Amelia Rayno: Top surprise for U hoops next year?

  • Updated: June 19, 2014 - 8:28 PM

Submissions from the latest #aMAILiabag, where readers write and Gophers men’s basketball beat writer Amelia Rayno answers:

Q Who will be the biggest surprise on next year’s team?

A I’m going to say freshman Nate Mason. Minnesota will need contribution from a lot of the new guys, including Carlos “Squirrel” Morris, who likely will start in the vacancy left by Austin Hollins. But Mason has the potential to be the sixth man and provide a spark a la the early-season version of Malik Smith last year. Mason is a talented and quick guard who can score the ball on the drive or from the perimeter. He can help to back up DeAndre Mathieu at point or step in at shooting guard.

Q What do you think playing time for [Charles] Buggs will look like?

A I think it will grow, certainly, but modestly. Buggs still needs to show he can pack on some muscle (Minnesota’s staff wants him to add at least 15-20 pounds this summer) and understand where to be on defense. As Richard Pitino has said all along, the forward has plenty of potential, but the journey is long and right now, the sample size is small.

Gold in the Barn: startribune.com/gophers

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