Scoggins: Pitino shows Minnesota his lighter side

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 17, 2013 - 7:24 AM

Yes, the new Gophers coach does have a sense of humor.

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philpyramMay. 16, 1311:58 PM

The key word is 'fun.' It reminds me of what Bud Grant said when he was first hired. Something like, "It's a game. A player has to enjoy it. We're going to have fun and run a happy ship." I don't think it was fun for the players most of the time under Coach Smith.

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goldengoph3rMay. 17, 13 1:46 AM

The Osenieks comment is priceless (sorry Oto). Pitino's levity is a refreshing change from the last couple of years of relative doom and gloom. Hopefully this new attitude finds its way on the court.

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ActTwoMay. 17, 13 7:43 AM

This season will be a honeymoon for Pitino, the litmus test will be his class of 2014. It has to be a top 5 recruiting class in the Big 10.

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JRHasbro21May. 17, 13 7:44 AM

I love the potential for a turnaround we have with this young coach. If he shows some success early on, I think that combined with his pedigree will bring in some great recruits, as well as keep the best the state has to offer.

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riverbirchMay. 17, 13 8:50 AM

Great hire. The sad thing is these kids really weren't in shape last year. Big change coming.

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kevinalaskaMay. 17, 13 9:08 AM

I feel that this is the best hire the Gophers have made in many years! Like the whole coaching staff and their ability to not only recruit solid athletes but also good citizens who keep out of the police incident reports! Give them a chance to get their own people in place and be ready to purchase tickets for the postseason in all sports!

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kev5115May. 17, 13 9:17 AM

In a few years, people will realize what a great hire this was. Loved the comment on Oto, who knows maybe with the pace of the game that coach Pitino will be playing will benefit him. And, again the key word is fun, body language speaks volumes and the look on these kids faces the last few years they weren't enjoying themselves at all.

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pescadero1May. 17, 13 9:24 AM

Fun and entertaining is good. Winning is better, obviously. Reminds me of the style of basketball David Kahn was after. The big difference is Pitino actually knows something about how to coach basketball.

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kriketfotMay. 17, 13 9:48 AM

It may sound cruel to say this, but the reality in college basketball today is that if a coach doesn't have a program humming within three to four years it's time for a change. You can rebuild a basketball team so much faster than a football team. Also, the game of college basketball is constantly changing. If you live in the past, you'll pay for it as a coach. Firing Smith and hiring Pitino were bold moves. They are in keeping with the times. If Pitino doesn't work out, they'll be lots of great coaches--young and old--out there from which to pick four years from now.

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jaytee1May. 17, 1310:39 AM

The fact that Elliot Eliason and Mo Walker have to be told to get in shape speaks to the lack of effort by the previous coaching staff. Elliot would be a better player in any system if he got in shape. The Big 10 is a physical league under the basket, no matter who is coaching. The other indictment on the Smith regime is that Rodney Williams, rated as a potential NBA lottery pick when he graduated from high school, doesn't even get invited to the top 65 NBA draft camp in Chicago this weekend. Absolutely no player development under Tubby. I strongly wanted Tubby to succeed and he just sort of phoned it in the last few years. Go Pitino.

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