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

Gopher opponent preview: USC

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball Updated: December 3, 2011 - 10:26 AM

 

 

Today’s game will be key for a team once again without big men Trevor Mbakwe and Ralph Sampson (expected to sit with continued ankle troubles). After a momentous win against Virginia Tech, the Gophers face another big-name program in USC and will need to play even better than they did in Wednesday’s outing to expect to come away on top.
 
Some notes on USC:
 
  • The Trojans are coming off a big lift of their own after crushing UC Riverside without their 7-foot big man and NBA prospect Dewayne Dedmon, who is out 4-6 weeks with a foot injury.
 
  • The 4-4 Trojans haven’t exactly been dominant all season, but are starting to look better after their third loss, when they scored just 36 points against Cal Poly in the Las Vegas invitational.
 
  • Since then, USC is 3-1 and have showed more balance on offense.
 
  • Junior guard Aaron Fuller leads the team with 13.3 points and 6.6 assists.
 
  • Sophomore point guard Maurice Jones – sure to be a challenging matchup for Gophers freshman Andre Hollins -- is averaging 14.8 points a game.

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