Back to School, Back to Work

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Go Gophers! Rachel Banham
Go Gophers!

Go Gophers!

The first day of school always had a certain feel about it when I was growing up, so it seems weird that even today, seven years after my last first day of college, that it still has that feeling.

Maybe it's a nervous feeling as to what is to come for the year, maybe it's the excitement of knowing the goals you want to reach, but whatever the feeling is or was, I always know to embrace it.

Members of the Minnesota women's basketball team enter the 2012-13 academic year with the same feelings I've always felt, I am sure. Coming off a WBI Championship a year ago, the squad knows that expecations are high for this season, not only from its coaching staff and supporters, but for the Gophers themselves.

Though Minnesota is a young squad that boasts just two seniors on its 2012-13 roster, the Golden Gophers return nearly 68% of their point production. A large portion of that production came from 2012 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Rachel Banham. The point guard led Minnesota with 580 points, which was the third-highest total among the nation's freshmen, and the most points scored of any freshman in the six power conferences.   

The Maroon and Gold also returns its top-four rebounders from 2011-12. Katie Loberg is Minnesota's top returning rebounder, averaging 5.7 rebounds per game last season, followed by Banham, Kionna Kellogg and Micaëlla Riché.

Add in the return of Kayla Hirt, who was forced to redshirt her freshman year due to a knee injury, and the addition of a trio of freshmen in Mikayla Bailey, Jackie Johnson and Shayne Mullaney and the Gophers have the supplies needed to have a successful year.

On top of making the trek to their first class this morning, Minnesota will also take part in its first day of skill instruction, so not only is it back to school for the Gophers, but it is also time to go back to work on the hardwood.

With Day One holding many happy, excited and even nervous feelings, it seems that no matter who, where or how long ago you last experienced the spirit of the first day of school, it always brings about a fresh start and the beginning of something really great.  

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