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

Rebounding will be a by-committee effort for the Gophers

Posted by: Amelia Rayno Updated: October 21, 2013 - 11:15 AM

Richard Pitino recently convened his Minnesota squad to watch some film of a scrimmage.

No, not the Gophers’ ‘First Look’ public scrimmage at Williams Arena on Friday night – it was tape of his father, Rick Pitino’s team, Louisville, scrimmaging amongst themselves.

“I showed them a couple clips of them rebounding the basketball, being physical,” Pitino said. “I said ‘Guys that’s a top-5 team -- that’s what you want to be. There are teams in our conference who are like that. So if you want to go out and beat those guys, you need to pick up the intensity, you need to pick up the physicality.”

It’s been one of the biggest questions surrounding the Gophers heading into the season.

Where will the rebounds come from?

After losing top 2012-13 rebounders Trevor Mbakwe (8.7/game) and Rodney Williams (5/game), the query of who would fill the void is legitimate.

Between the two forwards and the losses of Julian Welch, Andre Ingram (both of whose eligibility ran out) and Joe Coleman (who transferred to St. Mary’s) – the Gophers went into the offseason down 20.5 a game.

Hitting the boards effectively will likely be a struggle for the undersized Gophers this season, especially at first. But after Friday’s scrimmage, Pitino’s plan is clear:

If the Gophers are to find success rebounding this season it will have to be a by-committee effort. It’s part of an overall endeavor to be more tenacious as a team.

“One of the things we’ve talked about is just being a little bit tougher, everybody pursuing the ball – guards and bigs,” Andre Hollins said. “He wants us guards to average 4, 5 ,6 rebounds. And that’s just going to make it easier for us to get down the court faster so we won’t have to get open and the bigs throw it to us. I think that’s one of weaknesses thus far, but we’ve been improving a lot.”

There is certainly room for more improvement. On Friday, Deandre Mathieu – while excellent otherwise – had two rebounds. Joey King had only three. Maverick Ahanmisi and Andre Hollins had just one each. But collectively, the team showed real progress. When in a scrimmage the week before, the MAROON team grabbed 18 rebounds and the GOLD team netted 17. On Friday, however, the squads recorded 21 and 33, respectively.

Noteably, Mo Walker led with nine, Oto Osenieks had seven, Wally Ellenson, six -- including four on the offensive end -- Elliott Eliason, five, and guard Malik Smith, four.

Whether they can continue to improve against Big Ten competition, is another story altogether – but for now, Pitino is content that his players seem to have received the message, and are adjusting their efforts appropriately.

“I thought they learned from that, which was very useful because they want to play with the best, they all want to do that,” Pitino said. “They listen. They’re absolutely coachable, and they’re willing to do what we’re asking them to do.”

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San Francisco 7 Top 8th Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
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
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
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
Washington
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Detroit 0
Montreal 2 3rd Prd 3:18
Chicago 1
Arizona 2 3rd Prd
Edmonton 2
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
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
Army
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
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
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
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
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
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(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
Clemson
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
Colorado
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
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
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
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
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
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
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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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