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

Despite recent lull, Eliason has been among Big Ten's best in many ways

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers coaches, Gophers players Updated: March 7, 2014 - 1:28 PM

Much has been made of Elliott Eliason's drop off in offensive production from the start of the year.

And for the most part, that's fair.

The big man went from averaging 9.8 points and 8.8 rebounds through the first 18 games to just 4.1 points and 4.7 rebounds in the 11 games since then.

But regardless of the decrease in numbers, no one should overlook just how much good Eliason has done this season.

*Even in spite of the recent lull, Eliason lands at fourth in the conference in rebounding (7.1 per game on the season) behind Indiana's Noah Vonleh, Michigan State's Adreian Payne and Purdue's A.J. Hammons

*He is third in the league in blocked shots (2.1 per game) behind Hammons and Illinois' Nnanna Egwu, and 27th in block percentage in the nation, according to kenpom.com.

*He is 43rd in the nation in defensive rebounding percentage.

*He is tied (three-way) for second most double-doubles in the Big Ten with six. Vonleh has the most with 10 and Hammons and Payne each also have six.

Considering the Gophers didn't think they had a "frontcourt" to speak of before the season began, that kind output is extremely impressive, and speaks volumes about the improvement Eliason has experienced since first donning Maroon and Gold.

Of course all of this barely touches on his defensive prowess, which has been the biggest gain for Minnesota, in a year where otherwise their defense has struggled mightily.

Without him, the Gophers would likely be so far off the bubble, we would probably be talking about the NIT right now. 

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Houston 1 Bottom 7th Inning
Miami 1
Philadelphia 1 Top 7th Inning
Minnesota 6
St. Louis 3 Top 7th Inning
Detroit 2
Baltimore 7 Top 7th Inning
NY Yankees 1
Boston 7 Bottom 6th Inning
Tampa Bay 5
Toronto 3 Bottom 6th Inning
Pittsburgh 4
Atlanta 3 Bottom 6th Inning
Toronto 3
Washington 1 Bottom 7th Inning
NY Mets 6
Chicago Cubs 3:05 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 3:05 PM
Texas
San Francisco 3:05 PM
Seattle
Colorado 3:05 PM
Chicago Cubs
Cleveland 3:05 PM
Milwaukee
Oakland 3:05 PM
Chicago WSox
Los Angeles 3:10 PM
LA Angels
Kansas City 3:10 PM
Arizona
Atlanta 6:00 PM
Charlotte
New York 7:00 PM
Chicago
Golden State 7:30 PM
Milwaukee
Oklahoma City 8:00 PM
Utah
Denver 9:00 PM
Portland
Nashville 4 3rd Prd 5:24
Washington 3
Arizona 0 3rd Prd 20:00
Pittsburgh 0
San Jose 2 3rd Prd 19:11
Philadelphia 1
Anaheim 3 3rd Prd 11:27
NY Islanders 1
NY Rangers 1 3rd Prd 19:33
Boston 4
Tampa Bay 0 2nd Prd 18:51
Detroit 0
New Jersey 6:00 PM
Carolina
Florida 6:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 6:00 PM
Toronto
Los Angeles 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Columbus 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 8:00 PM
Colorado
Dallas 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Arizona 5:09 PM
Wisconsin
Canisius 6:30 PM
NJIT
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Kentucky
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Montreal
Los Angeles 6:00 PM
D.C.
Sporting Kansas City 6:00 PM
New York City
Red Bull New York 6:30 PM
Columbus
Portland 7:00 PM
Vancouver FC
Colorado 7:30 PM
Houston
Seattle 7:30 PM
FC Dallas
Texas 54 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 105
Dayton 27 1st Half 1:42
(8) Louisville 25
(16) Duke 3:30 PM
(4) Maryland
Gonzaga 6:00 PM
(6) Tennessee
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