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 anticipating a physical battle vs. Purdue

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers coaches, Gophers players Updated: January 5, 2014 - 12:55 PM

Read my story on Elliott Eliason and Mo Walker, and their friendly competition this season, in today's Star Tribune.

In Sunday's practice, Gophers coach Richard Pitino slacked off a little. 

Well, with the officiating. 

Everything else was more intense than ever, point guard DeAndre Mathieu said.

This afternoon (1:30 CT tip-off, BTN, 1500-AM), the Gophers, who are now 0-1 in the Big Ten after dropping their opener to Michigan on Thursday, face Purdue in their second league game of the year. They're expecting a battle.

"[Coach] said they're going to be one of the most physical teams we play against," Mathieu said. 

So Pitino had them practicing as such -- conducting rebounding drills over and over, and going through offensive drills while being heavily and intensely guarded, while calling fewer fouls than usual.

As it was, Mathieu, who came to Minnesota from Central Arizona College, noticed a big change in the physicality against Michigan, his first Big Ten game. The 5-9 guard's shot was blocked several times by the Wolverines, including a dunk attempt that was easily tossed by Glenn Robinson III. Against Purdue, which blocks shots at the 24th best rate in the country, according to kenpom.com, those challenges only become greater. Center A.J. Hammons is the third best shot-blocker in the country, and is coming off an 18-point, 16-rebound game against No. 3 Ohio State on Dec. 31. That means the Boilermakers have also had more time to prepare for Minnesota, which has the opportunity of starting off the year with a pair of games at home.

"He's a pro in my opinion," Pitino said of Hammons.  "He's got the size, he's got the skill. He's a very, very tough matchup for us. He's probably the best big man in the league, just because he affects the game offensively and defensively. It's going to be a tough test for him and Mo. We certainly have got to help them, we can't rely on them to do it all themselves."

Other notes:

* Redshirt freshman forward Charles Buggs has been incorporated back into practice, and should be available on Sunday.

* Pitino said that after reviewing the tape, he thinks that Austin Hollins' poor offensive performance on Thursday was just due to poor shot selection. "He took five 'challenged shots [something the staff tracks themselves]' which are a low-percentage shot," Pitino said. "It's not his mechanics, it's not his confidence, he's just taking tough shots."

* Pitino on Mathieu's dunk attempt against Michigan: "The one he tried to dunk on he just had no chance. He was just trying to show people that he can jump high. And it was just a silly play. He's got to do a better job, especially at the end of the game, of just getting people open shots. He'll learn from it."

* Mathieu seemed pretty upset with himself, still, after committing five turnovers on Thursday, including two in the last 1:26. "The last five minutes was just ridiculous," Mathieu said. "Just for me, turning the ball over, not making the right decisions, I've got to get better, got to get better in crunch time if I'm going to be a starting point guard ... no one wants to make those mistakes. They were crucial mistakes though and it really hurt so I kind of beat myself up for it. But I'll get better." 

* Asked whether he regrets not getting shooting specialist Malik Smith more minutes at the end of the game, Pitino said "not really," pointing out that while offensively that combination can be hard to guard, the defensive matchups were much more challenging for Minnesota.

*The Gophers went 1-for-13 in "challenged shots" on Thursday, Pitino said.

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NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 3
Minnesota 0 Top 4th Inning
Baltimore 0
Philadelphia 1 Bottom 5th Inning
NY Mets 0
Miami 3 Top 5th Inning
Atlanta 0
Boston 0 Top 4th Inning
Tampa Bay 3
Cleveland 0 Top 4th Inning
Kansas City 0
Detroit 4 Top 4th Inning
Chicago WSox 0
Texas 0 Bottom 5th Inning
Houston 0
Colorado 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Arizona 0
Chicago Cubs 1 Top 1st Inning
St. Louis 0
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:40 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 8:05 PM
San Francisco - J. Peavy
Oakland - J. Samardzija 8:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Washington - S. Strasburg 8:10 PM
Seattle - R. Elias
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
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 4th Qtr 9:27
(6) Auburn 38
(16) Clemson 21 3rd Qtr 1:47
(12) Georgia 24
Liberty 22 3rd Qtr 9:25
(23) North Carolina 21
Ohio U 14 4th Qtr 13:17
Kent State 7
Louisiana Tech 0 2nd Qtr 7:14
(4) Oklahoma 24
Stephen F Austin 7 2nd Qtr 6:40
(20) Kansas State 21
Fresno State 0 2nd Qtr 14:35
(15) USC 21
Southern Miss 0 1st Qtr 0:30
Miss State 7
Texas-El Paso 7 1st Qtr 10:50
New Mexico 0
North Texas 0 1st Qtr 7:36
Texas 0
(1) Florida State 0 1st Qtr 10:00
Oklahoma State 0
Idaho 0 Delayed
Florida 0
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
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
Nevada
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
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
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
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
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
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(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
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
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
Louisiana
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
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(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
Texas
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
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 FINAL
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 0 1st Half 5:00
Montreal 1
FC Dallas 7:30 PM
Chicago
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 39 3rd Qtr 5:06
Indiana 51
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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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