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

Five surprises around the Big Ten

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under Basketball, College basketball, NCAA Updated: December 26, 2013 - 9:01 AM

The Big Ten season, what we've all been waiting for, is less than a week away. We all know that this next part of the schedule is when teams make themselves into true contenders or fall apart against the conference's constant grind. But already, there has been plenty to intrigue through the fall. Five things around the league that have surprised me thus far:

Michigan's early struggles: Yes, they're young. Yes, they've lost star guards Trey Burke an Tim Hardaway Jr. But the Wolverines appear as though they still have a long way to go to compete at the top of the Big Ten, as they were expected to. The Wolverines lost to Charlotte in November, and have been unable to sufficiently challenge very talented teams (with losses to Iowa State, Duke and Arizona) Mitch McGary's health issues (again) isn't helping anything, but the Wolverines do have plenty of talent around the sophomore big man.

Aaron White's third-year transformation: OK, it's not so much a surprise as just really fun to watch. I've liked the 6-9 forward since he landed in Iowa, the only major school to really recruit him. Now, in his junior season, he's becoming the complete player he's seemed capable of from the start. White is so versatile, with his capacity for rebounding and battling inside as well as his ability to take the ball off the dribble and shoot the three. His 25-point, 17-rebound game against Iowa State was nothing short of impressive. Yes, Aaron White has arrived.

LaQuinton Ross has been good, not great, and yet Ohio State is still thriving:  Ross, who received some preseason Big Ten player of the year nods, looks with each passing game as though he might be ready to take that next step soon, but for now, the Buckeyes success is truly a team effort. Unlike a year ago, when Ohio State WAS Deshaun Thomas, this version of the Buckeyes is a story of balance-- an approach that was able to overcome Notre Dame at Madison Square Garden this past weekend when each starter average between 9 and 16 points.

Wisconsin's prowess: It's hard to deny how good the Badgers have been early, putting up their best start in the modern era of the program. Wisconsin has perennially been good, but the "great" so far has been the result of consistency throughout the lineup, great outside shooting and the young team's ability to compensate for the veteran starting  frontcourt, all of which is gone after last year. The freshman have been solid, Josh Gasser has been great in his return from ACL surgery and Sam Dekker has appeared to take the next step. Basically, everything is clicking for the Bo Ryan boys.

Penn State probably doesn't belong at the bottom of the league anymore: With Tim Frazier back from an ACL tear and now Pitt transfer John Johnson joining D.J. Newbill, the Nittany Lions have arguably the best backcourt in the Big Ten. Penn State will still take their lumps, and have showed they still have a ways to go, allowing Princeton to return from a 20-point deficit for the Tigers win, but there is plenty of promise in State College. Right now, the Nittany Lions don't look much different from Minnesota, Illiinois, Purdue or Nebraska.




 













 

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Boston 0 Top 8th Inning
Pittsburgh 4
Toronto 2 Bottom 8th Inning
Baltimore 7
Washington 3 FINAL
Atlanta 0
Miami 1 Top 9th Inning
NY Mets 9
NY Yankees 1 Bottom 7th Inning
Tampa Bay 2
Cincinnati 0 Bottom 6th Inning
Chicago Cubs 3
Chicago WSox 4 Top 4th Inning
Kansas City 3
Cleveland 2 Top 5th Inning
Houston 1
Detroit 0 Bottom 6th Inning
Minnesota 2
Milwaukee 1 Bottom 5th Inning
St. Louis 2
Los Angeles 0 Top 5th Inning
Colorado 5
San Francisco 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Arizona 0
Seattle - R. Elias 9:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Texas - N. Tepesch 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Kazmir
Philadelphia - A. Burnett 9:10 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
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
Kansas
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
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
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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.
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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