Sunday, Minnesota traveled to Ames for a closed scrimmage against Iowa State.

As such, the results will never be made public and none of the statistics accrued on Sunday will ever truly matter. Ultimately, these behind-closed-doors things don’t matter in the grand scheme of the season.

Still, whether anyone witnessed it or not, it was the 2014-15 Gophers’ first game against anyone other than themselves, and a very, very, very early litmus test against a strong team – Iowa State is ranked No. 14 in the Associated Press’ preseason poll – so, of course we’re interested.

According to a report posted by Ames Tribune writer Travis Hines, Minnesota stumbled to a bruising 103-78 loss.

The team is legally not allowed to talk about the scrimmage per NCAA rules, but a source confirmed to me that the Gophers were without both center Mo Walker -- who injured a hamstring in a team scrimmage on Oct. 26 – and guard Nate Mason, whose reason for sitting is unknown.

Hines had several other scoring and format tidbits, which can be seen in entirety in the link above. He notes that a regular 40-minute game was played (teams can do these closed scrimmages in whichever format they want) and that the Cyclones played very fast. The 103 points allowed probably implies the Gophers defense – which was last in the Big Ten in efficiency last year, per  -- still has plenty of work to do.

Yet the absence of Walker and Mason shouldn’t be understated. Mason is going to be a critical piece of Minnesota’s depth and press, and both are capable of big impact offensively. The Gophers have an exhibition against Minnesota-Duluth on Thursday, but then another week beyond that to right the ship before facing Louisville in Puerto Rico. That game – vs. the nation’s No. 8 team – will be even more challenging, and Minnesota certainly arrives as the underdog. A loss there, however, shouldn’t signal doom for the season. The Gophers will be relying heavily on a few newcomers this year, and need the team to gel and someone to step up and pull together the loose pieces. Whether those two things happen will go far to determine how Minnesota finishes the year.

All Sunday’s reported rout tells us is that is still very much a work in progress.

Here is a list of "secret" scrimmages across the posted last month by ESPN's Jeff Goodman. Teams are allowed to play any combination of two scrimmages or exhibitions -- this year, the Gophers play one of each.

Housekeeping ...

**Former Minnesota guard Malik Smith was selected in the sixth round (16th) of the NBA Development League draft by the Iowa Energy on Saturday. He joined the team yesterday.

**Sports Illustrated slots Minnesota at No. 40 in their preseason national rankings.

**The first AP poll came out last week. The Gophers received 34 votes, putting them at 30th.

**Blackout -- complete with Minnesota's new black jerseys -- coming to Williams Arena this winter.

**Gophers guard Andre Hollins at No. 59 in ESPN's top-100 players ranking.