“We need him back. He’s extremely important to us. We’ll continue to rehab him, trainers do a great job with him. Hoping for Purdue, but I highly doubt it. We’ll see.
“We’re trying to keep him in shape, certainly doing a couple different things on the bike, got a good warm-up in today. You can’t understate how important he is to our team. We just need him back. It’s hard to score. We’ve got a good perimeter attack with him there, he has 16-17 points a game and we have to replace it somehow.”
Pitino said the Wildcats simply made more plays down the stretch.
“Certainly a disappointing one, but you’ve got to give them credit, they made big plays when they needed to and we did not,” he said. “Plenty of basketball to be played. This is a tough one, so we have to find a way to regroup with these guys and get them back feeling good about themselves and confident on Wednesday.”
• The Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year award was given to Eden Prairie coach Mike Grant. That’s just an indication of how highly this young man is rated as a coach all over the country. He has appeared in more football clinics than maybe any other high school coach.
• Kickoffs weren’t a part of the Pro Bowl, so Vikings rookie Cordarrelle Patterson didn’t get a chance to show his great ability in that part of the game. Patterson did return three punts but picked up only 1 yard on the three.
• The Gophers are expected to announce the names of six preferred walk-ons Wednesday when the names of the 2014 scholarship players are announced: Apple Valley defensive back Davis Anderson; Butler County (Kan.) Community College fullbacks Miles Thomas and Riley Ohafah; Perham long snapper Payton Jordahl; Roseville quarterback Jacques Perra; kicker Emmit Carpenter of Ashwaubenon (Wis.); and Brainerd punter Logan McElfresh.
• Dave Joerger, coach of the Memphis Grizzlies is a former resident of Staples where he played basketball for coach Lynn Peterson and then played basketball at Moorhead State. Joerger had a happy homecoming when the Grizzlies beat the Timberwolves at Target Center on Friday.
• In 1983, Mike Lynn, general manager of the Vikings, made a deal with the Houston Oilers that brought tight end Dave Casper and quarterback Archie Manning here. Well, Casper is in the news this week, returning here from Milwaukee to work for Northwest Mutual. Archie Manning, of course, is the father of Peyton.
• Former Vikings running backs coach James Saxon has officially joined the Steelers staff. Don’t be surprised if eventually defensive backs coach Joe Woods and defensive assistant Mike Singletary join him there.