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

Gophers pregame: Minnesota needs to fix its turnover issue

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers players Updated: February 10, 2013 - 1:19 PM

I wrote for today’s paper on the Gophers’ ongoing turnover problem.

As I pointed out there, while Minnesota has given the appearance of improving to some degree in the past few games, that perception is a little deceiving.

Most notably, in the game at Michigan State on Wednesday, the Gophers turned the ball over 12 times, a tick below their 13.2 average in conference play (they average 13.8 all year) and on the lower side for a team had 17 miscues at Indiana.

But consider that the Gophers only had 55 possessions at MSU (their second fewest of the season), and those 12 turnovers break down into turnovers occurring in 21.8 percent of their possessions (which is actually higher than their 20.8 average according to

But perhaps a bigger concern is that the Gophers’ diminished shooting lately has left their penchant for turnovers more exposed than ever. Against Indiana, Minnesota had the most possessions it has had all season, but they still had turnovers on 23 percent of their possessions. Nonetheless, the Gophers were in it at the end because they hit 11 3-pointers in that game.

Against Illinois the last time around, the Gophers had 15 turnovers, but shot 52.9 percent from the field and 60 percent from 3-point range. You won’t lose many games doing that. (Unless you’re Nebraska. Or the Hoosiers against Illinois for that matter. I digress.)

Can the Gophers shoot that way again tonight? They might need to. In the Gophers' past three wins (Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois), they’ve shot 50.9 from the field and 43 percent from 3-point range. In their last three losses (Michigan State, Wisconsin, Northwestern), they’ve shot 34.9 from the field and 31.9 from 3-point range.

Meanwhile, when it comes to the turnover game, Illinois clearly has the advantage. The Illini only turn over on 17.5 percent of their possessions by average (ranked No. 42 in the nation while the Gophers are at No. 232 according to while they force opponents to turn over on 21.2 percent of their possessions.

The other big concern for Minnesota is the Illini’s propensity for the 3-pointer. The Gophers’ opponents have made 33.5 percent of their 3-pointers this season, but a lot of that comes down to the simple average made regardless of the presence of perimeter defense. The reality is, the Gophers are very susceptible to a team getting hot beyond the arc. Ray Gallegos did when Nebraska was in town, and the Gophers couldn’t stop him (he hit six of nine). Gary Harris did at Michigan State and the Gophers were helpless there once more (he hit four of eight).

In the past two games, Illinois has made 18 3-pointers, the same total the Gophers have made in the last four. And the Illini have consistently shown they’re not shy in throwing up shots. Nationwide, they rank 12th in 3-pointers attempted per game (24). If they get hot, the Gophers could be in trouble.

Extra points:


  • Watch tonight’s game live on Big Ten Network
  • Listen to tonight’s game live on 1500-a.m.
  • Wally Ellenson will miss one to two weeks with a strained left Achilles tendon. Austin Hollins should be good to go after dealing with a migraine before the Gophers’ previous game.
  • Check out more on the matchup here.
  • Recruit Gavin Schilling reduced his list of schools to four; includes the Gophers. Our Q & A here.
  • Bigfoot click: An interview with the man who recorded the Sierra Sounds (best vocalizations of Sasquatch ever recorded), which I can’t get enough of (also, this guy is just as cool as a cucumber as I love it).


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 19 2nd Qtr
New Orleans 30
Minnesota 19 2nd Qtr
Oklahoma City 25
Orlando 29 2nd Qtr
Memphis 34
Boston 8:00 PM
Denver 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Army 42 2nd Half 11:04
American Univ 46
Wright State 53 2nd Half 10:06
Detroit 40
Syracuse 62 2nd Half 7:12
North Carolina 68
Cleveland State 47 2nd Half 5:52
Oakland 50
Delaware State 43 2nd Half 6:32
NC Central 44
High Point 50 2nd Half 7:00
Presbyterian 44
Howard 25 2nd Half
Bethune-Cookman 27
Coppin State 23 1st Half 7:00
NC A&T 32
Nicholls 25 2nd Half 20:00
Northwestern St 41
Hampton 25 2nd Half
SC State 31
Gardner-Webb 18 1st Half 6:53
Campbell 23
MD-Eastern Shore 4 1st Half 14:30
Florida A&M 8
Stephen F Austin 21 1st Half 7:38
Lamar 10
Central Arkansas 20 1st Half 7:46
New Orleans 33
Norfolk State 25 1st Half 4:52
Savannah State 17
TX A&M-CC 14 1st Half 7:20
SE Louisiana 15
Sam Houston St 24 1st Half 11:10
Abilene Christian 9
McNeese State 34 1st Half 4:50
Incarnate Word 27
Milwaukee 5 1st Half 5:34
Valparaiso 30
Alcorn State 7:30 PM
Alabama A&M
Southern U 7:30 PM
Alabama State
Prairie View 8:00 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Texas 8:00 PM
Iowa State
Texas Southern 8:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
Southern U 52 2nd Half 0:28
Alabama State 49
(12) Texas A&M 44 2nd Half 9:01
(1) South Carolina 60
Robert Morris 65 2nd Half 2:27
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 64 2nd Half 5:04
Mercer 55
Wofford 47 2nd Half 9:06
Furman 37
Morehead St 61 2nd Half 2:55
Tenn Tech 48
Illinois 43 2nd Half 10:29
Michigan 53
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 8:00 PM
(15) Nebraska 8:00 PM
(20) Iowa
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