With his team 2-7 in the Big Ten -- on pace to win half the conference games a year ago -- coach Richard Pitino has gone a step further in trying to help block his players from the inevitable negativity that has followed the rocky first half of league play:

He's banning his players from Twitter. 

"We're going to do that," he said on Friday. "We discussed that today ... it's not so much that our fans are negative, that's not the point. The point is just to block out all the noise. They don't need to be dealing with it, it's not fair to them."

Other coaches around the nation have been known to nix the popular social media forum in their locker rooms, particularly in season -- including Pitino's dad, Rick Pitino at Louisville, according to Louisville Courier-Journal reporter Jeff Greer.

In the Big Ten, Fran McCaffery banned his players last year, in the last month of the season, when Iowa lost seven of its last eight games, including the postseason -- Cedar Rapids Gazette reporter Scott Dochterman tweeted. Likewise, Matt Painter bans Purdue players in season, Lafayette Journal and Courier reporter Nathan Baird said.

"It's about the team and what really matters is what we think of each other," senior guard Andre Hollins said. "We're all confident in each other, we talk to each other and I think we've gotten closer as the year has gone on. So all the other outside things don't matter."

Pitino didn't mention other social media forums.

"He didn't say anything about Instagram, so I think Instagram is safe," said senior guard DeAndre Mathieu -- who noted that he doesn't tweet nearly as much as he used to. "And I think Facebook is safe."

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