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

Postgame: Minnesota beats Penn State, but needs to grow up fast.

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers coaches, Gophers players Updated: January 8, 2014 - 10:13 PM

Has a 2-1 record to start the Big Ten ever looked so concerning?

Read my story on tonight's 68-65 win here.

Yes, the Gophers were able to pull out wins against Purdue at home and Penn State on the road -- both games they absolutely should take -- and have shown some good things along the way. 

But even in the last two wins, it's the struggles that have been highlighted.

Minnesota barely escaped with either victory despite a very strong stretch of play at some point in the game. They've lacked consistency from their leaders (with the exception of Elliott Eliason, who has unexpectedly been fantastic). They've been sloppy. They've played not to lose.

On Wednesday, the Gophers led Penn State by as many as ten points, but probably could have stretched that further had they executed a little better. Then, after holding the Nittany Lions without a basket for nearly seven minutes, the Gophers just fell apart. They turned the ball over right and left. Suddenly their defense was porous, with Penn State easily slipping past the zone or the press. And for the first half especially, Austin Hollins and DeAndre Mathieu were nearly absent, and Andre Hollins wasn't much better. Certainly, Tim Frazier and Ross Travis were incredibly good tonight, but Minnesota still had plenty of opportunities.

Minnesota was able to win by Penn State falling short in the final minutes -- not making free throws, giving up the ball, shooting a terrible percentage all game (36.7 percent from the field). But none of that will work against better teams, and the Gophers have a plethora of them coming up, with the following four-game stretch looking frightening: at Michigan State, against Ohio State, at Iowa, against Wisconsin.

Certainly, the Gophers have a lot of new contributors, and are playing a new style under a new coach. There is ample opportunity to grow and shore up some of the sloppiness we've seen early. But Minnesota can never afford to get off-games from Andre Hollins and Austin Hollins, the veterans of the team.

The rest of the team needs to grow up fast or this season could get ugly.


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 99 FINAL
Utah 90
Denver 98 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alabama State 63
Prairie View 68 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 105
Texas 86 FINAL
Iowa State 89
Texas Southern 85 FINAL
Miss Valley St 84
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 FINAL
Auburn 48
(15) Nebraska 72 FINAL
(20) Iowa 78
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