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

Shooting still a weakness for 1-0 Gophers

Posted by: Amelia Rayno Updated: November 11, 2012 - 11:22 AM

 

 

In the Gophers’ two exhibition games and season opener, there was a substantial lot to be encouraged by -- yes, even excited about.

The Gophers maintained full-court pressure for an entire game against American. They showed a new energy. They rebounded. They turned over the ball substantially less. They showcased their roster-wide athleticism. Trevor Mbakwe made us all look kinda silly for worrying about his knee.

But there’s been one thing missing – as evident as ever on Friday.

Shooting.

So far, the Gophers haven’t been bullied into figuring out their mid-range and perimeter issues. Getting to the basket has been a piece of cake against inferior opponents Minnesota State, Southwest Baptist and American. And the Gophers have done well there, piling up in the paint and then holding their opponents defensively.

But they will not be playing cupcakes forever.

In fact, as you might recall, there’s a school named Duke on the docket in just four games and a stretch of three more tough opponents after that.

“Definitely shooting is a big focus,” Austin Hollins said. “We’ve been splitting into guards and big men and getting shots up. Before and after practice, we’ll get shots up. So that’s definitely a big focus, we’ve got to be able to knock down shots.”

But for three games they’ve struggled and so far shown no signs of breakout out of it. Hollins – one of the team’s best shooters – went 0-for-6 from behind the 3-point line on Friday before making his seventh attempt, late in the second half. Tubby Smith said afterward he thinks Hollins is moving his head some as he’s shooting, causing him to misfire.

“It definitely felt good to get that … one,” Hollins said afterward with a sheepish grin.

Said Rodney Williams: “We missed a couple of wide-open threes and I think that kind of shook up our confidence for a second, but once we got the ball inside and we got rolling on defense again, we were able to regain that confidence and pull it up.”

But what happens when teams won’t let them inside so easily and they don’t have a 30-point padding to work with?

The Gophers went 4-for-22 from the perimeter Friday, throwing up 13 attempts in the second half when American went into a zone defense and the Gophers were having a little more trouble getting inside.

“I don’t think it discouraged them at all,” Smith said sarcastically of the failure up until that point. We shot 22 threes … I’d like to see them shoot less or make more.”

Still, as he knows, the only thing that cures shooting ills is shooting drills (like that?) and the best cure for the Gophers may be to work it out as best they can early in the non-conference schedule.

“We need to shoot better and the only way we’re going shoot better is get out there and shoot it,” Smith said.

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Kansas City 0 Top 2nd Inning
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Minnesota 3
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Washington 9:00 PM
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Cincinnati 34
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South Alabama 27
BYU 30 FINAL
Boise State 55
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California 41
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Rice 41
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(16) Nebraska 42
Maryland 7 FINAL
Wisconsin 52
Texas 0 FINAL
(11) Kansas State 23
Minnesota 24 FINAL
Illinois 28
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SMU 10
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Virginia 27
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Navy 41
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(25) UCLA 40 FINAL
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Ball State 35
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Toledo 42
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Western Mich 42
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Georgia State 31
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Miami-Ohio 10
Oregon State 14 FINAL
Stanford 38
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(23) Marshall 35
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Southern Miss 20
(1) Miss State 45 FINAL
Kentucky 31
Georgia Tech 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 28
(22) West Virginia 34 FINAL
Oklahoma State 10
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(10) TCU 82
Michigan 11 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 35
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Missouri 24
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Utah State 34
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UCF 34
(15) Arizona 45 3rd Qtr 7:05
Washington St 16
Texas-El Paso 17 3rd Qtr
TX-San Antonio 0
Wyoming 3 3rd Qtr
Colorado State 24
Syracuse 6 3rd Qtr
(21) Clemson 3
Texas State 0 3rd Qtr
ULM 13
(3) Ole Miss 7 2nd Qtr 6:11
(24) LSU 0
(4) Alabama 20 2nd Qtr 12:48
Tennessee 0
So Carolina 14 2nd Qtr 6:32
(5) Auburn 14
(13) Ohio State 7 1st Qtr 7:59
Penn State 0
(20) USC 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 9:45 PM
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(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
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Ga Southern
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Tulane
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Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
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(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
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New Mexico St
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Georgia Tech
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
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Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
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Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
(20) USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
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UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
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(5) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
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Montreal 1
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New England 1
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Date/Opponent 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 TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

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