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 kenpom.com, 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.

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New England 14 FINAL
Kansas City 41
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
NY Rangers 6
Toronto 0 FINAL
Detroit 3
Pittsburgh 1 FINAL
Minnesota 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Nashville 0
Florida 4 FINAL
Dallas 5
Winnipeg 1 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Arizona 4 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
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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.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pm30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 am
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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