New Scoreboard Hanging High in The Barn

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Go Gophers! Williams Arena Scoreboard
Go Gophers!Go Gophers!
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Golden Gopher fans won't believe their eyes when they walk into Williams Arena this fall for the women's basketball team's exhibition game vs. Concordia, St. Paul on Oct. 31. After announcing plans in May to install a new center-hung LED scoreboard, LED fascia boards and a new sound system in Williams Arena, construction of the scoreboard and sound system are now complete.

Go Gophers! Williams Arena Scoreboard
Go Gophers!

Go Gophers!
The new scoreboard and sound system will enhance the gameday fan experience for the Minnesota faithful with more videos, sound bytes and fan prompts.

The scoreboard and fascia boards were built and installed by Daktronics, Inc., while Minnesota-based Parsons Electric supplied the new sound system.

The new scoreboard screen is 11'7" tall and 13'8" wide and features an LED ring above and below the main video board.

The university also added a state-of-the-art control room in TCF Bank Stadium. The control room, designed and installed by Minnesota based Alpha Video, will run the videoboards in Mariucci Arena, TCF Bank Stadium and Williams Arena.

25 Things You Don't Know About... Rachel Banham

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Go Gophers! Rachel Banham
Go Gophers!
Rachel Banham made herself known in a big way as a rookie last season for the Minnesota women's basketball team. The guard broke the Gophers' freshman scoring record with 580 points and scored the third-most points of any freshman in the country. Minnesota fans know that Banham was a Full Court Freshman All-American and the 2012 Big Ten Freshman of the Year a year ago, but the sophomore shares 25 things that fans may not know about her.

  1. I LOVE to sing!
  2. I want to be a police officer when I'm older, just like my parents.
  3. I'm dating Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade and Chris Brown!
  4. I'm deathly afraid of planes.
  5. I'm afraid of sharks.
  6. Go Gophers! Rachel Banham
    Go Gophers!

    Go Gophers!
  7. I'm afraid of the ocean.
  8. I'm afraid of needles!!
  9. I love watching Law and Order and C.S.I.
  10. Growing up, I played football with my brothers all of the time and really wanted to join a team.
  11. I have a German Sheppard named Bailey! Shes the cutest puppy on this earth!
  12. I've met Adrian Peterson. We're pretty much best friends! ;)
  13. I want to play for the Lynx one day.
  14. I love lying in the sun and getting tan.
  15. I never wear make-up unless its a very special occasion.
  16. I love to dance!
  17. When I'm older, instead of just being a cop, I want to be a hip hop dancer on the side!
  18. I don't like to sit still very much!
  19. My older brother plays football for the U.
  20. I hate losing.
  21. I'm not a morning person. At all.
  22. I hate running long distances.
  23. I'm a jokester.
  24. I like making things awkward!
  25. I like making weird faces. I'm the master at them.
  26. I love headbands!! I have around 60! haha.

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.  

Gophers Enjoy Time at Minnesota State Fair

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The University of Minnesota women's basketball team headed to the "Great Minnesota Get-Together" Tuesday to make its annual appearance on the stage at the University of Minnesota Building, but that was not the only fun the Golden Gophers, Pam Borton and her staff were able to have, as they took full advantage of their time at the

Go Gophers! Pam Borton
Go Gophers!

Go Gophers!
fairgrounds.

Over the last week, Gopher fans were able to vote for what State Fair food they wanted Coach Borton to eat in a poll conducted on the Golden Gophers Women's Basketball (facebook.com/GophersWBB) Facebook page, and, on the final day, beef tongue tacos pulled ahead and took the win.

Not only did Coach Borton try, and enjoy, her tacos, but so did Rachel Banham, Kionna Kellogg, assistant coach Kelly Roysland, associate head coach Curtis Loyd, assistant coach Ted Riverso, Mikayla Bailey and Sari Noga!

The players and coaches were all able to stop at their favorite food stands and enjoy their favorite State Fair food, with the squad making stops for bacon on a stick, turkey legs, fried pickles, Sweet Martha's Cookies and some Minnesota sweet corn.

Borton and Banham also had media obligations throughout the day. Below you will find a list of all of the stops that the duo made:

10:15 a.m. - Coach Borton appeared live on 1500 ESPN with Judd and Phun (Listen)

11:25 a.m. - Coach Borton appeared live on KARE11 Today (Watch)

11:30 a.m. - Gophers and Coach Borton appeared on stage at the U of M Building

1:15 p.m. - Rachel Banham appeared live on 1500 ESPN with Reusse and Mackey (Listen)

5:20 p.m. - Coach Borton appeared live on WCCO TV with Mark Rosen

 

25 Things You Don't Know About... Sari Noga

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Go Gophers! Sari Noga
Go Gophers!

Sari Noga enters her junior season as one of the Golden Gophers' top three-point shooting threats, as she connected on 21 of the three-point attempts last season. Her total ranked third on the squad last season and is second-best among Minnesota's returners. Here, the guard from Parkers Prairie, Minn., shares 25 things that Gopher fans may not know about her.

Go Gophers! Sari Noga
Go Gophers!

Go Gophers!
  1. I am not a fan of birds, specifically crows and pigeons
  2. My first car was a blue Volkswagen Beetle
  3. I can now drive a stick shift
  4. I like to go fishing, but will not touch the fish
  5. I am going to become a funeral director after college
  6. I often repeat stories to people without realizing it
  7. My favorite colors are pink and blue
  8. I was once the second tallest in my grade during elementary school
  9. I cry watching sad tv shows and movies
  10. My first job was waitressing in my hometown cafe
  11. I want to be able to travel to all 50 states before I die
  12. I am related to a famous Opera singer, Geraldine Farrar
  13. In my ancestry, one of my many times great grandmother's brother was an advisor to King Henry the VIII :)
  14. I am creeped by all kinds of insects
  15. I often repeat stories without realizing it ;)
  16. I am gullible
  17. My favorite Avenger is the HULK
  18. My favorite book is "Bridge to Terabithia"
  19. My favorite movie in the last few years is "Bridesmaids"
  20. I am a diehard GLEEK
  21. I actually wish I could sing like Rachel Berry (Lea Michele)
  22. I helped rescue and bring a rare dark morphed, red tailed hawk to the Raptor Center at the U of M
  23. I am often referred to as a "grandma driver"
  24. I do not like snakes one bit
  25. I love to travel, especially near an ocean

Help Send Jim Burns to Daytona

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VOTE FOR JIM HERE!!

Jim Burns, who has been the public address announcer for the University of Minnesota women's basketball team for the last 15 years, is one of five finalists competing for a chance to announce at Daytona International Speedway's inaugural UNOH Battle at the Beach on Feb. 18-19, and needs the help of Golden Gopher fans to help make his dream come true.

Burns, who is also the "Voice of Elko Speedway," made it to the final five and has the opportunity to earn a trip to Daytona Beach, Fla., to join the announcing team for the event. All he needs is your votes!

Fans can vote for Burns at daytonainternationalspeedway.com/announcer or by clicking here.

Voting will remain open until Sept. 30. The announcer who receives the most votes will be revealed at the NASCAR Home Tracks banquet in December. Let's send Jim to Daytona!!

Fun Day on the Course

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Go Gophers! Team at Hoops Scramble X
Go Gophers!
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I wasn't really sure what to expect this morning as I was driving down 35W toward Lakeville for the Hoops Scramble X at Crystal Lake Golf Club. I knew that the event was going to be a good time with great people, but what I wasn't expecting was how MUCH fun it was going to be.  

Between the players, coaching staff, Fast Break Club members, boosters and Gopher fans, it definitely seemed like everyone was enjoying a day on the links.

As golfers made their way to Hole #2, they were greeted by Katie Loberg, Rachel Banham, Kionna Kellogg, Micaella Riche and Mikayla Bailey, who were selling raffle tickets, autographing mini basketballs and mingling with whoever came by to visit them.

Steering their carts toward the pin, those same golfers were met by Leah Cotton, Sari Noga, Amber Dvorak and assistant coach Ted Riverso, who congratulated each player that managed to keep their drive on the green.

One of the best moments of the day was when each player took a turn trying to hit the ball off of the tee. Bailey's stroke was impressive... as for the rest? They have just a tad more work to do before joining the LPGA! However, they kept everyone entertained.  

As an obeserver, it is so refreshing to see how much the student-athletes appreciate the support that they receive from their fans. They truely enjoyed the time they were able to spend with them today, and I'm sure their supporters felt the same way.  

25 Things You Don't Know About...Mikayla Bailey

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Go Gophers! Mikayla Bailey
Go Gophers!

Mikayla Bailey is one of the newest additions to the 2012-13 Golden Gopher roster, and though we know that she led Osseo High School to the Class 4A State Championship Game last season and was the 2012 recipient of Osseo's Athena Award, the rookie shares 25 things fans may not know about her.

  1. My brother John is my best friend
  2. I love spending time with family
  3. I love to travel
  4. I want to sky dive with my father someday
  5. I am always laughing and joking around
  6. I have dog named Tanner
  7. I played soccer for five years in high school
  8. I pole vaulted in high school
  9. I love the ocean
  10. I love to rollerblade
  11. My favorite food is cereal
  12. I enjoy boxing
  13. My favorite TV programs are: The Ellen Show and The Bachelorette
  14. I love to fish
  15. I grew up without cable TV
  16. I like to listen to all kinds of music
  17. I love to go tubing on our boat
  18. I wish that I played volleyball in high school
  19. I loved playing AAU basketball for North Tartan
  20. I did Tae-Kwon-Do
  21. I love my bed
  22. My favorite book is Heaven is for Real
  23. My favorite movie is Miracle
  24. I love to shop for clothes and shoes
  25. I drive a 1990 Saab

25 Things You Don't Know About...Kionna Kellogg

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Go Gophers!
Go Gophers!

In just her sophomore season, Kionna Kellogg was a consistent presence in the frontcourt for the Golden Gophers last season. Kellogg averaged 5.2 rebounds per game, matching the second-best average on the team, while also posting a .455 field goal percentage. Now as an upperclassman, Kellogg looks to expand her role even further in 2012-13. Here, the forward from Ames, Iowa, shares 25 things that Gopher fans may not know about her. 

  1. My middle name is Elise
  2. I am young for my age
  3. I was born in Marshall, Minnesota
  4. My mom still cuts my steak
  5. I am scared of spiders
  6. I had to go to summer school in the second grade
  7. I actually like playing defense
  8. I love cheese (colby or cheddar)
  9. I am compulsive about my finger nails
  10. I have never been stung by a bee
  11. I am good at math, even though I don't like it
  12. I used to want to be a gymnast
  13. I can do a really good cartwheel and round off
  14. I haven't read a book for pleasure in over two years
  15. I like to paint
  16. I cannot sing to save my life
  17. I have to set four alarms to wake up in the morning
  18. I have bad dreams about being late for workouts
  19. I LOVE to watch the rain and I LOVE storms
  20. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up
  21. I love to drive
  22. I had a paper route
  23. I taught myself to swim
  24. I LOVE roller coasters
  25. Cold weather makes me grumpy

25 Things You Don't Know About...Kayla Hirt

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Go Gophers! Kayla Hirt
Go Gophers!

Redshirt freshman Kayla Hirt did not get the opportunity to hit the hardwood in 2011-12 after tearing her ACL in an early season practice, but the Gophers' forward is anxiously awaiting her opportunity to showcase her talent in 2012-13. Hirt has been diligent in her rehabilitation since having surgery in November, and anticipates being able to have an immediate impact for Minnesota in her rookie campaign. Here, the forward from Bemidji, Minn., shares 25 things that Gopher fans may not know about her.  

  1. I was born two months early
  2. I was three pounds, 15 ounces
  3. I was born in Fargo, N.D.
  4. When I was two, I had an absess infection in my hip, which forced me to quit walking and put me in the hospital for a couple of months
  5. I have more shoes then a person could ever wear
  6. I love piercings. I have 16
  7. My favorite show is Law and Order: Criminal Intent
  8. One thing i wish i could do is play the piano
  9. I want to buy a black Chrysler 300
  10. As I get older, I become more and more scared of being outside when it's dark
  11. My favorite movie is Love and Basketball
  12. My favorite tv show is One Tree Hill
  13. I love candy. I used to be so obsessed, that I would keep candy on the bench and eat it during time outs
  14. I love being able to express myself through the way I dress. How many people say they wear whatever they want, when they want to?
  15. I love math class
  16. I don't drink pop or eat fast food. This makes up for me eating candy. Ha
  17. I cut open my head one day when i was trying to dunk, because I hit my head on the rim
  18. I have tried just about every sport: soccer, volleyball, softball, track, hockey, football and, obviously, basketball
  19. I used to skateboard
  20. I love cell phones. I have had just about every type of cell phone. I love the change of having a new one
  21. I might be considered addicted to my cellphone :/
  22. I love photo design. If i ever get bored, I crop and customize pictures
  23. I am addicted to Applebee's boneless buffalo wings
  24. Something that drives me insane is when people's shoes dont match their outfits
  25. My favorite state is Arizona. I hope to move there when I get older. BEAUTIFUL!