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

First Gophers basketball summer session is over; notes as players head home

Posted by: Amelia Rayno Updated: August 8, 2014 - 4:40 PM

Today marks the end of the first summer workout schedule, and the start of the official countdown to the season, which begins with fall practices in October.

In the meantime, players will head home for a much needed break. University of Minnesota basketball players began to leave campus earlier this week. By the end of Friday, they’ll all be done and headed for a three-week break, the longest stretch they get all year.

They won’t, however, be without basketball “homework” on their escape. Strength and conditioning coach Shaun Brown created take-home packets for each individual player, based on the resources available to them in their home towns (some have health club memberships, while others would be lucky to find a good place to run). Generally, the assignments include running, chin-ups and weight lifting for each player.

Awaiting them upon their return will be immediate tests – such as a timed mile run -- to cut through any white lies about how much working out they did on vacation.

“You’re going to tell when they get back,” Brown said. “So it’s kind of like fishing. You throw a line in the water and hope to catch something. If they don’t [work out enough while they’re gone], the only thing you can do is punish them with more work for the time they lost.”

A few notes on the early summer workouts:

*After gaining a lot of "good weight and muscle" early, point guard DeAndre Mathieu has leveled out around 175 pounds, Brown said. That gain represents about 23 pounds since last September, when the Knoxville native first arrived on campus. Along with the gain have come increased strength levels for a guard that was already extremely compact. "I do this for a living, so I know when guys move certain weights, they're pretty freakin' strong," Brown said. "And he is one strong dude." Brown also pointed out that Mathieu is among the most flexible and agile on the team as well. 

*One off-season after dropping 60 pounds, center Mo Walker has been tasked only with maintaining. The Gophers were happy with the weight at which he finished the season, preferring for the more fleet-footed Elliott Eliason to be the "lighter center." Said Brown: "He's got a range to stay in and he does it."

*Joey King has added 20 pounds since last summer, going from around 216 then to 236 now. The Gophers want him to stay right around that weight for his final two seasons with the team. "That's perfect," Brown said.

*Who is the most conditioned player on the team right now? Mathieu again, Brown said. A little more than a week ago, he gave the players a spontaneous mile test. Mathieu casually posted a five-minute mile. "Without practicing," Brown said. "I mean, that's moving ... and he wasn't even throwing up, he could have gone faster."

*The biggest surprise so far in Brown's eyes? That distinction belongs to Daquein McNeil. The sophomore, who last year gained valuable spot minutes and became something of a defensive specialist, has put on about 10 to 12 pounds, Brown said, while integrating smoothly and working extremely hard. "His strength, what he lifts per pound, body weight, he's got a big upside," Brown said. "And he's shown it. He's gotten very strong ... rightfully or wrongfully, you have these preconceived ideas of who they are and what their levels are, and this kid has just been a really pleasant surprise. He's ahead in a lot of the areas I thought he would struggle."


Houston 23 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 98 FINAL
Cleveland 107
New Orleans 88 FINAL
Washington 84
Milwaukee 120 FINAL
New York 107
Philadelphia 88 FINAL
Brooklyn 99
Charlotte 114 FINAL
Atlanta 117
Sacramento 99 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Memphis 103 FINAL
Dallas 108
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Arkansas State 7:00 PM
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM


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