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

Are the Gophers underrated?

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers players Updated: January 3, 2013 - 11:23 AM

Interesting tidbit from ESPN’s Jay Bilas yesterday, who listed the Gophers as one of his top 5 underrated teams right now.

Coach Tubby Smith, he said, has dealt with his fair share of health and off-court issues, but with the team healthy, we’re finally seeing their potential (and his, with a squad he build from the ground up).

Here’s an excerpt from the piece: 

Tubby Smith had to listen to the naysayers question him all summer, when he has done a terrific job at Minnesota. Smith had to deal with injuries, a suspension or two and a lack of continuity late last season because of those two things. This season everyone is healthy, and the results are clear. The polls are even starting to catch up (No. 9 in the AP), but the Gophers' place on this list is a reflection of just how good they are and how (relatively) little recognition they're getting.

So here’s the question – are the Gophers UNDERRATED?

After all, they’re currently ranked No. 9 in the nation and for a squad that only has one truly impressive win (against Michigan State, which came after Minnesota was already put at No. 9), that’s not bad. The Gophers have had some solid wins over Memphis and Stanford, at USC and at Florida State, but none of those teams have really turned out like we’ve expected and therefore didn’t challenge the Gophers like we thought they would. Don’t get me wrong, the Gophers are playing really well. But underrated?

Underrated implies the attention a team is getting is beneath what it should be. But it seems to me the Gophers have gotten intriguing press ever since winning two of three in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. They have steadily climbed the rankings, week-after-week. They’ve been lauded for their defense, their balance, their athleticism, their impressive offensive rebounding. Should the Gophers be higher than No. 9 as conference play is starting? Perhaps Bilas thinks Minnesota should be talked about as a contender for the league title. If that’s true, should the Gophers be a contender for the National Championship too? Indiana and Michigan are in that conversation – if the Gophers are underrated, should they be in that conversation too?

I think the Gophers have plenty more to prove before they can be introduced to that level of respect, but right now, they’re doing all the right things. There’s no need to talk about the Gophers being underrated right now. Perhaps they were at the beginning of the year, but now, they’re gaining more respect week after week. To elevate any higher – or even keep their spot – they’ll have to earn it on the Big Ten court.

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Tampa Bay - WP: J. McGee 6 FINAL
Toronto - LP: B. Morrow 5
Cleveland - LP: B. Shaw 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 6
Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann 3 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 3 FINAL
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Miami - WP: A. DeSclafani 5 FINAL
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Chicago WSox - LP: H. Noesi 4
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Texas - WP: C. Lewis 10
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Baltimore 1
Miami 10 FINAL
Buffalo 29
Jacksonville 10 FINAL
Washington 41
Dallas 26 FINAL
Tennessee 10
Arizona 25 FINAL
NY Giants 14
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San Diego 30
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Central Mich 3
UCF 10 FINAL
(18) Missouri 38
Massachusetts 31 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
Ohio U 14 FINAL
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West Virginia 40 FINAL
Maryland 37
Kent State 0 FINAL
(23) Ohio State 66
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FIU 25
East Carolina 28 FINAL
Virginia Tech 21
Louisville 21 FINAL
Virginia 23
Wyoming 14 FINAL
(2) Oregon 48
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(13) Georgia 35 FINAL
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(9) Notre Dame 30
Kentucky 30 FINAL
Florida 36
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Texas-El Paso 42
Tennessee 10 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 34
(17) USC 31 FINAL
Boston College 37
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Texas State 21
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Texas 17
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(15) Arizona State 38 FINAL
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Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
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(19) Wisconsin
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Akron
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Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
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Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
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Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
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San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
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Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 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
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