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.

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Al Nolen says he's ready to go against South Dakota State

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball Updated: December 22, 2010 - 2:07 PM

Al Nolen has been on the bench for the last five games with a foot injury.

But the senior point guard said he's back and ready to play big minutes against South Dakota State Thursday, the Gophers' last nonconference game of the 2010-11 season.

The Gophers open Big Ten action with road matchups against Wisconsin and Michigan State next week. Nolen says he wants to use Thursday's game to shake the rust off before that tough two-game stretch.

"Right now, [my foot] is feeling pretty good out there on the court," he said. "I'm playing [Thursday], definitely."

Tubby Smith said he's more comfortable running his ball-line defense with Nolen, one of the top on-the-ball defenders in the country. He said he'll move Devoe Joseph to the bench if he decides to start Nolen Thursday.

"He'll probably go back in the starting lineup. I'm not sure at this point and time," Smith said.

 

 

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