Up-tempo? Gophers' Mathieu knows no other way on the court

  • Article by: AMELIA RAYNO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 19, 2013 - 12:21 AM

Newcomer Deandre Mathieu dazzled at a scrimmage with 26 points.

view larger photos

  

 

If the Gophers scrimmage on Friday night was any indication, newcomer Deandre Mathieu is very comfortable in the new up-tempo system under coach Richard Pitino.

The lightning-fast JUCO guard flew up and down the court, showed plenty of energy on defense and exploded for a game-high 26 points with three steals, even as his Gold team lost to Maroon 61-53.

“I guess playing fast is me,” Mathieu said after the “Raise the Barn — First Look Scrimmage” event at Williams Arena. “As a little guy, I have no choice but to be high energy. If I’m slow and I’m small, I have no chance.”

Although there are three more weeks until the season officially tips off, there is a chance Mathieu could earn himself a starting spot. Pitino said Friday he was considering the 5-9 point guard as a starter — although the competition is wide open right now. Fellow guards Andre Hollins and Maverick Ahanmisi could also play the point, or they could slide in at other guard spots.

Austin Hollins is expected to get a starting spot, and Pitino also listed Malik Smith, Joey King, Oto Osenieks, Elliott Eliason and Mo Walker as players who could wind up as starters.

“He’s really good,” Pitino said of Mathieu. “He’s one of those guys where when we saw him play when we got the job, we thought he really fit the way we like to play — so quick, he’s so aggressive. … He’s going to be a major part of what we want to do.”

Friday, he stole the show, zipping around defender Andre Hollins and making eight of 11 shots from the field and five of six free throws. His tireless speed and nifty shots had the small crowd at the Barn swooning.

“He showed us some stuff tonight that we hadn’t seen in practice,” Hollins said, grinning widely. “I guess he saved it in his pocket for everyone else to see. … I’m shooting myself in the foot with that one, because I was guarding him. So I guess I have to pick my defense up a little more.”

Go fast, but be in control

Before the game, Pitino wrote a ratio on the board in the locker room: 2-to-1.

It was a mark he wanted the teams’ assists to turnovers to come close to matching.

It appears the Gophers have a lot of work to do in that area. The Maroon team was slightly heavier on the turnovers (18) than assists (15), while Gold more than flipped the ideal ratio, collecting only five assists to 17 turnovers.

The fast-paced, run-and-gun game Pitino brings to Minnesota makes an existing ballhandling problem potentially more concerning in the short term, an area he’s concentrating on in practice.

“It’s a little bit of really good defense, but it’s also a little bit of just not taking care of the basketball,” Pitino said.

Defensive whiz

Andre Hollins, considered by many to be the face of the Gophers, had a quiet night offensively, but it was his defensive presence, not his point total, that had Pitino raving.

The guard had five steals in 28 minutes to help contribute to Gold’s 17 turnovers.

  • related content

  • Rayno: Gophers scrimmage showcases energy

    Friday October 18, 2013

    Deandre Mathieu and Oto Osenieks starred on Friday night at Williams Arena, but there is a long ways to go before the season starts.

  • Guards Deandre Mathieu (in gold) and Andre Hollins scrambled for a loose ball during the Gophers’ “Raise the Barn” scrimmage Friday.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Fla Southern 2 FINAL
Detroit 12
FIU 2 FINAL
Miami 7
Toronto 4 1st Qtr 9:30
Philadelphia 2
Golden State 6:30 PM
Brooklyn
Phoenix 6:30 PM
Miami
LA Clippers 7:00 PM
Minnesota
New Orleans 7:30 PM
Dallas
Nashville 0 1st Prd 17:10
NY Rangers 0
Carolina 7:30 PM
Chicago
Montreal 9:00 PM
San Jose
Virginia 0 1st Half 13:43
Syracuse 6
Baylor 9 1st Half 12:36
Texas 8
Hampton 6:30 PM
Delaware State
Norfolk State 6:30 PM
Howard
Bethune-Cookman 6:30 PM
NC A&T
SE Louisiana 6:30 PM
Northwestern St
Central Arkansas 6:30 PM
Sam Houston St
Lamar 7:00 PM
McNeese State
Nicholls 7:00 PM
New Orleans
NC Central 7:00 PM
Savannah State
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
Texas Southern 7:30 PM
Alabama A&M
Prairie View 7:30 PM
Alabama State
Jackson State 7:30 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Oklahoma 8:00 PM
Iowa State
Grambling St 8:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Boston College 8:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Bethune-Cookman 54 2nd Half 3:21
NC A&T 55
Hampton 76 2nd Half 1:26
Delaware State 58
Norfolk State 57 2nd Half 1:20
Howard 49
NC Central 26 2nd Half 18:44
Savannah State 41
Texas Southern 42 1st Half 1:40
Alabama A&M 26
Prairie View 16 1st Half 3:14
Alabama State 22
Jackson State 20 1st Half 6:36
Ark-Pine Bluff 23
Grambling 18 1st Half 3:40
Miss Valley St 31
Tulsa 6 1st Half 13:56
Cincinnati 4
(1) Connecticut 17 1st Half 13:50
South Florida 10
UCF 8 1st Half 16:26
East Carolina 11
Central Conn St 0 1st Half 19:38
Bryant 0
Wagner 2 1st Half 17:31
Robert Morris 7
Sacred Heart 9 1st Half 15:50
Fairleigh Dickinson 10
St Francis-NY 13 1st Half 14:20
Long Island 6
Mount St Marys 12 1st Half 15:07
St Francis-PA 17
Temple 7:00 PM
Houston
Texas Tech 7:00 PM
(6) Baylor
Iowa State 7:00 PM
Kansas
SMU 7:00 PM
Memphis
Oklahoma 7:00 PM
Oklahoma St
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is the best center on a Twin Cities sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close