Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.

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Gophers win a big one

Posted by: Jim Souhan under Gophers coaches, Gophers players, Williams Arena Updated: December 3, 2013 - 11:42 PM

For my column in the Wednesday Star Tribune, I wrote about how impressed I am with Richard Pitino so far as the Gophers.

Here's a stat I didn't get to in the column that demonstrates how well-coached the Gophers are.

Against a quality team with superior size and athletic ability, the Gophers had more steals (8) than turnovers (6.)

That's hard to do in any game. It's really hard when you play an up-tempo style against a quicker team. Florida State had two steals and 17 turnovers, facing Pitino's multiple full-court and half-court defenses.

Andre Hollins had an interesting night. He scored 21 points, all on three-pointers and free throws. Because the long two-point shot is the least-efficient shot in basketball, that's a good sign. The Gophers need to make three-pointers and draw fouls to be effective. Hollins has already adapted.

In fact, 59 of the Gophers' 71 points came on three-pointers and free throws. Part of that was due to the whistle-happy refs, who did what they could to ruin the entertainment value of the game. But it's also by design.

Pitino is a sharp coach, and he has smart players to work with. This will be an interesting season.

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I'll be on 1500ESPN at noon tomorrow with Judd&Dubay. I'll be on WJON in St. Cloud at 7:15 a.m. My Twitter handle is @Souhanstrib.

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