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

Pregame: Gophers look to continue positive run against North Florida

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers players Updated: December 1, 2012 - 11:34 AM

It’s been almost two weeks now since the Gophers have played at home, and from the sounds of it yesterday they are eager for the return.

The perception of a lull in the schedule to go along with their homecoming, however, might be a little deceiving. The next three games, in fact, could actually be challenging for the Gophers.

Today they play North Florida at home, a team that doesn’t have the talent the Gophers do, but one that has experienced some of the same competition (Memphis and Florida State) and hung with those teams. Then the Gophers have a quick turnaround for South Dakota State, which hasn’t played up to its potential yet, but is always dangerous with the dazzling Nate Wolters. From there, the Gophers go back on the road, to Southern California to face an improved USC team.

Make no mistake – the Gophers should win all three of those games, just as they should win out the remainder of the non-conference schedule.

But this stretch will require the Gophers to maintain the same focus and intensity that they did through a long and successful road trip to the Bahamas and Florida State. And coming off an exhausting and momentous gamut such as that one, well, that might be the hardest time to hold that energy.

“I think our guys, coming off our road trip 3-1 are feeling pretty good about ourselves, but we know there’s a lot we have to do to improve on,” coach Tubby Smith said. “We’ve made some major improvements over the last week, but North Florida will give us another test.”

More notes on today’s game:

  • North Florida has a small, thin lineup and so the Gophers should have the clear advantage on the boards. However, the Ospreys have held their own against good competition so far this season, playing with both Florida State and Memphis for long stretches before losing. North Florida, like the Gophers, turn the ball over a lot, but they are also apt at causing miscues on the defensive end.
  • The player to watch is 6-3 Parker Smith, who has racked up 17 points a game and is making more than half of his shots from 3-point range. Austin Hollins will likely be the one to get the matchup.
  • Tuesday’s game at Florida State was probably the most complete contest the Gophers have played to this point, exhibiting a strong defense and balanced offense. Every starter except Elliott Eliason finished with double-digit points, and Eliason contributed with 10 rebounds. Joe Coleman had his best game since the preseason, finishing with 16 points, six rebounds and two turnovers.

Extra points:

*Today’s game is NOT on TV. You can watch it here, for a price.
*Listen to today’s game live on 1500-a.m.
*Check out my checklist for the Gophers in their remaining non-conference slate from today’s Star Tribune.
*Gophers-Florida State preview here.
*On the blog: Ellenson redshirting decision is still up in the air.
*On the blog: Can the Gophers be a top 3 team in the Big Ten?
*Eliason and others have earned their spots, but Mbakwe can help the team.


Oakland 0 Top 1st Inning
Kansas City 0
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
NY Islanders 0 2nd Prd 12:28
Boston 1
NY Rangers 1 2nd Prd 11:16
Philadelphia 2
Ottawa 0 1st Prd 16:33
Winnipeg 0
Carolina 0 1st Prd 16:17
St. Louis 0
Tampa Bay 7:30 PM
Colorado 8:00 PM
Los Angeles 9:30 PM
San Jose
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 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.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pm30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 am
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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