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Continued: Reusse: Track and field now, more basketball later for Gophers' Ellenson

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 23, 2013 - 12:05 PM

“He’s a good person,” Ellenson said. “As a coach, he’s demanding and taught me there’s a lot more to the college game than shooting the ball. I don’t have bad feelings, but there’s no doubt, this coaching change is going to be good for me as a player.

“[Pitino’s] style fits me, without a doubt. I’m better when a team is playing fast.”

Ellenson sees himself as a jump shooter and finisher on the break. He’ll also have to show the ability to play pressure defense to earn big minutes, if Pitino’s vision of what he wants in the Gophers actually comes to fruition.

The departure of Joe Coleman should provide more opportunity for Ellenson to start at small forward or as a third guard. Did Coleman’s decision to transfer come as a surprise?

“No … you’re on a team, you hear how players feel about a situation,” Ellenson said.

For now, Ellenson’s team is track and field, where there aren’t minutes to worry about … only the bar that menaces in front of you.

“One goal is to finish in the top 12 and qualify for the NCAA meet next month in [Eugene] Oregon,” Ellenson said. “What I’d really like, though, is to clear 7-foot-3 before this season is over.”

 

Patrick Reusse can be heard 3-6 p.m. weekdays at AM-1500. preusse@startribune.com



 

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  • Wally Ellenson played only 48 minutes for the Gophers basketball team as a freshman. He thinks new coach Richard Pitino will be good for his development.

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