Coach Tubby Smith said on Friday that he’s given the team some valuable time off heading into Saturday’s game against North Florida after a long road trip to the Bahamas and Tallahassee.

The team took off Wednesday and yesterday’s practice was shortened, opting instead for a long film session. On the court, though, Smith said he hasn’t been letting up at all.

“I’m one of those coaches that believes you’ve got to work when you’re out here and then you get plenty of time to rest.”

Players were hanging around after practice to put up extra shots on Friday. Smith said with this bunch, emphasizing an even-keeled attitude after such a positive stretch isn’t necessary.

“They’ve been in the program long enough to know you can’t get too high,” Smith said. “You’re never as good as you think you are, as your parents tell you you are and you’re not as bad as you think you are or as coach Smith tells you you are. You’re somewhere in between. So you’ve got to keep that balance. It’s a real fine line between being confident and cocky. We like to think we’re playing with confidence and are grateful that they get a chance to come out here and play basketball every day.”

• Wally Ellenson recently had his cast taken off his left hand – which he broke before the season started – Smith said. “He still has some protection on his hand and the doctors want to make sure he’s completely healed,” Smith said

The freshman has been participating in all of the team’s shooting drills, but hasn’t been in any contact situations to this point. Smith said the team would evaluate how Ellenson comes along in the coming week or so before deciding whether the guard would redshirt. The Gophers have already made the decision to redshirt their other freshman, forward Charles Buggs.

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