Gary Parrish: Richard Pitino has a nationally ranked team and a much cooler seat

BleedGopher

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per Parrish:

The biggest story connected to Monday's release of the AP poll was Baylor's No. 1 ranking, and for good reason. It was the program's first No. 1 ranking in school history and an improbable achievement regardless of whether you examine it from a historical perspective or with a shorter lens that dates only to November, when the Bears opened this college basketball season with exactly zero Top 25 votes.

So Baylor got all the headlines.

But it was a big day for Minnesota, too.

The same Gophers who went 2-16 in the Big Ten last season, and who were picked 12th or worse by most in the league this season, entered the AP poll for the first time under Richard Pitino. So when I subsequently asked the fourth-year coach how he was doing, his answer was predictable and perfect.

"Life is good," Pitino said. "When you win, life is good. People are nice to you again. They don't stare at you with the evil eye."

Like I said, it's an interesting profession, this coaching profession. You can get off the hot seat. But it never goes away. And you're always just a few losses from being placed right back on it.

But this is no time to dwell on that.

This is a time to focus on this: Minnesota is 15-2 and nationally ranked.

That guarantees nothing going forward, of course.

But it sure beats the hell out of the alternative.

http://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/minnesotas-richard-pitino-has-a-nationally-ranked-team-and-a-much-cooler-seat/

Go Gophers!!
 

macgopher

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Did Pitino expect a 15-2 start? Of course not but I doubt that he is surprised either.
 

BarnBoy

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Stay healthy. Stay level-headed.
Onward.
 

GopherinPhilly

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Yeah...lets not start over looking folks. This team is going to lose again...we need to be ready to regroup after those loses and be healthy for the conference tourny and the post season when it becomes one and done.
 

station19

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He never should have been on the hot seat.

Thank God for the 7 Mill buyout.
 

johndoe

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Interesting, his comments about Mark Coyle coming in and there being stability. You wonder if he's saying that just to please the boss...but if not, I wonder how much of a difference the relationship Coyle has with the basketball program as oppose to the football program.

You hear guys like Kill and Claeys say that they basically had no relationship with the AD and that Coyle had only been to one football practice over the past year. Definitely doesn't seem like you get that vibe from Pitino even though 1)he's not Coyle's guy and 2)easily could have been fired following the season (if not after the season, then after the Lynch affair last spring).
 

dpodoll68

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He never should have been on the hot seat.

Thank God for the 7 Mill buyout.
Having possibly the worst season in Gopher basketball history (in year 3) is not cause for concern?
 

The Culprit

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Having possibly the worst season in Gopher basketball history (in year 3) is not cause for concern?
If you just look at the record, which many who don't follow Gophers hoops closely did, then yes you could say he should have been on the hot seat. I believe those who saw the recruits/transfers coming in and what they were going to bring (not just the obvious in Coffey, but the leadership/shooting of Springs, defensive backbone of Lynch, etc.), the high level of play from Mason/Murph, and so on, knew Pitino was on the cusp of building a sustainable program.

It's so frustrating when people don't do their homework before making their judgments on a coach. The year 3 comment doesn't mean much to me, as Tubby handed him minimal underclassmen when Richard was hired. After seeing his initial recruiting class wasn't strong due to not having ample time to recruit for MN, it wasn't too difficult to infer the 3rd season would likely be his worst.

Not saying I knew during year 1 that we would be in B1G title contention (very early) in year 4, but those who were calling for his head this past offseason did not do their research in my opinion. Not taking a personal shot as you just say "cause for concern" which is justified, but I can't stand those who say they are shocked by the success thus far.
 

mnhoopboy

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Having possibly the worst season in Gopher basketball history (in year 3) is not cause for concern?
Cause for concern, yes. But looking at the big picture, last season wasn't completely surprising. The expectations were bottom of the barrel, so no he shouldn't have been on the hot seat. Depleted roster, relying heavily on underclassmen who just needed to get acclimated to the Big Ten. Sometimes you gotta take a step back to move forward. This year's result isn't all that surprising either. Completely revamped roster, with experienced returnees and overall better talent.
 

mplarson7

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Having possibly the worst season in Gopher basketball history (in year 3) is not cause for concern?
Rough season, to be sure. But at the same time, they turned around to this season and are off to one of the better starts in their history too.
 

Thymanst

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Having possibly the worst season in Gopher basketball history (in year 3) is not cause for concern?
Pitino was still learning the ropes of big ten basketball - he reached with some of his recruits initially ( konate, Gaston, ) misfired/bad character on a couple ( Martin, Johnson, Dorsey, McNeil, Lofton ) if they would have worked out they would have been much more competitive. From what I've seen he has learned from his mistakes and has improved greatly at managing the team.
 

station19

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Having possibly the worst season in Gopher basketball history (in year 3) is not cause for concern?
I think The Culprit pretty well summed it up.

I'm afraid your love afair with Tubby has clouded your judgement.

Before the season started I espected this team to be 'on the buble' come tournament time. That would be 8-10 B1G wins. We'll see how it plsays out.
 

KillmeNow

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Having possibly the worst season in Gopher basketball history (in year 3) is not cause for concern?

NO, NO, NO, and NO!!!!


I posted last season several times that I was not in favor of getting rid of Pitino!!! I said several times that with the youngest of our team being the biggest contributors and Coffey coming in, that a much brighter future laid ahead for the Gophers and that Pitino should be given the chance to coach these guys for another TWO years, minimum.

I said TWO years because I knew that you never know what is going to happen, and it seems like this team has developed good chemistry, but it could have, or it still could, take another season before everything falls into place.

I predicted that this year would be a big improvement and that next year could be a banner season.


So to be honest, I didn't give one care about having the worst season in Gopher bb history.




Don't any of you critics remember the 1987 and 1988 seasons???


Clem Haskins first 2 seasons, SUCKED!!!

But they were followed by a Cinderella run to the Sweet 16 and a run to the Elite 8 that was "officially" the Gopher's BEST SEASON EVER, well, at least in the NCAA tournament ERA. :)

And a few years later we enjoyed a couple NIT Title runs, and a FAKE run to the Final Four, that never happened, lol. But I sure in the hell enjoyed the dream.
 
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