Pitino hopes to build on successful first season at Minnesota

For the first time in four years, Richard Pitino won’t be moving in the offseason.

Pitino recently had one-year stints with Louisville as an associate head coach and with Florida International as head coach, but now Pitino will get a chance to savor a NIT championship season in his second year with the Gophers men’s basketball team.

“I’m excited about now, this summer, I don’t need to install my offensive or defensive system,” Pitino said Wednesday. “Now we can really just work on their games. So we can approach this so different than we did last season, which is great for everybody.”

Pitino deemed last year as a success season and a necessary step to build a solid foundation for the program.

“There’s a lot to be excited about,” he said, “there’s a lot to sell in recruiting now, and there’s a lot for Gophers fans to be excited about over the summer and moving into next year.”

The Gophers have already signed three players for next season — Josh Martin, Nate Mason and Carlos Morris — but Pitino still has three scholarships. He isn’t sure how he’ll use the remaining scholarships, but Pitino doesn’t plan to give those spots away if he can’t find the right players.

“That’s hard to say; we’ve got to find the best fit,” Pitino said. “We found DeAndre Mathieu in April. We found Joey King in April, Malik [Smith] even, I was coaching him last year. But there’s always opportunities to add good pieces to the puzzle, so we’ll keep every option open and we’re still very much actively recruiting for that late signing period.”

Pitino said he doesn’t think it’s necessary to go the junior college route like he did with Morris, who played at Chipola College in Marianna, Fla. Pitino believed Morris’ signing was critical with the loss of senior forward Austin Hollins. It would have left freshman Daquein McNeil as the only small forward on the roster.

“Certainly we could play small if we had to, but Squirrel was that necessary right-away guy,” Pitino said. “Other than that I don’t think it’s necessary, because we’ve got two senior centers [Elliott Eliason and Maurice Walker].

 

Dre Hollins update

While junior guard Andre Hollins missed only two games due to an ankle injury, Pitino never thought Hollins was fully healthy the rest of the season.

He hurt his left ankle 16 seconds into the Gophers’ 81-68 victory over Wisconsin on Jan. 22 and returned two weeks later against Purdue. Hollins shot 41.3 percent from the floor before the injury and 34.7 percent after.

Along with the ankle, Pitino said Hollins, who averaged 13.6 points and 3.5 rebounds, has bad hips and will likely get checked out so he can be ready physically next season.

“When he gets right physically then mentally he’s going to feel better,” Pitino said. “I think that was his biggest thing more than anything and maybe we’ll check in this week with the doctors to see if the hip is an issue and go from there. I don’t worry about him moving forward. I think he’s going to have a huge senior year.”

  • related content

  • Pitino

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 0 Bottom 1st Inning
St. Louis 0
Washington 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Atlanta 0
Miami 1 Bottom 1st Inning
Boston 0
Minnesota 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Tampa Bay 0
NY Yankees 0 Top 2nd Inning
Philadelphia 0
Baltimore 0 Delayed
Toronto 0
Detroit 0 Top 2nd Inning
NY Mets 0
Cincinnati 2:05 PM
Chicago Cubs
Los Angeles 2:05 PM
Milwaukee
San Francisco 2:05 PM
Texas
Chicago WSox 2:05 PM
San Diego
Kansas City 2:05 PM
Cleveland
Seattle 2:05 PM
Los Angeles
Colorado 2:10 PM
LA Angels
Oakland 2:10 PM
Arizona
Pittsburgh 6:05 PM
NY Yankees
Chicago 6:00 PM
Indiana
Sacramento 6:00 PM
Orlando
Utah 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Miami 6:00 PM
Washington
Toronto 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Cleveland 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Boston 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Detroit 7:00 PM
Houston
LA Lakers 7:00 PM
Memphis
Phoenix 7:00 PM
Brooklyn
Denver 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Dallas 9:30 PM
Golden State
Columbus 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Minnesota 6:00 PM
Carolina
Buffalo 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 6:30 PM
Detroit
Edmonton 7:30 PM
Chicago
Pittsburgh 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Longwood 46 2nd Half 8:54
Char Southern 36
Ark-Pine Bluff 60 2nd Half 12:56
Miss Valley St 44
Southern Ill 8 1st Half 12:12
Wichita State 6
Winthrop 1:00 PM
Radford
Evansville 2:35 PM
Illinois State
Towson 5:00 PM
Elon
Gardner-Webb 5:00 PM
High Point
Samford 5:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Ball State
Bowling Green 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Brown 6:00 PM
Dartmouth
Toledo 6:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Akron 6:00 PM
Kent State
Ill-Chicago 6:00 PM
Oakland
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Ohio
Columbia 6:00 PM
Penn
Cornell 6:00 PM
Princeton
Central Mich 6:00 PM
Western Mich
Bradley 6:05 PM
Northern Iowa
Morehead State 6:30 PM
Murray State
UNC-Asheville 7:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Yale 7:00 PM
Harvard
Furman 7:30 PM
Citadel
Coll of Charleston 7:30 PM
Drexel
Texas Tech 8:00 PM
Baylor
Pacific 8:00 PM
San Francisco
Detroit 8:30 PM
Cleveland State
Belmont 8:30 PM
Eastern Ky
Loyola-Chicago 8:35 PM
Indiana State
Loyola Marymount 10:30 PM
Santa Clara
Chicago 9:00 PM
Los Angeles
Saint Louis 63 FINAL
(21) George Washington 77
Wake Forest 68 FINAL
(16) Duke 77
Furman 55 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 68
Monmouth 43 2nd Half 11:14
Quinnipiac 60
Michigan State 24 2nd Half
(4) Maryland 33
Belmont 24 1st Half 7:51
UT Martin 24
Arkansas 7 1st Half 11:42
(3) South Carolina 17
Mercer 12:30 PM
East Tenn St
Richmond 1:00 PM
Fordham
Miami-Florida 1:00 PM
(2) Notre Dame
Siena 1:30 PM
Iona
Washington St 1:30 PM
(9) Arizona State
Ark-Pine Bluff 1:30 PM
Miss Valley St
(23) Rutgers 1:55 PM
(24) Northwestern
Tennessee St 2:00 PM
SIU-Edwardsville
Loyola Marymount 2:00 PM
Gonzaga
(18) Texas A&M 2:25 PM
LSU
Cincinnati 3:00 PM
UCF
Saint Josephs 3:30 PM
Dayton
UCLA 4:00 PM
(19) Stanford
Santa Clara 4:30 PM
San Diego
Virginia Tech 5:00 PM
(7) Florida State
SMU 5:00 PM
Memphis
Lehigh 5:05 PM
Holy Cross
Rhode Island 6:00 PM
Duquesne
North Florida 6:00 PM
(20) Fla Gulf Coast
Kennesaw St 6:00 PM
Jacksonville
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Lipscomb 6:00 PM
Stetson
Nebraska 6:00 PM
(14) Iowa
Saint Peters 6:00 PM
Marist
Navy 6:00 PM
Bucknell
Lafayette 6:00 PM
American Univ
Colgate 6:00 PM
Army
Georgia 6:00 PM
(5) Tennessee
Dartmouth 6:00 PM
Brown
Penn 6:00 PM
Columbia
(13) Princeton 6:00 PM
Cornell
Kansas 6:00 PM
Kansas State
Harvard 6:00 PM
Yale
(15) North Carolina 7:00 PM
(10) Louisville
San Jose St 7:00 PM
UNLV
Houston 7:00 PM
Tulane
Utah State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Colorado 8:00 PM
(8) Oregon State
New Mexico 8:00 PM
Wyoming
Minnesota 8:25 PM
Ohio State
(12) Kentucky 8:25 PM
(11) Miss State
San Diego State 8:30 PM
Nevada
Niagara 8:30 PM
Fairfield
Texas Tech 8:30 PM
West Virginia
Boise State 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Washington 10:30 PM
California

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question

Countdown to great deals

Bid March 15-23

    ADVERTISEMENT

    ADVERTISEMENT

    ADVERTISEMENT

    ADVERTISEMENT

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

    ADVERTISEMENT

     
    Close