per Pat:

Ryan Saunders and Richard Pitino are both worthy coaches, but they were young, popular hires largely because of their famous fathers.

The surprise was that it came after two consecutive blowout victories, as was the surprise of Tubby being fired after an NCAA tournament win. Donovan was a conduit for young Pitino getting here, and the losing coach for young Saunders’ debut.

The Timberwolves came up with a raucous effort in support of the popular kid on the sideline and a 119-117 victory. It was another of those nights when Andrew Wiggins couldn’t be stopped (there were a couple of those in Thibs’ 2˝ seasons, right?).

And now, soon will come reality.

Pitino is 33-61 in the Big Ten as he’s gone from being the fresh face of hope to a coach greatly in need of a second visit to the NCAA tournament. And Saunders has 41 games — exactly a half-season — to see if he can get such effort out of the Wolves with frequency.

Opening night of the Fresh Start was fun for all … and only a splash of color in the Pollockian grind of an NBA schedule.

Go Gophers!!