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Continued: DeAndre Mathieu: A prayer for Tookie

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 24, 2013 - 7:45 AM

So how did he get from there to Minnesota?

Mathieu returned to finish his season at Morehead. But he decided to leave when he wasn’t offered a scholarship he felt he earned. So he went to Central Arizona College, averaging 17.1 points, 6.5 assists and 6.1 rebounds and being named a NJCAA first-team All-America. Frankly, he said, he wanted to get as far away as he could get.

But even in Arizona, there were problems.

Mathieu had kept texts he had exchanged with Stanford in the days preceding his death. He only recently let those go. At one point he got counseling. “The first few months, I used to dream every night he was there,” Mathieu said. “It was scary. It was eating me up.”

But with time, and with distance, Mathieu learned to cope.

After a very strong year in Arizona, sold on Pitino’s style, Mathieu moved north. And, so far, he has loved it.

“He made himself into one of the better points guards in the country,” Pitino said. “It just shows you how much character he has, how hard he worked.”

Starting at point guard, Mathieu has averaged 9.6 points, 5.6 assists, and one prayer per game.

“I just try to think about him, try to be the best I can be, try to be happy,” Mathieu said. “So, if he’s watching me, he’s happy, too.”

 

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  • DeAndre Mathieu has been a perfect fit for coach Richard Pitino’s system. He is quick and fearless going to the basket.

  • Gophers basketball DeAndre Mathieu‚Äôs on his left arm, a tattoo of a basketball jersey, the number 33 with Stanford‚Äôs name. Angels wings on the side, a halo on top. Boyhood friend from Knoxville who took his own life after a series of tragedies.

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