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

Opening Tip: The end of the regular season is near

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers coaches, Gophers players Updated: March 7, 2014 - 11:45 AM

Five tidbits while I try to understand what happened here.

1. Recruiting update: Gophers 2015 PF target Elijah Thomas is taking an unofficial at Memphis this weekend.

2. It's no secret Elliott Eliason isn't giving the same production as he was at the beginning of the year, and the struggles, combined with some recent success from backup Mo Walker have corresponded with minute drops for the big man as well. In the first 18 games, Eliason averaged 26.5 minutes a game. In the last 11 he's averaging just 19 (although Pitino did play him for 30 minutes at Michigan). "We're not moving away from playing him," Pitino said. "I think he's actually been playing pretty well, he's been doing some things defensively and offensively. So no, I don't think there's anything to that."

3. Want to look at how other bubble teams stack up against the Gophers? Use CBS sports' tool to compare the resumes of any two teams. Plus, a new bracket from Jerry Palm. And no, Minnesota's positioning did not change.

4. Don't look now, but Sunday opponent Penn State just beat a team on the road that the Gophers couldn't at home, holding Northwestern to just 32 points and a laughable .57 points per possession last night while the Nittany Lions made 6 of 15 three-pointers. In their last three games, Penn State has held opponents to just 25.9 percent from behind the arc. 

5. Tweeted:

"The only color that looks good with gold,, is maroon." -- @JoshMartin

"Minnesota fans, time to turn your attention to the next face of MN HS BBall, Hopkins super-sophomore Amir Coffey (@showtimelefty). #PULLEY" -- @D1Circuit

"Random fact: #Gophers Oto Osenieks is six months older than #MNWolves Ricky Rubio." -- @Gopherhole

"I don't think people understand how hard it is to cut schools during the recruiting process." -- @EliCTMDThomas


Random ranking: Minneapolis bars

1. Butcher & the Boar (most delicious sazerac in the Twin Cities comes from behind that bar).
2. Marvel Bar (most innovative spot in Minnesota).
3. Eli's (arguably the best pastrami sandwich in the midwest plus good, chill atmosphere and TVs at the bar).
4. Rye (drink When Figs Fly and eat a reuben).
5. Parlour (good cocktails with bartenders that love to experiment).

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