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.

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Gophers basketball summer series links

Posted by: Amelia Rayno Updated: August 15, 2014 - 11:17 AM

Scattered throughout this summer's blog items, I did a Gophers basketball summer series on each of the players on the roster [with the exception of the two international freshmen -- Bakary Konate and Gaston Diediou -- who aren't on campus yet].

Did you miss it? Here they are again:

*Carlos Morris, JUCO guard transfer:
Tidbit: The junior-to-be is eating six meals a day as he tries to add bulk. 
Quote: "He's the type of kid that just didn't value waking up every day, eating a full breakfast, having a balance to him. And I think that's the biggest [change]."

*Zach Lofton, Illinois State transfer guard:
Tidbit: The rising junior shot just 33.9% from the field and 29.2% from 3-point range but the coaching staff swears there's a great shooter underneath. After watching tape of every single one of his shots, asst. Dan McHale found a huge portion of the attempts were highly contested.
Quote: "He's got a beautiful-looking jumper. It's just learning how to play."

*Nate Mason, freshman guard:
Tidbit: McHale says Mason is a raw blend of senior guards Andre Hollins and DeAndre Mathieu.
Quote: "I can already tell -- he just tries to emulate what they do."

*Josh Martin, freshman forward:
Tidbit: The Gophers staff believe Martin could challenge power forward starting favorite and pal Joey King for the spot.
Quote: "He's got such great upside because he's as athletic as can be."

*Andre Hollins, senior guard:
Tidbit: Hollins is doing yoga and taking ice baths to help ease his old ankle injury; on the court, he's pulling 90-pound plates on sleds to work on his explosiveness.
Quote: "I think he's the Andre Hollins that the fans remember from a while ago right now. He has a bounce back in his game; he's healthy."

*Charles Buggs, redshirt sophomore:
Tidbit: Buggs had a minor knee surgery in April which significantly slowed his progress this summer.
Quote: "He's the type of kid that showed flashes. If the lightbulb goes on, he's an extremely talented player."

*DeAndre Mathieu, senior guard:
Tidbit: This summer, Mathieu is working on three things: adding weight, shooting and not showing his emotions on the floor.
Quote: "He looks like Mike Tyson. Pound for pound, he's our strongest kid."

*Daquein McNeil, sophomore guard:
Tidbit: McNeil might be the best defensive player on the current team, McHale says.
Quote: "He's the type of guy that could take the biggest jump."

*Mo Walker, senior center:
Tidbit: Walker's strength levels have been going up weekly throughout the summer, strength and conditioning coach Shaun Brown said.
Quote: "There's no reason he shouldn't be one of the best big men in the league if not a first team All-Big Ten guy next year."

*Elliott Eliason, senior center:
Tidbit: Eliason is working on an 8-to-10-foot jumper the coaches believe will surprise some people.
Quote: "He has to understand what makes him valuable ... He's never going to be a physically chiseled beat-you-up type of guy. The way Elliott is effective is he can out-run anyone in the league and he's got a long wingspan."

*Joey King, junior forward:
Tidbit: King is working on his lateral quickness and has increased his vertical despite adding 20 pounds in the last year.
Quote: "He would dive off the stage of the Barn if you asked him to."


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