Gophers' Pitino tries keeping it fresh for his players

Bad Gopher

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“And more than anything, getting tougher, to where maybe now we go into a road game and try to go get that key win. Or when we needed to beat Wisconsin in the Big Ten tournament, we didn’t show up. So in my opinion, we need to get tougher.”

Brutally honest, which I like. It's one thing when some fan or columnist says the team isn't mentally tough enough (which I did observe myself) but another thing to hear it confirmed by the coach. Pitino has a way of critiquing his players in public without it sounding like he's throwing them under the bus.
 

SelectionSunday

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“And more than anything, getting tougher, to where maybe now we go into a road game and try to go get that key win. Or when we needed to beat Wisconsin in the Big Ten tournament, we didn’t show up. So in my opinion, we need to get tougher.”

Brutally honest, which I like. It's one thing when some fan or columnist says the team isn't mentally tough enough (which I did observe myself) but another thing to hear it confirmed by the coach. Pitino has a way of critiquing his players in public without it sounding like he's throwing them under the bus.
Agree, the "winning on the road" quote hit home with me as well. Pitino hit that one right on the head.

If I had to pick my #1 criticism of the program over the years (spanning many coaches, including Clem), it's that the Gophers rarely have the intestinal fortitude to win difficult true road games, heck, any road game for that matter. Would love to get the Gopher program to the point where we don't celebrate every road victory (myself included) like it's a significant accomplishment.
 

Bad Gopher

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Agree, the "winning on the road" quote hit home with me as well. Pitino hit that one right on the head.

If I had to pick my #1 criticism of the program over the years (spanning many coaches, including Clem), it's that the Gophers rarely have the intestinal fortitude to win difficult true road games, heck, any road game for that matter. Would love to get the Gopher program to the point where we don't celebrate every road victory (myself included) like it's a significant accomplishment.
Clem always said you needed talent to win on the road, which is true. But when you lose close games - which the Gophs did this year both home and away - you have to take a hard look at your intestines.
 

beavergopher

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Clem always said you needed talent to win on the road, which is true. But when you lose close games - which the Gophs did this year both home and away - you have to take a hard look at your intestines.
Which would require sticking your head up your ....
 

underground629

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Now this is quality writing:

"The son of legendary Louisville coach Rick Pitino has talked of being somewhat shellshocked in his first year as a head coach, at Florida International, not yet comfortable with arguing with referees or how to coach when he couldn’t immediately call a timeout."
 

EG#9

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That was really informative article from Amelia, I hope it's a sign of things to come. What I like most about what Pitino had to say is that he's looking for new ways to keep the players engaged and excited during Summer workouts and that he's identified toughness as an area he'd like to improve. I assume he means mental toughness as much as physical toughness. I remarked after the loss at home to Michigan to a friend of mine that the end of that game looked exactly like what we'd seen during the Tubby era...guys were scared out on the court, didn't want the ball and were afraid to do anything with it when they got it. It was nice to see some improvement during the NIT in that area, but things still were shaky (Malik's free throws, defense on the 3, afraid to foul to the point of allowing FSU to get layups withing 3-4 seconds of inbounding the ball), and as we all should know "improvements" from the NIT don't necessarily carry over to B1G play. Hopefully, being successful in those situations will help to some degree going forward. The other issue with losing the close games is that we really only have one guy who has the confidence to want the ball in a big spot (Malik was the other guy who wanted it until his shot became broken...and I'd still argue he wanted it more than most on the roster) and that's Mathieu. Can a player be coached to develop that mindset or is it something you have to recruit? I guess we will find out because guys can be as physically tough as anyone, but if they don't handle/shoot the ball with confidence in the closing minutes, it will remain tough to win the close ones. We are also overdue for the oppositions low percentage 3 in the last minute of the game to actually not go in the basket (looking at you Northwestern)...and getting a call would be nice too (looking at you in East Lansing, in West Lafayette, and at the Barn against Northwestern).
 

march madness

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Some of the end of game things are mental. Some are having sf, sg, or pg who is both strong with the ball and quick enough to create a play or shot as the refs whistles are not going to blow at the end of games. Dre is pretty good but 6'1" and Lil Dre is also incredibly good at just 5'9". This is why Iowa won some close games with Marble carrying them at the end and how they will miss him this year. I worry about our guards abilities to do the same with the two Dre's graduating for 2015 and beyond. You can have role players all over the court in spots, but you need at least one guy who can create at the end of games or you will not win on the road.
 
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