Good basketball, good fortune and a good schedule allowed Timberwolves assistants Rick Brunson and Ed Pinckney to be in San Antonio for the NCAA men’s championship game Monday night, where Villanova cruised to its second title in three seasons.
Pinckney is a Villanova graduate who was the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player when the school won the title in 1985. Brunson’s son, Jalen Brunson, is the national player of the year as an All-America Wildcats guard. Both Wolves coaches were able to fly down because of the break the Wolves had between Sunday’s home loss to Utah and Thursday’s game in Denver. The two went to the game, then returned on an early flight and were at Wolves practice Tuesday.
“It was fun,” Pinckney said. “I’ve actually been living through it with Coach Brunson all year long. It’s been so fun to watch his son grow up as a player, and to see [Wildcats coach] Jay Wright mold Villanova basketball into what it is today.”
Jalen Brunson has won two titles with the Wildcats.
Pinckney was asked if, with the school’s current success, the upset of Georgetown will be remembered.
“Listen. I’m happy for this year’s team,” he said. “If they can keep on winning I don’t care who they remember.”
How about a repeat? Brunson and Pinckney would have an easier time, with the Final Four being played here. Can ’Nova repeat? “I would say yeah,” Pinckney said. “But I don’t want to put that pressure on them.”
• Guard Jeff Teague was able to do some things in practice. But his sore knee kept him out of contact drills. Teague missed Sunday’s game.
• Derrick Rose, back from an ankle injury, was a full go at Tuesday’s practice. Rose has missed six games because of the injury. He was active for Sunday’s game but did not play.