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Eliason proving his worth as Gophers' captain

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There isn't an 'S' on his chest but Gophers junior center Elliott Eliason has earned a 'C' on his uniform, and he showed why he's a team captain with a 12-point, 13-rebound performance against Ohio State on Thursday.

Amelia Rayno called the 63-53 victory a "signature win," the first under head coach Richard Pitino.

Before the big win, Pitino decided to make Eliason the team's third captain.

"I was a little bit surprised, to be quite honest, but I was all smiles," Eliason told the Star Tribune. "I was so happy. I’ve heard so many congratulations from everyone. It’s been great ... It actually meant a lot to me, to have Coach Pitino come in and give me that honor. I didn’t expect it but it’s gratifying. You’re working every day. It’s great. I tried to have the mentality to try to lead a little bit more than normal."

Point guard DeAndre Mathieu referred to Eliason as a "monster" and the best big man in the Big Ten. Senior guard Austin Hollins called Eliason "one of the best big men in the nation," according to FOX Sports North.

In fairness, Eliason hasn't gone up against Michigan State's Adrian Payne or Michigan's Mitch McGary. Both were injured when Minnesota lost to both teams earlier this season, and both are considered two of the better power forward/centers in the country.

Eliason and the Gophers are off to a nice 3-2 start in conference play, but the schedule gets even tougher with games against No. 14 Iowa and No. 3 Wisconsin in the next week.

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