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.


Los Angeles - R. Hernandez 12:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - F. Doubront
Detroit - M. Scherzer 12:05 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Philadelphia - J. Williams 3:05 PM
Oakland - D. Pomeranz
Toronto - M. Stroman 3:05 PM
NY Yankees - C. Capuano
Arizona - T. Cahill 3:10 PM
Colorado - E. Butler
Boston - R. De La Rosa 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Milwaukee - M. Garza 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Washington - J. Zimmermann 6:10 PM
Miami - J. Cosart
NY Mets - J. Niese 6:10 PM
Atlanta - M. Minor
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
Cleveland - T. House 6:10 PM
Minnesota - T. May
Seattle - C. Young 6:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
Cincinnati - M. Leake 6:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Wacha
San Francisco - Y. Petit 7:40 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Texas - C. Lewis 8:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 11:00 AM
Troy 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 11:00 AM
Bowling Green 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 11:30 AM
Tulane 11:30 AM
Hawaii 1:00 PM
Marshall 1:00 PM
North Carolina 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 2:30 PM
Rutgers 2:30 PM
Central Mich 2:30 PM
Utah 2:30 PM
Florida 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 3:00 PM
Indiana 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 3:00 PM
Texas State 3:00 PM
Massachusetts 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 5:00 PM
Appalachian St 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Middle Tennessee 6:00 PM
Utah State 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Idaho 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina 6:30 PM
(4) Oklahoma 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 7:00 PM
(22) Clemson 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9:00 PM
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Vancouver FC 4:00 PM
Houston 6:00 PM
New England 6:30 PM
San Jose 6:30 PM
Seattle 6:30 PM
Red Bull New York
D.C. 7:30 PM
FC Dallas 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 6:00 PM
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
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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.
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
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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