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

aMAILiaBAG: Is Dre Hollins still hurting? What will it take for Michigan to lose? Plus, my thoughts on facial hair, banana runts and my alternative dream jobs

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers coaches, Gophers players Updated: March 5, 2014 - 2:03 PM

To submit questions for a future mailbag, email me at or tweet me @AmeliaRayno.

Thanks for your questions. I'll just jump right in.

@MNfan4ever: @AmeliaRayno What has happened to Dre's scoring since he's come back from injury? Seems to have lost his aggressiveness on offense.

I wondered if we would see a long, slow recovery from him. Remember when Hollins tweaked his other ankle back in his freshman year? It took him forever to "get right" again, and then it was like a switch flipped. 

This time around, I was a little surprised the Gophers' staff rushed him back as quickly as they did -- even with the consecutive losses at Nebraska and against Northwestern. At this point, I think it's mostly a mental issue -- Hollins not trusting his ankle as much as he probably should -- but it does seem to be affecting his aggressiveness somewhat. Perhaps the rest this week will help him, psychologically and physically.

@billfehlberg: @AmeliaRayno Beat Penn St. then Gophs need 2 tournament games, or help from other bubble teams. Right?

Two tournament games I'd say to feel very safe. But I think one will sneak them in with their RPI, strength of schedule and good wins.

@cfesler33: @AmeliaRayno What will it take for a team to beat Michigan in the B1G tourney?

After watching the Wolverines dismantle Illinois in ruthless fashion last night, I'm tempted to back off this a little, but really, I don't think any team is invincible in the tournament. With so many back-to-back games, and so many teams playing for their tournament lives, we could see some crazy things. Michigan's biggest challenge will be not to sit back on its heels after wrapping up the regular-season title and a strong seed in the Big Dance. From what Michigan writers are reporting, however, I don't see that happening. The Wolverines have big goals.

@rudek14: @AmeliaRayno thoughts on banana runts.

You know, I don't think I'd write a sonnet about them, but if one was in front of me right now, I would eat it.

@MNfan4ever: @AmeliaRayno Referencing your tweet from [yesterday], how many Strib writers does it take to change a light bulb?

Hey -- it's a really tricky bulb situation.

@LP_Minn: @AmeliaRayno Opinion on UVA winning ACC never playing top 1/2 of teams twice? parity or scheduling fluke? good record, but SOS not in top 25.

It was an interesting year in the ACC this year -- Duke and UNC both got off to a slow start and Syracuse, which was one of the last remaining undefeated teams, has just been in free fall during the last couple of weeks. But you can't hate Virginia for their good fortune with scheduling -- sometimes that happens, and the Cavaliers certainly made the best of it. They've been really good on both ends of the ball through a long season and have played incredibly consistently since the start of January -- not an easy thing to do even if you aren't hitting the top dogs as much as usual. It was the first outright regular-season championship in 33 years, too -- since Ralph Sampson was on the roster. That's a special thing.

@philosofootball: @AmeliaRayno How do you feel about facial hair? #aMAILiaBAG

I dig it. Especially when on a sasquatch.

@BPletscher: @AmeliaRayno not counting your currant job, what is your dream job?

Probably being a travel/food/whiskey writer or a political foreign correspondent. Or a spy. It would be really, really cool to be a spy. Or to be in a band.

So basically, I'm still a 10-year-old kid.

@JosephRDelgado: @AmeliaRayno  #aMAILiaBAG Can you explain Joey King? He's had moments, but in general looks out of control and seems like a liability.

Have you glanced at the roster lately? The power forward spot is what it is this season -- a rotating parade of undersized and unideal candidates. Yes, King has had his moments -- the fact that he can hit a clutch three, and simply in terms of his tenacity and willingness to sacrifice his body for loose balls or whatever  -- and I think in general we've seen him improve this season, but he's not a great ball handler, he doesn't have great size and he's not a natural rebounder. You have to be realistic about your expectations there.
@Mondragon_John: @AmeliaRayno I know it's early, but what's your guess at probability everyone on Gopher staff is here next year? #aMAILiaBAG

Everyone will be back. It's a young staff and I think they've got another year. Dan McHale will get some calls though.

@jrachiever71: @AmeliaRayno do you enjoy Absinthe?

I do, but I don't drink it often with the notable exception of an absinthe wash in my sazerac.

@ZMoore80: @AmeliaRayno #aMAILiaBAG Do we have a chance to play in Milwaukee and should I book my hotel now?

Maybe, if they go on a run in the Big Ten tournament and somehow get ahold of a 10-seed, but I don't really see that happening.

@donnelly612: @AmeliaRayno Kodaline? What do I need to know about them? I see they're Irish. That's a good start.

They're like if Head and the Heart and Coldplay had a baby and that band was headlined by a love child of Mark Foster, Kaleb Followill, Adam Levine (crazy night, I know) with maybe a country dude and someone-I-can't-come-up-with-right-now-even-though-I've-tried-for-13-minutes jumping in as well.

And Steve Garrigan has some pipes. And they're going to be huge (I give it 6 months) because they have a very relatable sound and their songs are extremely "sticky" and they are ridiculously good live and they have a cool T-shirt.

Good show, even if LP had to back out because of scheduling conflicts. (Second time backing out of a Minneapolis show? Weird.)

@mlconnors: @AmeliaRayno #aMAILiaBAG Is Intelligentsia the best coffee you've had? Or are their other spots nationwide that have really stood out?

The best coffee I ever had was at a little cart in downtown Seattle called Monorail espresso, and it was owned by a little, silver-haired french man who knew my name and what I wanted after Day 2, and made me wish I lived there. I have no idea what kind of beans he used, but they were ridiculous. Absolutely zero acidity.

But yeah, Intelligentsia is pretty great as well. 

@MKattman: @AmeliaRayno do u own a copy of "In Me Own Words: Autobiography of Bigfoot"?

I do not, but I have browsed it at a bookstore.

@talkgophbuckets: @AmeliaRayno for next year, are you struggling to decide if you should exclusively refer to Carlos Morris as: Carlos or Squirrel?

Oh there is no struggle. He's going to be Squirrel.


Tennessee 12/18/14 7:25 PM
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Atlanta 127 FINAL
Cleveland 98
Phoenix 111 FINAL
Charlotte 106
Dallas 117 FINAL
Detroit 106
Utah 105 FINAL
Miami 87
Orlando 92 FINAL
Boston 109
Brooklyn 89 FINAL
Toronto 105
Memphis 117 FINAL
San Antonio 116
Milwaukee 97 FINAL
Portland 104
Houston 115 FINAL
Denver 111
Indiana 100 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Ottawa 2 FINAL
New Jersey 0
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 2
Dallas 2 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Langston 65 FINAL
North Texas 78
Delaware State 72 FINAL
St Francis-NY 64
James Madison 72 FINAL
Ball State 52
SIU Edwardsville 65 FINAL
Campbell 70
St Francis-PA 67 FINAL
Duquesne 52
North Florida 77 FINAL
Florida State 93
Catawba 69 FINAL
George Mason 99
Ferrum 48 FINAL
High Point 106
Hampton 55 FINAL
Illinois 73
Gardner-Webb 65 FINAL
Jacksonville 68
Longwood 60 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 71
Arkansas State 69 FINAL
Miss State 55
Tennessee 72 FINAL
NC State 83
Ohio State 97
Manhattan 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 65
Robert Morris 57 FINAL
Toledo 83
Char Southern 58 FINAL
Wofford 64
Kennesaw St 90 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
Barber-Scotia 52 FINAL
NC Central 108
Detroit 70 FINAL
UCF 75
Liberty 70 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 73
Denver 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 61 FINAL
Houston 56
UT Martin 54 FINAL
Illinois State 64
Milligan 76 FINAL
Louisiana 115
Abilene Christian 44 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 83
USC Upstate 73 FINAL
Memphis 83
Alcorn State 56 FINAL
Murray State 94
Central Mich 80 FINAL
Northwestern 67
Georgia State 54 FINAL
Old Dominion 58
TX-Pan American 69 FINAL
Saint Louis 75
Ill-Chicago 46 FINAL
SMU 67
Texas State 60 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 66
SC State 39 FINAL
Texas Tech 101
Missouri State 70 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Chicago State 60 FINAL
Western Ky 75
Morehead State 50 FINAL
Green Bay 66
Northern Colorado 82 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 92
Winthrop 62 FINAL
Auburn 80
New Mexico St 55 FINAL
Baylor 66
San Diego St 62 FINAL
Cincinnati 71
Eastern Mich 46 FINAL
Michigan State 66
Loyola Marymount 58 FINAL
Stanford 67
Incarnate Word 82 FINAL
Grand Canyon 80
Northeastern 58 FINAL
Cal Poly 60
Central Arkansas 55 FINAL
New Mexico 76
Howard 45 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Portland 73 FINAL
CS-Northridge 56 FINAL
Oregon 79
Grambling St 38 FINAL
Washington 86
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Western Carolina 79 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 66
(21) Miss State 66 FINAL
Louisiana 51
(25) DePaul 109 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 84
Liberty 64 FINAL
NC State 67
Elon 77 FINAL
Campbell 51
Akron 73 FINAL
UCF 64
Richmond 77 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 67
Montana 70 FINAL
Seattle 64
(7) Stanford 46 FINAL
Chattanooga 54
Florida A&M 69 FINAL
Southern U 80
Oklahoma 72 FINAL
(13) Duke 92
Savannah State 56 FINAL
Auburn 62
Northern Colorado 43 FINAL
South Florida 84
Youngstown St 73 FINAL
Robert Morris 65
Siena 75 FINAL
Sacred Heart 65
Vermont 63 FINAL
St Francis-NY 61
(1) South Carolina 69 FINAL
Hampton 49
Fla Gulf Coast 91 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 46
Texas Southern 92 FINAL
Houston Baptist 80
Northwestern 88 FINAL
Appalachian St 72
NC Central 52 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 67
Drexel 50 FINAL
Quinnipiac 74
Cincinnati 52 FINAL
Northern Ky 66
Alabama State 53 FINAL
Georgia Tech 77
Morehead St 69 FINAL
USC Upstate 75
Arkansas State 59 FINAL
Kent State 44
American Univ 60 FINAL
Manhattan 52
UNC Greensboro 60 FINAL
St Bonaventure 78
Arkansas-Monticello 56 FINAL
Northwestern St 61
Prairie View 70 FINAL
Sam Houston St 51
McNeese State 59 FINAL
(3) Texas 76
Yale 90 FINAL
Wagner 65
Oakland 61 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 54
Eastern Kentucky 62 FINAL
Alabama A&M 56
SIU-Edwardsville 47 FINAL
Northern Ill 69
McMurry 25 FINAL
TX-Arlington 82
Portland 65 FINAL
Eastern Washington 72
North Texas 42 FINAL
San Francisco 60
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Gophers Football 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 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon




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