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

Gophers basketball: The best-and-worst-case scenarios this season

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers players Updated: October 19, 2011 - 1:01 PM

 

I’m still in my first week on the beat, which means I’m going through the usual first-week stuff for the first time. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been doing tons of reading and have looked at ranking after ranking for the Big Ten. Now, it’s time to form my own prediction.
 
So I thought I would open the floor. Nearly every national and local publication I’ve read puts the Gophers somewhere between 7 and 10. But with so many new expectations for new players and old, hopeful expectations for old players, two very, very different seasons could play out.
 
First, imagine the best-case scenario:
 
 
 
  • Andre Hollins is your point guard and he proves to be everything Tubby thinks he can be: athletic, a scorer and intelligent enough to take the reins and truly run an offense.
  • Trevor Mbakwe leads the team and naturally improves on his game from last year.
  • Rodney Williams puts together the season he should have put together the last two years.
  • Ralph Sampson III steps up in his senior season to be the late-game force he needs to be.
  • Mo Walker is healthy and other young players on the team make solid contributions.
  • Tubby finds the players he needs to make his offense go and things run like a well-oiled machine.
 
Secondly, look at the flip-side:
  • Tubby said of Hollins and Joe Coleman “I don’t think we’ve recruited two better people, maybe in my coaching career.” He’s put a lot of stock in his young guys. If they can’t play, the entire team struggles. In the worst-case scenario, Hollins is young and technically not a true point. That shows, and the Gophers are again weak at the position.
  • Williams underperforms and Sampson is inconsistent as he was at times last season.

 

 

  • The team struggles as a whole from outside the arc, and gets lost late in games when they are down by just a few points.
  • The youth of the team proves to be a hindrance resulting in mental mistakes and turnovers.
 
What’s the highest the Gophers could go? What’s the lowest? Most likely, the Gophers won’t see either a best-case or worst-case scenario. Some things will go right –maybe an unexpected player will emerge as a force. Some things – perhaps ones that none of us could predict preseason – will go wrong. Realistically, where do you put them in the Big Ten this year?

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Washington 102 FINAL
New York 91
Oklahoma City 1:30 PM
San Antonio
Cleveland 4:00 PM
Miami
LA Lakers 7:00 PM
Chicago
Golden State 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
DePaul 31 2nd Half
Loyola Marymount 29
Ohio 3:00 PM
Nebraska
Colorado 5:30 PM
Hawaii
George Washington 7:30 PM
Wichita State
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

<
Gophers Football Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What's your favorite Gophers football uniform colors?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT