• Former Timberwolves coach Tom Thiobdeau was on ESPN this past week and was asked if he would have done anything differently here. "There really aren't any regrets," he said. "I never fooled myself when I took the job initially. It was a 29-win team and so we knew we had to make changes. When we had the opportunity to get Jimmy [Butler], you're talking about a top-10 player in the league. We knew there were risks involved with it, but we were glad we did it."
• One reason the Vikings might have a hard time signing their key free agents is Pro Football Focus rates Sheldon Richardson as the third-best available defensive lineman and Anthony Barr third among linebackers. PFF doesn't have running back Latavius Murray in the top 10 among available running backs, but former Vikings star Adrian Peterson is rated No. 7.
• Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski had high praise last year for tight ends coach Todd Downing, who joined the team after spending 2017 as the Raiders offensive coordinator. Now Downing has moved on to the Titans, while the Vikings hired Brian Pariani to replace him.
• Former Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo will take over a Jaguars offense that scored only two TDs over its final five games. ESPN noted a big challenge for him is that Jacksonville has no starting quarterback, as the team is moving on from Blake Bortles.
• Former Apple Valley standout Tre Jones has averaged 10.4 points, 5.2 assists and 4.6 rebounds for No. 2 Duke in five games since returning from a shoulder injury. He had 13 points, seven assists and five rebounds in a 81-71 victory at No. 3 Virginia on Saturday night.
• It's hard to believe that the list of the top-20 finalists for the John Wooden Award didn't include Gophers forward Jordan Murphy. He entered Saturday second in the NCAA in double-doubles and fourth overall in rebounds per game.