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BTN Tour Mailbag: Gophers & much more

Throughout the seasons, I answer your Big Ten football and basketball questions in my Big Ten Mailbag. During the BTN summer bus tour, I’m fielding questions from every stop along our 3,000-plus mile trek across Big Ten country. We saw the Gophers practice Saturday, and Minnesota fans sent me some questions. We’ll be at Wisconsin practice Monday, and here’s what I want to see from the Badgers. If you have a question, send it to me in the box at the bottom of this post or tweet it to me (@BTNTomDienhart).

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DiNardo: Minnesota football practice tweets

The BTN bus tour hit Minneapolis on Saturday, and that means it’s time for analyst Gerry DiNardo’s post-practice tweets – a feature he’ll provide after all 12 stops across Big Ten country. Did you miss our Minnesota Preview Show on Sunday night? Watch it on BTN2Go. And on Monday, we’re headed to Wisconsin practice. Get BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart’s Wisconsin practice preview.

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Dienhart: Things I learned at Minnesota

Anytime you watch Minnesota, you can’t help but focus on quarterback MarQueis Gray. At 6-4, 250 pounds, Gray looked like a linebacker or defensive end when I stood by him at practice. He’s a physical beast. But he also has made some great strides as a passer, which were apparent in the practice we watched. Quarterbacks coach Jim Zebrowski told me things are slowing down for Gray in his second season in the scheme. You could sense a maturity and confidence about Gray as he worked out. He’s older and wiser—and it showed today.

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Dienhart: Getting ready to see the Gophers

The BTN tour bus stops at Minnesota next. And there will be a lot to watch at Saturday afternoon’s practice in Minneapolis at the Gibson Nagurski Football Complex. The Minnesota Preview Show will air at 10 p.m. ET Sunday. Jerry Kill’s second team has lots of questions. On offense, I will watch to see how quarterback MarQueis Gray is passing the ball. He hit just 50.7 percent of his passes last year. That must improve, while also maintaining his vast running skills.

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Cox Communications to Launch BTN in California

CHICAGO and SAN DIEGO – Cox Communications and Big Ten Network announced Thursday that it will add BTN to Cox’s lineup in Orange County, Palos Verdes, San Diego and Santa Barbara on Aug. 15, 2012. BTN is the first internationally distributed network dedicated to covering one of the premiere collegiate conferences in the country.

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