In case you have forgotten, Minnesota won the NIT last season in Richard Pitino’s first season in the Twin Cities. The Big Ten has done well in the NIT in recent years. Iowa got to the title game in 2013. Minnesota was in the championship tilt in 2012. Penn State won it all in 2009 and year after Ohio State did so in 2008.
Who are the top current coaches throughout college basketball? Our friends over at ESPN are working on a series, listing the top 50 coaches in the nation. Three Big Ten coaches appear in the first installment, which ranks Nos. 25-50: Minnesota’s Richard Pitino, No. 49; Iowa’s Fran McCaffery, No. 33; and Nebraska’s Tim Miles, No. 32.
The speculation machine is in overdrive with chatter that Minnesota coach Richard Pitino is a target to fill the recently opened Tennessee job. Nebraska’s Tim Miles also has been mentioned. Bottom line: Neither is likely to leave their current posts. As Amelia Rayno from the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported, Minnesota Athletic Director Norwood Teague said on the Dan Barreiro show on KFAN that Pitino is not interested in the job.
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Minnesota didn’t make the NCAA tourney, but it compiled one of the better seasons in team history. The Gophers set a record for wins in a single season (25) on their way to claiming their third NIT crown. Not bad for a team with a first-year coach and a revamped roster from a team that won a game in the NCAA tourney a season ago.
Richard Pitino didn’t seem to want to any part of his chair during a timeout in Tuesday night’s NIT quarterfinal game vs. Southern Miss. With his players gathered around him, the five on the floor sitting in their respective stools, the first-year Minnesota coach picked up his seat and spiked it to the Williams Arena court. Watch Pitino in this post.
Watch a conference enough, and you can’t help but notice that every team has a common theme that gets mentioned in every broadcast. Chances are, you know your team’s topic of conversation. But what about the rest of the Big Ten teams? Here’s my recurring subject for every Big Ten team.
This week on “The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2014” we see how Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell’s role has expanded as a sophomore, learn more about Michigan’s only senior Jordan Morgan, and watch Minnesota’s Richard Pitino embraces being the son of a Hall of Fame coach. Also, catch our usual highlights from Michigan-Indiana and Minnesota-Purdue. The new episode airs Saturday at 10:15 p.m. ET immediately after Indiana’s men’s basketball game at Minnesota.
It was freezing cold outside in Minneapolis on Thursday night, but tempers got red hot inside the Barn during the second half of Minnesota’s upset of No. 11 Ohio State.
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As the new men’s basketball coach at Minnesota, Richard Pitino spoke with the media on Friday morning to discuss his style and approach to the game. Watch the entire announcement here and here.
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Minnesota will introduce Richard Pitino as their school’s 17th men’s basketball coach on Friday morning and you can watch the entire press conference on BTN/BTN2Go beginning at 10 a.m. ET. BTN’s Mike Hall and Shon Morris host our coverage. Earlier, BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart wrote that this hire fits the job. We also tracked Twitter reaction to the news on Wednesday.
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Minnesota hired Florida International coach Richard Pitino as its new men’s basketball coach Wednesday. Pitino, 30, is the son of legendary coach Rick Pitino, who guided Louisville to this year’s Final Four, his seventh career such trip. See the Twitter reaction to the hiring of the younger Pitino in this post.
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The hiring of Richard Pitino as Minnesota coach is a gamble. But, it’s one worth taking.