Gophers' defense gives basketball opponents fits

  • Article by: Amelia Rayno , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 7, 2013 - 10:12 AM

Pitino calls defense, his focus, a work in progress.

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tcstunnerDec. 7, 13 2:45 AM

I have no idea what the Big Ten season will hold, but I'm already sold on Pitino. He's already shown the ability to out coach other coaches and has gotten way more out of his players than Tubby ever did. I mean Oto looks like an actual basketball player. Yeah, that Oto.

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wizeoneDec. 7, 13 4:20 AM

I expect this season to be fun to watch, no matter how many games they win in the Big Ten. Pitino Jr. looks like the real deal as a ooach.

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benny4540Dec. 7, 13 5:58 AM

he's got more out of eliason this year than tubby would have for his career....if they had one mobile strong scorer like rickert or thomas or james or quincy or jacobsen or rychart...all guys we've gotten to minnesota, none of them nba all stars, they'd have beaten syracuse...pitino can win here with the talent we can get here.

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md56482Dec. 7, 13 8:56 AM

no matter what level of basketball, defense wins games. And when you have a shot clock, you take away valuable offensive zone time when teams are struggling to set up plays. Wisconsin plays dull basketball, but when you keep teams in the 40's constantly, even the worst offenses have a chance to win.

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kev5115Dec. 7, 1310:17 AM

It's all about effort, execution and being able, and smart enough as a coach to make quick adjustments and decisions. If you bring it every night defensively you have a chance at beating anybody. We now have a coach that makes adjustments that knows how to coach and is eager to do so. What a breath of fresh air.

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biscuitDec. 7, 1310:44 AM

All right. Stuck up here in the Northwoods freezing my hair off, and today's game ain't on tv? Come on. Enough of this crap.

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hobie2Dec. 7, 1311:38 AM

Sorry, I have to disagree on the limited talent claim. Hollins, Hollins, and Eliason can play with the best of them - and have demonstrated it last year and this... All players have weaknesses to be corrected, weaknesses that were not lessening under Smith... When recruiting, one looks for players whose weaknesses you are good at removing, and/or who have an exceptional talent for your system. Dre H was a scoring machine - but like most scorers, weak on inside feed and at hitting a half-court defense at the instant it sets, and it didn't get fixed. Again eager to grow, he will add those skills under Pitino - his weaknesses will be fixed... Eliason was a scoring machine - against equally tall players - before coming here. He is now one of the top defense big men in the country - ask Zeller, or Syracuse and Florida. Playing with confidence and eager to grow, now his game can widen under Pitino... Austin had many skills, and it looks like he is actually ahead of the other two in taking on his weaknesses and pushing their limits in games... Others on the team look to be following the same pattern - finding confidence, using that to build around. Kudos to Pitino - the talent has been there, and is now being carefully unwrapped by solid coaching.

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redeye12Dec. 7, 1311:39 AM

According to the stats, NO is the second to last worst team in college basketball. Just how will playing a team like this help prep this team for the Big 10 season? Another nice move by Tubby Smith.

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AlohaMikeDec. 7, 1312:23 PM

Hey biscuit...you should be able to watch on your computer (ESPN3)...as long as your internet isn't frozen!

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RicksrightDec. 7, 1312:36 PM

Yes sir, the kid can coach, I have always said in any college sport if you want to win and win big find a great coach. We might have found one!!

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