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.”


Tennessee 7:25 PM
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
New York 7:00 PM
New Orleans 7:30 PM
Milwaukee 9:00 PM
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Golden State
Florida 6:00 PM
Colorado 6:00 PM
Toronto 6:00 PM
Washington 6:00 PM
Anaheim 6:30 PM
St. Louis 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Edmonton 9:30 PM
San Jose
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 6:00 PM
Temple 6:00 PM
FIU 6:00 PM
Long Island
Lehigh 6:00 PM
South Alabama 6:00 PM
Seton Hall 6:00 PM
South Florida
Ga Southern 6:00 PM
Yale 6:00 PM
Cleveland State 6:00 PM
Wright State 6:00 PM
Western Carolina
Nicholls 6:30 PM
Louisiana Tech
Morgan State 6:30 PM
Idaho State 6:30 PM
South Dakota St
Oakland City 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
Eureka 7:00 PM
Appalachian St 7:00 PM
Connecticut 7:00 PM
Southern Miss 7:00 PM
Jackson State
Coastal Carolina 7:00 PM
Ole Miss
Montana State 7:30 PM
South Dakota
LSU 8:00 PM
Ohio 8:05 PM
CS-Dominguez 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Walla Walla 9:00 PM
DePaul 9:00 PM
Oregon State
Nevada 9:00 PM
Portland State 9:00 PM
San Francisco
CS-Bakersfield 9:05 PM
Utah State
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 4:00 PM
Southern Miss 4:00 PM
Ole Miss
UMBC 4:00 PM
Miami-Florida 5:00 PM
St Mary-KS 5:00 PM
South Dakota
William & Mary 5:00 PM
Troy 5:30 PM
Loyola Marymount 6:00 PM
St Francis-PA 6:00 PM
Indiana-Southeast 6:00 PM
Delaware State 6:00 PM
Tenn Temple 6:00 PM
West Virginia St 6:00 PM
Fairfield 6:00 PM
Seton Hall
Dartmouth 6:00 PM
New Hampshire
Ball State 6:00 PM
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
Tennessee St
Trine 6:00 PM
Western Mich
Tenn Tech 6:30 PM
Samford 7:00 PM
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
TX-Pan American
Ark-Little Rock 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
CS-Northridge 7:30 PM
Northern Ariz
Santa Clara 8:00 PM
(19) Oklahoma St 8:00 PM
Weber State
Washington 8:00 PM
San Diego State
Cal Poly 8:00 PM
New Mexico
(10) Louisville 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters


Gophers Football 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 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon




question of the day

Poll: How much do you like the Gophers going to the Citrus Bowl?

Weekly Question