Gophers men's basketball coach Richard Pitino had a hard time during his first season fielding the question of whether his team was living up to his expectations. Every time the question popped up, he didn't exactly avoid it, but it seemed as though he was so focused on the process that it was simply difficult to assess.
Now that the season is over, however, Pitino seems to have reflected on the notion of expectations in a couple of different ways -- addressing, in an end-of-year blog post, this past season and the one coming up.
Writes Pitino about expectations in his first season: "Did this year meet expectations? That is the most commonly asked question that I have received since our NIT championship. The answer would be 100 percent yes. As a coach your hope is that your guys compete and get better every day. I can honestly say 99 percent of our practices and individual instruction sessions were a success. The guys brought it every day and that's all you can ask."
And for next year? "Next year will be met with much higher expectations certainly than this year. Our guys will have to be prepared to be the hunted instead of the hunter. That won't be easy. We will need the Barn to be the toughest place to play in the country! As crazy as it sounds next year's schedule will be more difficult than this year's top ten strength of schedule. We will have to be ready to compete every night!"
Pitino also doles out some team awards in the post, so please have a look-see at the entire thing.