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

Where does DeAndre Mathieu rank among Big Ten point guards?

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers coaches, Gophers players Updated: February 12, 2014 - 11:39 AM

I've said it many times: DeAndre Mathieu has been absolutely huge for the Gophers this  season. When the tiny JUCO point guard came to Minnesota, no one really knew what to expect. Now, it's hard to imagine the Gophers without him. He pushes the tempo on offense and defense, creates for his team and adds a scoring spark. 

Just how good has 'Little Dre' been? Well, according to me, myself and I, he's been the fourth best floor general in the Big Ten. That's a fair compliment when you consider the sturdy reputation the conference has at that position. 

*All stats are, including conference play only and are accurate heading into Tuesday night's games.

My point guard rankings:

1. Yogi Ferrell: The guy one spot below makes an intriguing argument, but it's tough to say that Ferrell isn't the top guy in the league right now. In conference play, he leads the Big Ten in scoring, has gone 26-for-63 from three-point range and does all that while using a high percentage of Indiana's possessions and creating big shots for his teammates.

2. Tim Frazier: This guy does it all for Penn State, just as he always has. In addition to dishing out assists at the 20th best rate in the nation, the senior scores 13.9 points a game and even adds 5.4 rebounds. He's a force to be reckoned with on the defensive end, too.

3. Keith Appling: The Michigan State guard's quickness makes him tough to guard, and offensively he makes opponents pay when they can't, igniting for 14.7 points a game while taking good care of the ball -- he has the second best assist-to-turnover (2.3-to-1) ratio of league floor generals.

4. DeAndre Mathieu: Say hi to Craft if you look down, would you? Most people would have trouble believing that Little Dre would outplay the senior Ohio State veteran this season, but that is exactly what's happening. The Minnesota version uses more of his team's possessions while maintaining nearly identical offensive ratings, and Mathieu has a better assist rate (69th best in the nation), too.

5. Aaron Craft: Things have been hard in Columbus lately, and Ohio State's Craft finds no exception. Yes, he still creates havoc on the defensive end, ranking 19th nationally in steals, but his mediocre offensive and assist efforts keep him from ranking higher on this list.

6. Mike Gesell: The 6-1 Gesell has quietly been a nice steady presence for Iowa, as it's made its jump to the next tier of the Big Ten this season. The point guard isn't really phenomenal at anything, expect for maybe ball handling (he has the best assist-to-turnover ration conference-wide), but offensively and defensively, he'll never be a liability.

7. Tracy Abrams: The Illinois guard is cut much from the cloth of the guard above him, but hasn't been quite so consistent. But the junior has made notable strides every season he's been with the Illini, and could be much improved again in another year.

8. Traevon Jackson: We've all seen the Wisconsin guard hit some big shots for the Badgers, and the junior, who took the job last season by default when John Gasser went down, and then kept it, will continue to get better. 

9. Derrick Walton Jr.: For a freshman, Walton is doing absolutely fine. He's had to fill the very large shoes of former Michigan point guard, and he's done so without becoming the focal point of the team, which is usually what you want when you're replacing a national player of the year. With Walton at the helm. Michigan has been ticking along nicely.

10. Ronnie Johnson: The sophomore is an average player on a team that has gone through a lot of struggles in the conference. But hey, that's life in the Big Ten. 

11. Tre Demps: Northwestern's Demps has a long ways to go before he will be talked about among the league's elite, but for now, he's at least taking good care of the basketball, posting an 11.2 turnover rate.

12. Tai Webster: Dylan Talley is gone, and freshman Webster has had to take his place. He, like the Huskers will take the Huskers, will take his lumps in an extremely tough league. It's all a learning process.


Tampa 6 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
LA Clippers 96 FINAL
Chicago 86
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Houston 105
Golden State 106 FINAL
Boston 101
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
Indiana 94
Portland 110 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Charlotte 98 FINAL
Orlando 83
Oklahoma City 108 FINAL
LA Lakers 101
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Denver 92
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Winnipeg 5
Tampa Bay 3 FINAL
Florida 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Toronto 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Anaheim 3 FINAL
Dallas 1
St. Louis 5 1st OT 3:48
Vancouver 5
Connecticut 81
Quinnipiac 65 FINAL
Manhattan 69
Fairfield 56 FINAL
Niagara 57
Marist 49 FINAL
Rider 59
Iona 60 FINAL
Saint Peters 68
Oregon State 56 FINAL
California 73
South Florida 55 FINAL
Houston 72
Marquette 66 FINAL
Providence 77
Michigan State 61 FINAL
Wisconsin 68
Siena 57 FINAL
Monmouth 63
Pittsburgh 66 FINAL
Wake Forest 69
Oregon 73 FINAL
Stanford 70
Purdue 61 FINAL
Ohio State 65
Arizona State 81 FINAL
Colorado 87
Washington St 67 FINAL
Georgetown 66 FINAL
Providence 81
Binghamton 50 FINAL
Elon 65 FINAL
Hofstra 58
Virginia Tech 47 FINAL
Boston College 49
(8) Louisville 59 FINAL
Virginia 75
Texas 69 FINAL
West Virginia 76
Creighton 53 FINAL
Villanova 61
Seton Hall 85 FINAL
Butler 76
UNC-Wilmington 76 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 65
(5) Maryland 69 FINAL
(25) Northwestern 48
Saint Josephs 67 FINAL
La Salle 55
Louisiana Tech 53 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 60
Rhode Island 70 FINAL
Massachusetts 78
Richmond 55 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 49
Davidson 46 FINAL
Fordham 54
St Bonaventure 43 FINAL
Duquesne 51
George Mason 45 FINAL
(22) George Washington 80
Indiana 60 FINAL
(20) Rutgers 71
(12) Texas A&M 63 FINAL
LSU 80
Ole Miss 47 FINAL
(11) Miss State 55
Clemson 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 61
Maine 47 FINAL
New Hampshire 61
Vermont 48 FINAL
Albany 76
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Monmouth 48
Saint Peters 47 FINAL
Siena 64
(4) Notre Dame 67 FINAL
NC State 60
Wisconsin 62 FINAL
Penn State 56
Stony Brook 49 FINAL
Hartford 56
Northeastern 47 FINAL
William & Mary 62
St Johns 61 FINAL
Xavier 74
James Madison 74 FINAL
Delaware 71
Towson 45 FINAL
Drexel 50
Illinois State 50 FINAL
Bradley 60
Southern Ill 74 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 70
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Wichita State 66
Minnesota 76 FINAL
(17) Iowa 92
(15) North Carolina 80 FINAL
(16) Duke 81
Alabama 73 FINAL
Auburn 80
(9) Florida State 69 FINAL
Miami-Florida 55
Arkansas 41 FINAL
Missouri 57
Georgia 52 FINAL
Florida 45
Dayton 95 FINAL
Saint Louis 68
Drake 57 FINAL
Missouri State 86
Colorado 46 FINAL
(10) Arizona State 59
(19) Stanford 55 FINAL
Oregon 62
Marquette 82 FINAL
DePaul 99
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 60
Vanderbilt 49 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
(2) South Carolina 56 FINAL
(13) Kentucky 67
Utah 41 FINAL
Arizona 64
Ohio State 78 FINAL
Nebraska 60
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