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

Five things about Gophers basketball for which to be thankful

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under Gophers players Updated: November 24, 2011 - 10:50 AM

 

Freshman guard Andre Hollins

Freshman guard Andre Hollins

It’s Thanksgiving – and if ever there was a day to be positive in the middle of the season, it’s today. Therefore, here are five things the Gophers have to be thankful for:

 

1. Trevor Mbakwe. In his senior season, the power forward has been all anyone could have hoped – an aggressive presence, a definite leader and a legitimate star.

2. They’re undefeated. You can gripe all you want about close games and lower-level opponents, but the Gophers have won four games by double-digits. That’s a positive.

3. Closing. This was a real struggle for the Gophers last year and they have truly picked up the intensity in each one of their games thus far, winning with energy.

4. Rebounding. They haven’t reached their potential yet, and that’s a good thing because they’re still pretty darn good on the glass.

5. Young players getting minutes. This team has a raw core that is getting invaluable experience right now. They’re learning on the job, and that can only mean good things for the future.

I have plenty to be thankful for as well -- I’m spending my day with loved ones and I hope everyone else is doing the same! Happy Thanksgiving.

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