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Rayno: Ellenson is available but no guarantee he'll play against Montana

  • Blog Post by: Amelia Rayno
  • November 11, 2013 - 4:40 PM

Gophers coach Richard Pitino said he didn't yet know whether he will play wing Wally Ellenson in Tuesday's game against Montana, the second game of the season.

Ellenson did not play at all in Friday's opener due to a disagreement between coach and player, according to his father, John Ellenson. Pitino said after Friday's game that Ellenson was available and denied that there was any verbal dispute between the two.

Monday, he said again that Ellenson is available, but kept his answer general.

"Like I said before, he was available last game and didn’t play," Pitino said. "Daquein McNeil didn’t play and Charles Buggs hardly played. I don’t script out who I’m going to play before every game. We just adjust and we go from there."

Mo Walker will be out once more after being suspended for six games for violating university policy before Friday's game.

Other notes on today's access:

  • Pitino said he probably won't start Joey King in place of Oto Osenieks tomorrow despite the sophomore forward's dominance on Friday. "When we talk about starters, a lot of it factors into which guy is better off the bench," he said. "Which guy does it mean more to? And for us, it’s so much more important who’s playing the most minutes. I like having Joey’s energy coming off the bench. I know he really doesn’t care. When Oto, I’m not sure if he care either, maybe he cares a little bit more." Though he came off the bench on Friday, King ultimately played 27 minutes to Osenieks' 17.
  • It's very early. But right now, Pitino noted that despite the NCAA's new fouling rules, he hasn't felt disrupted by the officials' calls. "I watched Seton Hall the other day, just because I’m friends with the coach [Kevin Williard] and there were like 79 fouls," he said. "It was ridiculous. But then, I watched our game and I didn’t think the referees were disruptive at all throughout the flow of the game. So it may just depend on the referees."
  • Andre Hollins said he wasn't going to dunk anymore. But then he came out in the first half on Friday and up he goes. "Surprise, surprise," he said with a grin. "I was just feeling good, got a breakaway."
  • Deandre Mathieu had tape over a cut just above his left eye, an injury sustained from diving after a loose ball on Friday.
  • Mathieu on the differences between junior college and Division I that he has noticed so far. "I think it’s the size. In junior college, you’re not going against guys like Elliott – 6-11, 7-foot. The biggest guys I played against in junior college were like 6-8,6-9. And the game moves a lot faster. Plus you get media timeouts which is like the best thing to ever happen if you’re coming from junior college ...I got my shot blocked twice last game which was not really because of the size, it was just some bad shots. Getting to the rim is kind of the same. I always had to kind of play in the  trees at my height -- which is 5-11, for the record. You have to learn how to score somehow."
  • Tomorrow's game tips off at 7 p.m. at Williams Arena.

     

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