With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we’ll be taking a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster over the next month. Today, we continue our look at the Big Ten with the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Despite reaching the 20-win plateau five times and the NCAA tournament three times over six seasons, Minnesota relieved Tubby Smith of his duties on March 25 and immediately began a search for a new head coach.
Nine days later, after whiffing on its top choices, Norwood Teague hired 30-year old Richard Pitino, who had just completed his first season as a head coach at Florida International. Whether or not Pitino works out in Minneapolis, his hiring was a bit of a reality check for a program that had the belief that it could nab an elite young coach like Shaka Smart.
As Pitino gets settled into his first major head coaching job, the reality of the task that lies ahead is beginning to sink in. Three elite talents from Minnesota in the class of ...