Gophers basketball coach Richard Pitino and guard Nate Mason earned All-District honors Wednesday from the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
Pitino, who coached Minnesota to a 16-win improvement from last year, was named District 7 Coach of the Year. Mason, a junior captain and All-Big Ten first team performer, was selected to the All-District 7 second team.
In his fourth season, Pitino led the Gophers to a 24-10 record (11-7 in the Big Ten) and first trip to the NCAA tournament in four years. They earned a No. 5 seed before falling to No. 12 seed Middle Tennessee in Milwaukee. Pitino was named Big Ten Coach of the Year.
Mason led the Gophers in scoring (15.2 points), assists (5.0), steals (1.4), free throw percentage (80.8) and minutes played (34.5) this season. He was the first Gopher to be named NABC All-District since Trevor Mbakwe in 2013. The Georgia native is the first player in school history with 500 points and 100 assists in the same season.
District 7 First Team: Melo Trimble, Maryland; Caleb Swanigan, Purdue; Ethan Happ, Wisconsin; Peter Jok, Iowa; Miles Bridges, Michigan State
Second Team: Nate Mason, Minnesota; Derrick Walton, Jr.; Michigan Bryant McIntosh, Northwestern; Tai Webster, Nebraska; Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin