This is Amelia Rayno's third season on the Gophers men's basketball beat. She learned college basketball in North Carolina (Go Tar Heels!), where fanhood is not an option. In 2010, she joined the Star Tribune after graduating from Boston's Emerson College, which sadly had no exciting D-I college hoops to latch onto. Amelia has also worked on the sports desk at the Boston Globe and interned at the Detroit News.

  Follow Rayno on Twitter @AmeliaRayno

Gophers postgame: Rick Pitino talks to Gophers team after Austin Hollins notches 1,000

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers coaches, Gophers players Updated: December 11, 2013 - 12:14 AM

Read my story on Austin Hollins' impressive night en route to eclipsing 1,000 career points here.

When Richard Pitino came out on the court before the Gophers' 75-59 win over South Dakota State, he noticed something a little more different than usual: hecklers.

It was his father, and two of his brothers, wrapped in maroon-and-gold scarves, there to surprise him.

"When I walked on the court and I saw [my dad] and I saw my idiot brother yelling at me or something, so I noticed all of them over there," the younger Pitino said with a smile. "It was great – a lot of fun ... I’m glad we got the win in front of him. I brag about this place so much that I wanted him to see it, so I’m happy he got a chance to come see it."

Pitino sat behind the bench with his son's wife, Jill, while the brothers sat one bleacher over. The father, who spoke to Big Ten Network at halftime, praising the Gophers program, visited Florida International for a couple of games last year. The veteran coach has a house in Miami.

"He looked good in maroon and gold," the son joked. "I think maybe if one of our guys gets a job, we’ll just slide him right in as an assistant coach. I did three years with him, he’s got to pay me back."

While he was in town, Pitino was able to witness a little bit of Gophers history -- with Austin Hollins reaching the 1,000-point plateau with an outstanding performance.

After the game, the Louisville coach -- who personally congratulated Hollins -- spoke to the team as a whole, his message echoing amongst the players.

"He told us we had the ability to be a Final Four team if we just think we’re a Final Four team," DeAndre Mathieu said. "Just go out there every day and get better on defense."

Asked whether he winced at his father pumping up the pressure on a rebuilding team with Final Four talk, the younger Pitino shrugged and noted he sees promise in the fundamental nature of the team, which is growing steadily.

"I think what he’s saying, and I said this to our team – two years ago when I was an assistant coach and we went to Final Four at Louisville, we started two walk-ons," Pitino said. "By no means am I saying we’re a Final Four team, but what we had on that team was great chemistry, great substance, we were very humble and we went on a run. If we don’t lose those things and obviously continue to get better, we could do the same. We’ve just got to believe it.

"I think one of the thing about our guys – and he said it to the team, the difference between our guys and his guys, they believe they’re all lottery picks and they believe they’re going to win the national championship. I’m not sure a guy in our locker room believes that just yet. But that comes with confidence, that comes with hard work, which we’re trying to build right now."

Other notes from tonight's win:

  • Austin Hollins' masterful 20-point, 14-rebound, three-assist, zero-turnover game got all the attention -- and rightfully so. The senior guard notched 1,000 career points in style. (Read all about it in my story above.) But Elliott Eliason quietly had a great game of his own, coming off an injured ankle and grabbing 12 rebounds to go with 10 points. Overall, the Gophers out-rebounded SDSU, 40-30.
  • The Gophers had a second consecutive slow start, before Hollins sparked the team. A lot of that, Pitino said, has had to do with the slower schedule. He doesn't appear to be concerned about a rising trend. "I think it’s situational," he said. "I think we’ve all looked at the calendar and we’re a little concerned with this time period – that’s just natural. We were playing in Maui, then we played Florida State at home. We knew we were going to come down from that a little bit. Their focus was really good this game. I don’t think they let up with their mentality at all.
  • One game after having a negative assist-to-turnover ratio (with 16 turnovers and 15 assists against New Orleans), the Gophers righted their ball handling, recording 21 assists to seven turnovers.
  • Andre Hollins was 13 shy of the 1,000 mark before the game and didn't quite make it, finishing with eight points. The guard is still searching for his shot right now. He heads into next Friday's game against Nebraska-Omaha five short of the milestone. He noted tonight, it would have been cool to do it heading into his 21st birthday, which is tomorrow.
  • Pitino said he plans to talk to his dad about Louisville eventually playing at Minnesota, saying it was something the elder Pitino was open to. He also joked "We can’t place twice in one year we can only play once, so we’re playing next year." The tentative plan is that the Gophers and Louisville will meet on a military base in Puerto Rico in November of 2014.
  • Mathieu on seeing the elder Pitino at the Barn: "It shocked me when he walked in, because he had on the maroon sweater and the scarf and everything. I was like Aw, man, that’s crazy. That’s really Rick Pitino in the building."


Denver 7:30 PM
Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Carolina 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Green Bay
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Denver 6:00 PM
Portland 7:00 PM
Utah 7:00 PM
Toronto 7:00 PM
Atlanta 7:30 PM
LA Clippers 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Sacramento 9:30 PM
Golden State
Ottawa 6:00 PM
Nashville 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Arizona 9:00 PM
San Jose 9:00 PM
Calgary 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Ark-Little Rock 64 FINAL
Bradley 54
Brown 67 FINAL
Central Conn St 55
Stetson 59 FINAL
Florida State 63
Ill-Chicago 46 FINAL
Northwestern 63
Ohio 49 FINAL
George Washington 77
Southern Utah 61 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 70
Elon 67 FINAL
Kennesaw St 65
Dartmouth 49 FINAL
Penn State 69
Green Bay 70 FINAL
UC Irvine 72
DePaul 58 2nd Half 3:51
Colorado 76
Lewis & Clark 39 2nd Half 6:04
Portland 67
SC State 30 2nd Half
Abilene Christian 23
Manhattan 22 1st Half 5:56
Fordham 21
Truett-McConnell 16 1st Half 7:10
Ga Southern 27
Citadel 22 1st Half 6:49
Michigan State 23
Miami-Ohio 14 1st Half 5:43
Ohio State 34
Gardner-Webb 22 1st Half 7:17
Purdue 29
Idaho 18 1st Half 7:57
Northern Ky 20
Fairfield 6:00 PM
North Dakota St 6:00 PM
Alcorn State
UT Martin 6:00 PM
SE Louisiana 6:00 PM
Oakland 6:00 PM
Florida A&M 6:00 PM
East Carolina
Eastern Ky 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
IUPU-Ft Wayne 6:00 PM
Illinois State
Norfolk State 6:00 PM
James Madison
Binghamton 6:00 PM
Mount St Marys
Towson 6:00 PM
Long Island 6:00 PM
New Hampshire
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Notre Dame
William & Mary 6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Liberty 6:00 PM
Delaware 6:00 PM
Robert Morris
MD-Eastern Shore 6:00 PM
St Bonaventure
Colgate 6:00 PM
Kansas 6:00 PM
Mercer 6:00 PM
East Tenn St 6:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
Va Military 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Bucknell 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Alabama A&M 6:00 PM
Western Mich
New Orleans 6:05 PM
Columbia 6:30 PM
Long Beach State 6:30 PM
St Johns
Wofford 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Southern U 7:00 PM
UAB 7:00 PM
Char Southern 7:00 PM
Colorado State
North Florida 7:00 PM
NC Central 7:00 PM
Jackson State
Rice 7:00 PM
Central Mich 7:00 PM
McNeese State
Coppin State 7:00 PM
Furman 7:00 PM
SE Missouri St 7:00 PM
Ole Miss
Weber State 7:00 PM
Grambling St 7:00 PM
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
Penn 7:00 PM
Chicago State 7:00 PM
SIU Edwardsville
Simpson 7:05 PM
Tenn Tech 7:05 PM
Murray State 7:05 PM
Southern Ill
Oral Roberts 7:05 PM
Missouri State
Jacksonville St 8:00 PM
Air Force
Milwaukee 8:00 PM
Wisconsin 8:00 PM
Coll of Charleston 8:00 PM
North Dakota 8:00 PM
Northern New Mexico 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
UC Santa Barbara 8:00 PM
Miami-Florida 8:00 PM
Northeastern 8:00 PM
St Marys-CA
Kent State 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
UC Davis 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
Lewis-Clark State 8:05 PM
Eastern Wash
Walla Walla 8:05 PM
Portland State
TX A&M-CC 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Marshall 9:00 PM
Boise State 9:30 PM
UC Riverside 10:00 PM
San Diego St
Tulane 10:00 PM
Loyola Marymount 10:00 PM
Wichita State
Nebraska 12/23/14 12:00 AM
Memphis 55
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
UMass Lowell 63 FINAL
Holy Cross 78
Temple 59 FINAL
Villanova 64
Georgia Southern 68 FINAL
Southern U 52
Xavier 60 FINAL
Kennesaw St 61
Eastern Michigan 52 FINAL
Michigan 81
Brescia 56 FINAL
Marshall 127
(21) West Virginia 54 FINAL
Ohio State 96
MD-Eastern Shore 78
Cornell 79 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 61
St Bonaventure 70 FINAL
Georgetown 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Northeastern 62
Eastern Washington 67 FINAL
Florida 56
Rice 63 FINAL
Texas Southern 69
Butler 72 FINAL
Illinois State 60
UC Davis 53 2nd Half 3:15
(16) Stanford 65
Washington St 73 2nd Half 5:49
Loyola Marymount 46
Sacramento St 65 2nd Half 11:21
San Jose St 68
SIU-Edwardsville 34 2nd Half
Oakland 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Belmont 6:00 PM
(14) Georgia
George Mason 6:00 PM
Kansas 6:05 PM
Abilene Christian 7:00 PM
Kansas State
UT Martin 7:00 PM
Hampton 7:00 PM
Florida State 7:00 PM
Murray State 7:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast 7:05 PM
Arkansas State
BYU 8:00 PM
Utah State


question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Twins off-season moves so far?

Weekly Question





Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters