Chip Scoggins is a Star Tribune sports columnist. He previously covered the Minnesota Vikings for four years, starting in 2008. In addition, he covered college football for five years. Chip has been with the Star Tribune since January 2000. He can be followed on twitter at @chipscoggins.

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Pitino on Coleman: I wanted him to stay

Posted by: Chip Scoggins Updated: May 16, 2013 - 1:51 PM
REDWOOD FALLS -- Gophers basketball coach Richard Pitino spoke at an event here today as part of the athletic department's 16-stop road trip around the state.
 
Pitino touched on a number of topics, including news that junior guard Joe Coleman received a release from his scholarship so that he can transfer.
 
Pitino said he met with Coleman a few days ago and indicated that Coleman had been considering transferring for a few weeks.
 
"Joe is a great kid," Pitino said. "I didn’t want him to leave. I wanted him to stay. I thought he would have been a nice piece to what we’re doing. But I think Joe had thought about it over the last couple of weeks about potentially getting a change in scenery. I wish him nothing but the best. He’s a really good kid. He deserves a lot of success."
 
 Here is Pitino on a few of his players, including a few one-liners that he delivered to the estimated crowd of 400 who attended the luncheon:
 
-- On juco point guard Dre Mathieu: "He’s about as quick of a guard as you’re going to see in the Big Ten. He’s lightning fast. He’s probably only 5-10 but he can windmill dunk and do some things that are unbelievable. He’ll be fun to watch."
 
-- On center Elliott Eliason: "He won’t be able to play until he beats me in a pushup competition. We’ve got to get him in shape, but I actually do think that he’s going to have a great year. I believe it and he needs to believe it. Once he gets in great shape, he’s going to be a difference-maker for us."
 
-- On center Mo Walker: "He’s lost 20 pounds, which is great. The old expression, that’s a deck chair off the Titanic as they say. He’s got to lose about 40 more and he will. He’s been awesome. He’s been committed. He’s staying here [this summer] instead of going home, which shows a lot about him. He wants to do it. He’s changed his diet."
 
-- On redshirt freshman Charles Buggs: "He could be the guy who makes the biggest jump." 
 
 
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