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

On Tuesday, Gophers pretty much epitomized how they need to play

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers players Updated: November 28, 2012 - 10:23 AM

When it was all said and done, last night’s win over Florida State pretty much epitomized the way this year’s Gopher teams wants to – and needs to -- play to be successful.

They relied on the two things that make them who they are – solid defense and a balanced offense – and did everything else, well, good enough. After that performance, especially in their fourth game in six days, there really isn’t a lot to criticize.

Let’s go through the aspects one-by-one:

Defense: Good D is where both teams came in hanging their hat. But the Gophers’ version won out, pressuring Florida State with a shorter bench than usual and harassing the Seminoles into 14 turnovers (which they cashed in for 26 points). FSU’s offense looked off-kilter from the start, as the Seminoles missed eight of their first 10 shots (two of which were viciously blocked by Rodney Wiliams and Austin Hollins).

Balanced offense: This is what this team does. With Trevor Mbakwe still coming off the bench and working his way back to his old self, there really isn’t a superstar, or as Joe Coleman said, an individual for opponents to focus in on. The ideal result? Four of the five starters finish with between 12 and 16 points, and the one who doesn’t net double digits (Elliott Eliason) grabs 10 boards (five offensive). Yep, that works pretty well because it forces the opponent to spread out and allows the Gophers to feed the ball to whoever breaks through.

Shooting: It isn’t necessarily one of their strengths yet, but the Gophers have certainly held their own in the last several games. On Tuesday, four first-half 3-pointers were a major factor in allowing the Gophers to create so much separation – which allowed them to play loose as the game went on and Florida State picked up its effort a little bit. The Gophers finished shooting 47.3 percent from the field, keeping their efforts pretty constant through the first half (46.7) and the second (48) even though it was clear they were looking a little fatigued near the end.

Rebounding: FSU actually out-rebounded the Gophers in the end yesterday (35-34), but the key for the Gophers was the strong rebounding early despite the Seminoles playing three seven-footers. At the half, Minnesota took the 21-16 rebounding advantage and held its own through the second half despite only four rebounds coming off the bench (all from Trevor Mbakwe). With the exception of Austin Hollins, however, everyone in the starting five got at least five boards.

Turnovers: No, a dozen blunders in a game is not what you strive for. But for a team coming in averaging 16 a game, 12 turnovers was actually somewhat encouraging – especially when they had just five in a second half that started to show signs of wear (when the turnovers usually come). They finished with 17 assists (a 1.41/1 assist-to-turnover ratio) … so that’s a step in the right direction.

At the end of a tough five-game stretch (Richmond, Duke, Memphis, Stanford, FSU – only one in Williams Arena) and four wins, the Gophers should be feeling pretty good about themselves.

And while they’re not perfect, it’s clear this team is improving, and quickly.

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Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
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Cleveland 95
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Miami 103
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Boston 114
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Detroit 100
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Memphis 97
Portland 104 2nd OT 2:23
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LA Clippers 74 4th Qtr 12:00
Denver 71
Oklahoma City 7 1st Qtr 5:46
LA Lakers 17
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 3
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Ottawa 6
NY Islanders 2 FINAL
Detroit 1
Boston 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Dallas 2 3rd Prd
Calgary 1
Wilberforce 71 FINAL
Youngstown St 92
Jackson State 49 FINAL
Tulane 56
Siena 66 FINAL
Radford 76
Stillman 49 FINAL
Alabama 69
Case Western Reserve 65 FINAL
Bucknell 88
Niagara 62 FINAL
Buffalo 88
SD Christian 46 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 69
Concordia (MI) 60 FINAL
Central Mich 97
Northern Ill 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 58
North Florida 83 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Hiwassee 71 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 91
Tennessee St 54 FINAL
Hampton 66
NC A&T 57 FINAL
Kent State 71
Central Penn College 65 FINAL
Liberty 94
Eastern Ky 72 FINAL
Miami-Florida 44
Northern Ky 83 FINAL
Morehead State 60
Northern Ariz 62 FINAL
Norfolk State 81
MD-Eastern Shore 43 FINAL
Old Dominion 60
St Marys-CA 47 FINAL
St Johns 53
Clemson 45 FINAL
South Carolina 68
Tenn Tech 58 FINAL
Tennessee 61
Washington-MD 46 FINAL
William & Mary 86
Bethune-Cookman 46 FINAL
Mercer 67
Furman 78 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 83
South Dakota St 53 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 49
Milligan 53 FINAL
Lamar 80
LSU-Alexandria 71 FINAL
ULM 76
Southern Utah 57 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 73
Chattanooga 58 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 68
Seattle 57 FINAL
Minnesota 92
Lipscomb 55 FINAL
Princeton 77
Winthrop 71 FINAL
SE Louisiana 81
Dickinson State 48 FINAL
North Dakota 78
New Orleans 56 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
TX-Pan American 60 FINAL
Creighton 75
Colorado State 84 2nd Half 0:15
Denver 77
Alabama A&M 49 FINAL
Marquette 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 49 2nd Half 2:25
Texas Tech 70
Eastern Wash 26 2nd Half
California 37
Idaho State 24 2nd Half
Utah State 30
Arizona 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 10:59 PM
Chaminade
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
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Northern Ill
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Rice
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Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
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UCF
Ohio Valley 33 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
East Tenn St 48 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 61
Cal-Irvine 44 FINAL
Purdue 69
Campbell 63 FINAL
Stetson 76
Jacksonville St 70 FINAL
Charleston Southern 43
Louisiana 64 FINAL
Alcorn State 57
Denver 63 FINAL
Wright State 72
Blue Mountain 30 FINAL
Central Arkansas 71
Texas State 51 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 40
Albany 62 FINAL
Pepperdine 36
TX-San Antonio 53 FINAL
Houston 56
Yale 66 FINAL
Bucknell 73
Northern Colorado 56 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 69
Belmont 86 FINAL
Mercer 83
Massachusetts 66 FINAL
Georgia State 71
George Mason 69 FINAL
Winthrop 57
Portland State 33 FINAL
Princeton 104
UCLA 71 FINAL
Samford 52
Mobile 30 FINAL
Alabama State 66
Nicholls 49 FINAL
Texas Tech 76
Toledo 65 FINAL
Nevada 56
UMass Lowell 48 FINAL
(13) Duke 95
St Marys-CA 49 FINAL
Virginia 62
McNeese State 55 FINAL
Rice 57
McMurry 49 FINAL
Houston Baptist 69
NJIT 62 FINAL
Seton Hall 74
(6) North Carolina 65 FINAL
Maine 36
Lafayette 58 FINAL
Stony Brook 60
Siena 62 FINAL
Binghamton 53
Longwood 56 FINAL
Clemson 72
Savannah State 51 FINAL
Florida State 97
(19) Syracuse 72 FINAL
(9) Baylor 74
Buffalo 68 FINAL
Manhattan 58
Canisius 43 FINAL
Michigan 79
Davidson 66 FINAL
NC State 82
Northern Ky 63 FINAL
Delaware 58
Saint Louis 81 FINAL
Austin Peay 86
(25) DePaul 64 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 98
Ohio U 74 FINAL
La Salle 63
Florida Atlantic 60 FINAL
Long Beach St 85
Miami-Florida 65 FINAL
Tulane 70
Miss Valley St 39 FINAL
Memphis 62
Ark-Pine Bluff 56 FINAL
UAB 65
Bowling Green 58 FINAL
Illinois State 54
Arkansas State 78 FINAL
Missouri State 62
ULM 42 FINAL
Wichita State 57
(16) Oregon State 71 FINAL
Southern Ill 55
Pacific 33 1st Half 2:40
New Mexico St 20
No Dakota State 35 2nd Half
Cal State Fullerton 45
Utah State 39 2nd Half
Sacramento St 44
Bethesda (CA) 28 2nd Half
Fresno State 29
Utah Valley U 21 2nd Half
Montana 34
LSU 13 1st Half 12:15
UC Santa Barbara 4
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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
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Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
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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

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