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

Ten things you need to know about Florida

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers players, The Big Dance Updated: March 23, 2013 - 3:13 PM



So, the national pundits and Vegas were right: the 11th seeded Gophers pulled the first round upset-that-wasn’t-an-upset over 6-seed UCLA on Friday in a convincing way – beating out the Bruins in a plethora of ways.

And hey, after the first 10 minutes or so, the Gophers looked pretty good. They advance to the second round, I get to stay in beautiful Austin, Texas – everybody wins, right?

But before you get too giddy looking ahead to the Sweet Sixteen (I know you are. My Twitter feed tells me) -- or I start thinking about continuing my tour of sunny Texas while all of you at home get blasted by sub-zero wins and creamed by snowstorm after snowstorm – take a step back and a deep breath.

Florida, as it turns out, is a pretty good team. And more than that, the Gators might be a really problematic matchup for the Gophers.

Let’s take a glimpse:

  • 1. The eye test might not be pretty, but the computers love the Gators. Yes, they play what might be viewed as slow, plodding basketball, but it is also fundamentally sound. The Gators are the only team in the country in the top five of both Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted offensive and adjusted defensive ratings.
  • 2. This is not the same Billy Donavon team of old. Maybe you remember the old Florida teams that loved to run, run, run squads out of the building? Maybe, in fact, that’s what Gophers coach Tubby Smith remembers from his days with Kentucky, as he hinted last night? Well, things have changed. Donovan has placed a MUCH bigger emphasis on defense, and it’s showing. The Gators are still capable of running, but they do so selectively. For the most part, they would be better categorized as incredibly patient.
  • 3. They shoot 3s. Minnesota’s Trevor Mbakwe insinuated that the Gophers might play a lot of zone – which they used heavily and effectively against UCLA on Friday – again against Florida. But the problem there is that when the Gators are forced to make shots from the outside, they’re usually just fine. Florida has four players shooting 32.9 percent or better from behind the arc, including forward Erik Murphy, who is hitting 46.1 percent of his attempts.
  • 4. Defensive threats: they pressure and a zone isn’t out of the question. UCLA didn’t pressure the Gophers and Minnesota had a pretty solid ball handling performance. Things will get trickier against the Gators, who like to harass. Also, just a warning: Florida is mainly a man-to-man team, but going into a 2-3 zone isn’t out of the question. Yes, the Gophers performed really well against the Bruins' zone on Friday, but they also tied for the third most 3-pointers they've had all season. That matters.
  • 5. They’re versatile. Can’t score inside? Fine, they’ll shoot treys. Those aren’t falling? The Gators have no trouble getting the ball into the post. Need a dribble drive? No issues there. To summerize, the Gators can score in a whole lotta ways.
  • 6. They cause a bunch of turnovers. What was this about ball pressure? It’s certainly worked against other teams. Florida has turned over opponents this season in 21.8 of their possessions. Not a good sign for the often butter-fingered Gophers.
  • 7. Their bench isn’t limited. Wasn’t that luxurious for the Gophers to have the advantage for once when it came to the bench? Hope you enjoyed that, because things are back to normal against Florida, who has more than the seven UCLA threw out on Friday. Florida has reserve Will Yuguete back after missing a month with knee surgery and the Gators bench (which has three guys averaging 5.3 or more) has combined for 49 points in the last three games, while the Gophers have managed just 23 in the same span.
  • 8. They don’t have a prolific scorer. The Gators, which have four players averaging double digits, have a lot of balance, but somewhat like the Gophers, don’t always have the one guy that can step up and take over when things start going awry.
  • 9. Anything you can do, I can do better. So you want to play fast? Northwestern State did. No problem. Grind it out in the halfcourt? Well that’s where the Gators specialize. Taking Florida out of its game is tough.
  • 10. Get them in a close game, and you’ve got a shot. This is one of the weirdest stats about this team. While Florida went 26-1 in games decided by double digits, the Gators were a stunning 0-6 in contests determined by six points or fewer. Hanging around in striking distance might be the Gophers’ best chance.



NY Yankees - LP: B. McCarthy 3 FINAL
Toronto - WP: J. Happ 4
Philadelphia - LP: A. Burnett 5 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 6
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Hughes 2
Minnesota - LP: R. Nolasco 8 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: W. Chen 12
Boston - WP: C. Buchholz 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: A. Cobb 0
Detroit - LP: R. Porcello 2 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Quintana 6
Texas - LP: N. Cotts 2 FINAL
Houston - WP: J. Veras 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: C. Villanueva 6 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: P. Neshek 9
Oakland - LP: S. Kazmir 1 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: M. Shoemaker 8
Milwaukee - LP: K. Lohse 5 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 15
Los Angeles - WP: H. Ryu 7 FINAL
San Diego - LP: E. Stults 1
Washington - LP: T. Roark 3 FINAL
Seattle - WP: H. Iwakuma 5
Colorado - LP: J. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
Arizona - WP: C. Anderson 6
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 0 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: A. Wood 1
Cleveland 4 Suspended
Kansas City 2
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 FINAL
(6) Auburn 45
(16) Clemson 21 FINAL
(12) Georgia 45
Liberty 29 FINAL
(23) North Carolina 56
Ohio U 17 FINAL
Kent State 14
Louisiana Tech 16 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 48
Stephen F Austin 16 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 55
Fresno State 13 FINAL
(15) USC 52
Southern Miss 0 FINAL
Miss State 49
Texas-El Paso 31 FINAL
New Mexico 24
North Texas 7 FINAL
Texas 38
(1) Florida State 37 FINAL
Oklahoma State 31
(14) Wisconsin 24 FINAL
(13) LSU 28
Idaho 0 Postponed
Florida 0
South Dakota 13 FINAL
(3) Oregon 62
(25) Washington 17 FINAL
Hawaii 16
Utah State 7 FINAL
Tennessee 38
(10) Baylor 45
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Red Bull New York 0 FINAL
D.C. 2
Los Angeles 3 FINAL
Chivas USA 0
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 30 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Toronto 12:00 PM
Edmonton 3:30 PM
Phoenix 77 FINAL
Minnesota 82
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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 pm
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pm
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. TBA
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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