points and adding seven rebounds. Three other players average double-digits, led by Kiran Shastri, with 12 points and 3.5 rebounds a game. As a team, the Silverswords have connected on 22 three-pointers through two games.

DAYTON

Coach: Archie Miller

Record: 4-0

First-round matchup: Gonzaga

The Flyers are coming off a hot stretch after a win at Georgia Tech on Wednesday. The 6-7 senior forward Devin Oliver is the foundation of the frontcourt, averaging 13 points and 7.5 rebounds a game. Even with Kevin Dillard – who was among the all-time Flyers leaders in assists – gone, Dayton has been a good shooting team and has played fast, if a little sloppy at times. Forward Dyshawn Pierre (12 points, 5.3 rebounds a game) has kicked things up a notch, and Ohio State transfer wing Jordan Sibert has been a big help, providing 13.8 points and 3.3 rebounds a game.

GONZAGA

Coach: Mark Few

Record: 4-0

First-round matchup: Dayton

The Bulldogs lost their entire frontcourt from a year ago, when Gonzaga secured a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, but now all of last year’s depth is stepping up. Six-nine senior Sam Dower and 7-1 sophomore Przemek Karnowski have each stepped up to the challenge and been very good. The problem for Gonzaga is that unlike last season, the bench is very short. But all of the current starters have taken leaps with their performances, including guards Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr, who are the focus of one of the nation’s most efficient offenses and have both been stellar. As a team, the Bulldogs have shot very well from three-point range, connecting on 45 of 93 (48.4 percent).

SYRACUSE

Coach: Jim Boeheim

Record: 4-0

First-round matchup: Minnesota

CJ Fair’s decision to forego the NBA draft could not possibly mean more for the Orange, which lost three of its four best players from a year ago. Fair is averaging 18 points and 5.5 rebounds a game and is the core of one of the best frontcourts in the nation, full of length and athleticism. Six-eight sophomore Jerami Grant has taken off, and the Orange has plenty of depth at center with differing options in Rakeem Christmas, Baye Moussa Keita and DaJuan Coleman. Syracuse has been ever-solid defensively, utilizing their signature 2-3 zone, but the Orange hasn’t been completely air-tight, nearly losing to a much-inferior St. Francis team last week.

MINNESOTA

Coach: Richard Pitino

Record: 5-0

First-round matchup: Syracuse

After losing forwards Trevor Mbakwe and Rodney Williams, the Gophers, as expected, have been a very guard-oriented team. Andre Hollins seems primed to take the next step and Austin Hollins has impressed with his efforts on the boards, snatching up 7.8 rebounds a game. The super quick JUCO point guard, 5-9 DeAndre Mathieu slid in seamlessly at his position and has collected 5.6 assists per game to go along with a solid scoring effort. But the frontcourt has brought the biggest surprises. Elliott Eliason is averaging 11.2 rebounds a game after just 3.5 last year and 6-9 forward Oto Osenieks has looked like a new player early on. The concern is the depth, where the only other two forwards in the rotation missed time coming into Maui, Mo Walker – who won’t return until the second round – on suspension and Joey King with a fractured jaw.

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Cincinnati - M. Leake 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Minnesota - T. May 6:05 PM
Baltimore - M. Gonzalez
NY Yankees - C. Capuano 6:07 PM
Toronto - M. Buehrle
Philadelphia - D. Buchanan 6:10 PM
NY Mets - J. deGrom
Boston - A. Ranaudo 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
Miami - T. Koehler 6:35 PM
Atlanta - E. Santana
Cleveland - D. Salazar 7:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Vargas
Detroit - J. Verlander 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - S. Carroll
Texas - S. Baker 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Oberholtzer
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks 7:15 PM
St. Louis - S. Miller
Colorado - C. Bergman 8:40 PM
Arizona - J. Collmenter
Oakland - J. Lester 9:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
Los Angeles - D. Haren 9:10 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Washington - J. Zimmermann 9:10 PM
Seattle - F. Hernandez
Milwaukee - W. Peralta 9:15 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Atlanta 24 FINAL
Jacksonville 14
Detroit 23 FINAL
Buffalo 0
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 35
Kansas City 14 FINAL
Green Bay 34
NY Jets 7 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
St. Louis 13 FINAL
Miami 14
Carolina 10 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
New England 13 FINAL
NY Giants 16
Washington 24 FINAL
Tampa Bay 10
Baltimore 22 FINAL
New Orleans 13
Chicago 13 FINAL
Cleveland 33
Denver 27 FINAL
Dallas 3
Minnesota 19 FINAL
Tennessee 3
San Francisco 40 FINAL
Houston 13
Arizona 9 FINAL
San Diego 12
Seattle 31 FINAL
Oakland 41
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Houston 7:00 PM
Sporting Kansas City
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Phoenix

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