Pitino, Springs, Coffey, Gard, and Happ post game - WI made one more play than MN

GopherLady

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Here are my post-game notes, not verbatim as always:

Ethan Happ:
• A mixture of happiness and exhaustion. We didn't play great the whole game and we battled back, to come out on top after a long game like that, it was elation.
• Coach said we haven't played our best basketball yet, so let's do it in these 5 minutes. We still didn't but got the W.
• The coaches have been telling me something all year long, and I finally started doing it. My teammates have been getting me to finish.
• Did you try to bank that free throw? My Mom didn't raise a liar, so no.
• MN has always played hard, but they are getting guys that can shoot the ball. Their bigs are good defensively. They knocked down some good mid-range jump shots.

Greg Gard:
• Whenever you get on the road in this league, in a hostile environment against a much improved team this league…it's so competitive. One heck of a college bball game today, proud of how our guys gutted it out. Happ didn't start the greatest, but found a way to make an impact. Happy for our guys, heck of a battle, and happy to come out with a few more points.
• At the end of regulation - did you consider taking a timeout? I did - they were scrambling, they didn't have their D set. If he didn't lost the ball, I don't know what he gets.
• We didn't stay up tight enough on Springs
• They're good players, I've seen Amir since he was in 8th grade, he comes from good stock. He's a good player, Curry is a good player.

Richard Pitino:
• Obviously, tough one, but I thought it was a great college basketball game. I don't normally enjoy coaching during the games, but I kind of enjoyed it. They just made one more play. Akeem made a big play in regulation, and I thought it could have gone in at the end. I thought we were a good team tonight, if you don't see where this team can go, you're probably not paying attention. I thought it was a great game.
• Amir was terrific, Eric was, Bakary stepped up…not much I can gripe about with these guys. I tell them, you're still sitting at 15-5, you have 2 OT losses.
• Konate was terrific in the 1st half, he did a lot of good things. Reggie was really good, unfortunately he fouled out.
• Last possession - Bakary was supposed to set a down screen for Akeem, but kind of rushed up. Players make plays at the end of the day.
• Dupree played really well, Akeem was terrific.
• On Dupree not starting - didn't bother him one bit. I told him, it's not anything you're doing, I just don't like the flow and the sub patters. He can play the 1 or 2, and could sub Nate or Akeem. I think we'll stick with it, I don't think he cares.
• Eric's length was really good, I think he's going to be a really good player.
• On the team responding? I hope so, they need to be positive. I don't see a whole lot of negative to look at from tonight, besides that we lost. We can only get better. We were tough to defend, we made winning plays. After the PSU game they shouldn't have been encouraged, or after the MSU team. These guys need to be excited about where we're at.
• I wouldn't trade this environment for anything in the world. We don't need it vs. WI though, we need it every night. We need it vs. Maryland. That is a fun, fun environment, our guys feed off it, that's what the Big 10 is all about. I get why people gave up on our team last year, I wouldn't spend my money either, but this is a fun team to cheer for. This can be really really special when it's good.
• It's hard when Bakary is in, you don't have the low post threat, I'd say Nate got a good look, Eric got a good look, Wi is a good defensive team.
• Akeem hit a big one at the end of regulation, he's got that quick release. You have to make tough shots at the end of games, Bronson did, we did not.
• He (Akeem) was better off the dribble, I liked a lot of what he did today. I thought he made some winning plays on the defensive end. When he's good off the bounce, he's tough to guard.
• Amir getting banged up - it's the Big 10, physical league. He's a tough kid. He's thin, you may not think he's tough, but he's tough, extremely tough, going to be a special player, makes big shots. He played 41 minutes as a freshmen, and he battled and didn't want to come out.
• At the end of regulation with Amir? Greg said it may be an intentional? Pitino: You trying to get me in trouble? Maybe, that's not why he lost. (I didn't get the whole Pitino answer here)
• On Nate - 10 assists, I thought he got good looks, he'll be fine, I don't worry about him too much. He'll get it back.
Amir Coffey:
• We're disappointed, but we battled until the end, they just made one more big play than we did.
• Atmosphere - it was great, I didn't see many open seats, I want to thank the fans for coming out and supporting us.
• We see the things we need to work on as a team, we get better from it and smarter from it. We need to make adjustments.
• Having Akeem in the line-up, he's a great shooter and opens up lanes for me and Nate.
• It was an OT game, high intensity, packed house.
• Craziest atmosphere you've played in? Yeah. (Akeem whispers, Michigan State).
• Having a week to rest after taking a hard fall, I could get a lot of rest, take light reps in practice.
• It's a physical league, you've got to go into every game expecting a dog fight.
• Coach Pitino always says don't get too low or too high, need to take what we need from this game and move on.

Akeem Springs:
• Regulation shot - I have to give credit to my coaches and teammates for having confidence in me, we practice that.
• They're a tough team, that match-up with them, they're so patient, if you see their offense, it's literally a one on one, and you can't help because they're all capable of shooting. They're ranked for a reason. You have to take your hat off to them.
• On starting - it was a goal, yeah, I always saw myself as a starter, it wasn't something I was really focusing on. I want to be able to do all the little things.
• On Dupree - He's been a starter all year, I didn't expect him to have a bad game, he's a good player, I expected him to have a good game.
• Nate and Jordan - they both put the work in, I feel like good things will happen to you. He's the same person that went out and had 30. He's working hard at practice, basketball gods didn't want him to shoot this game. I'm not worried about either one of them.
• We've got another chance to get them, gotta get ready for next game.
• We didn't want to lose. I don't think we're too down, but as a team we're a competitive group. We don't like to lose, we're ready to go get one, get it back on track.
 

EG#9

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I'd like to hear something different from Pitino than "making a play" and some questions and discussion about why this keeps happening throughout his tenure. It can't always be that the other team simply "made a play" and your team did not. Earlier in his tenure, I felt like he got the team some good looks late in games (at Nebraska and at Purdue come to mind) and they simply missed good looks. In this game, Koenig got a great look out of a timeout on a set play and knocked it down. It's unfortunate that he made it, but he had more space than Akeem did either to end regulation or overtime. There were 3 possessions late in regulation from the Gophers that all ended in turnovers and that's not just about one play. If hypothetically, Pitino's guys are put in position to take a 25% shot and Gard or Izzo put their guys in position to take a 35% shot...then their guys are going to make that play more often. I thought in Pitino's second year when we lost a ton of games like this that he did put his guys in at least an equal position to succeed...they just didn't do it. Now that we are in year four and they are still losing these games...the make a play line rings quite hollow.

Is more set plays the answer? Is driving to the basket and seeking contact while having the bigs crash hard the answer? The dribble hand offs at the top of the key, the 1-5 pick and roll, and the iso for the point guard have been the main concepts I've seen late in games over the past two years. More often than not the end result has been a contested midrange miss from Nate Mason or a turnover.

I am surprised nobody asked him about changes to the post defense. If this teams strength is it's length defensively...why not send traps at Happ and try to force turnovers? Use the length and athleticism advantage you do have to trap and then rotate to shooters on the perimeter. Maybe there was a reason why they continually let Hayes and Happ back down and take multiple dribbles, but it sure didn't seem like the right strategy.
 

bga1

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I'd like to hear something different from Pitino than "making a play" and some questions and discussion about why this keeps happening throughout his tenure. It can't always be that the other team simply "made a play" and your team did not. Earlier in his tenure, I felt like he got the team some good looks late in games (at Nebraska and at Purdue come to mind) and they simply missed good looks. In this game, Koenig got a great look out of a timeout on a set play and knocked it down. It's unfortunate that he made it, but he had more space than Akeem did either to end regulation or overtime. There were 3 possessions late in regulation from the Gophers that all ended in turnovers and that's not just about one play. If hypothetically, Pitino's guys are put in position to take a 25% shot and Gard or Izzo put their guys in position to take a 35% shot...then their guys are going to make that play more often. I thought in Pitino's second year when we lost a ton of games like this that he did put his guys in at least an equal position to succeed...they just didn't do it. Now that we are in year four and they are still losing these games...the make a play line rings quite hollow.

Is more set plays the answer? Is driving to the basket and seeking contact while having the bigs crash hard the answer? The dribble hand offs at the top of the key, the 1-5 pick and roll, and the iso for the point guard have been the main concepts I've seen late in games over the past two years. More often than not the end result has been a contested midrange miss from Nate Mason or a turnover.

I am surprised nobody asked him about changes to the post defense. If this teams strength is it's length defensively...why not send traps at Happ and try to force turnovers? Use the length and athleticism advantage you do have to trap and then rotate to shooters on the perimeter. Maybe there was a reason why they continually let Hayes and Happ back down and take multiple dribbles, but it sure didn't seem like the right strategy.
We talked all game long about the bigs going one on one against us and Pitino choosing not to double down. It's a tough choice with Wisconsin because all of their guys can hit the three and Koenig especially is deadly. We double down in overtime and got burned immediately with a 3. Wisky is good and tonight the refs just let them continue to back our guys down, I thought we should have stood tight and flopped a few times to draw some charges but I can't really argue with Pitino on the choice as it is pick your poison with them. Our problem on offense right now is our bigs are not much of a threat and everyone knows it. Even Lynch is more of a garbage bucket guy more than a natural scorer in the low post. Murphy is doing nothing and Konate can't catch.
 

GopherLady

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We talked all game long about the bigs going one on one against us and Pitino choosing not to double down. It's a tough choice with Wisconsin because all of their guys can hit the three and Koenig especially is deadly. We double down in overtime and got burned immediately with a 3. Wisky is good and tonight the refs just let them continue to back our guys down, I thought we should have stood tight and flopped a few times to draw some charges but I can't really argue with Pitino on the choice as it is pick your poison with them. Our problem on offense right now is our bigs are not much of a threat and everyone knows it. Even Lynch is more of a garbage bucket guy more than a natural scorer in the low post. Murphy is doing nothing and Konate can't catch.
Exactly what bga1 said...post defense is pretty tough when Lynch is out, and Jordan is low-motor Murph. We couldn't double team him, because 4 other guys can score.

Also EG#9, if you ever do have a good question for Pitino, feel free to tweet me with it and I can try to ask it at the presser.
 

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Here are my post-game notes, not verbatim as always:

Ethan Happ:
• A mixture of happiness and exhaustion. We didn't play great the whole game and we battled back, to come out on top after a long game like that, it was elation.
• Coach said we haven't played our best basketball yet, so let's do it in these 5 minutes. We still didn't but got the W.
• The coaches have been telling me something all year long, and I finally started doing it. My teammates have been getting me to finish.
• Did you try to bank that free throw? My Mom didn't raise a liar, so no.
• MN has always played hard, but they are getting guys that can shoot the ball. Their bigs are good defensively. They knocked down some good mid-range jump shots.

Greg Gard:
• Whenever you get on the road in this league, in a hostile environment against a much improved team this league…it's so competitive. One heck of a college bball game today, proud of how our guys gutted it out. Happ didn't start the greatest, but found a way to make an impact. Happy for our guys, heck of a battle, and happy to come out with a few more points.
• At the end of regulation - did you consider taking a timeout? I did - they were scrambling, they didn't have their D set. If he didn't lost the ball, I don't know what he gets.
• We didn't stay up tight enough on Springs
• They're good players, I've seen Amir since he was in 8th grade, he comes from good stock. He's a good player, Curry is a good player.

Richard Pitino:
• Obviously, tough one, but I thought it was a great college basketball game. I don't normally enjoy coaching during the games, but I kind of enjoyed it. They just made one more play. Akeem made a big play in regulation, and I thought it could have gone in at the end. I thought we were a good team tonight, if you don't see where this team can go, you're probably not paying attention. I thought it was a great game.
• Amir was terrific, Eric was, Bakary stepped up…not much I can gripe about with these guys. I tell them, you're still sitting at 15-5, you have 2 OT losses.
• Konate was terrific in the 1st half, he did a lot of good things. Reggie was really good, unfortunately he fouled out.
• Last possession - Bakary was supposed to set a down screen for Akeem, but kind of rushed up. Players make plays at the end of the day.
• Dupree played really well, Akeem was terrific.
• On Dupree not starting - didn't bother him one bit. I told him, it's not anything you're doing, I just don't like the flow and the sub patters. He can play the 1 or 2, and could sub Nate or Akeem. I think we'll stick with it, I don't think he cares.
• Eric's length was really good, I think he's going to be a really good player.
• On the team responding? I hope so, they need to be positive. I don't see a whole lot of negative to look at from tonight, besides that we lost. We can only get better. We were tough to defend, we made winning plays. After the PSU game they shouldn't have been encouraged, or after the MSU team. These guys need to be excited about where we're at.
• I wouldn't trade this environment for anything in the world. We don't need it vs. WI though, we need it every night. We need it vs. Maryland. That is a fun, fun environment, our guys feed off it, that's what the Big 10 is all about. I get why people gave up on our team last year, I wouldn't spend my money either, but this is a fun team to cheer for. This can be really really special when it's good.
• It's hard when Bakary is in, you don't have the low post threat, I'd say Nate got a good look, Eric got a good look, Wi is a good defensive team.
• Akeem hit a big one at the end of regulation, he's got that quick release. You have to make tough shots at the end of games, Bronson did, we did not.
• He (Akeem) was better off the dribble, I liked a lot of what he did today. I thought he made some winning plays on the defensive end. When he's good off the bounce, he's tough to guard.
• Amir getting banged up - it's the Big 10, physical league. He's a tough kid. He's thin, you may not think he's tough, but he's tough, extremely tough, going to be a special player, makes big shots. He played 41 minutes as a freshmen, and he battled and didn't want to come out.
• At the end of regulation with Amir? Greg said it may be an intentional? Pitino: You trying to get me in trouble? Maybe, that's not why he lost. (I didn't get the whole Pitino answer here)
• On Nate - 10 assists, I thought he got good looks, he'll be fine, I don't worry about him too much. He'll get it back.
Amir Coffey:
• We're disappointed, but we battled until the end, they just made one more big play than we did.
• Atmosphere - it was great, I didn't see many open seats, I want to thank the fans for coming out and supporting us.
• We see the things we need to work on as a team, we get better from it and smarter from it. We need to make adjustments.
• Having Akeem in the line-up, he's a great shooter and opens up lanes for me and Nate.
• It was an OT game, high intensity, packed house.
• Craziest atmosphere you've played in? Yeah. (Akeem whispers, Michigan State).
• Having a week to rest after taking a hard fall, I could get a lot of rest, take light reps in practice.
• It's a physical league, you've got to go into every game expecting a dog fight.
• Coach Pitino always says don't get too low or too high, need to take what we need from this game and move on.

Akeem Springs:
• Regulation shot - I have to give credit to my coaches and teammates for having confidence in me, we practice that.
• They're a tough team, that match-up with them, they're so patient, if you see their offense, it's literally a one on one, and you can't help because they're all capable of shooting. They're ranked for a reason. You have to take your hat off to them.
• On starting - it was a goal, yeah, I always saw myself as a starter, it wasn't something I was really focusing on. I want to be able to do all the little things.
• On Dupree - He's been a starter all year, I didn't expect him to have a bad game, he's a good player, I expected him to have a good game.
• Nate and Jordan - they both put the work in, I feel like good things will happen to you. He's the same person that went out and had 30. He's working hard at practice, basketball gods didn't want him to shoot this game. I'm not worried about either one of them.
• We've got another chance to get them, gotta get ready for next game.
• We didn't want to lose. I don't think we're too down, but as a team we're a competitive group. We don't like to lose, we're ready to go get one, get it back on track.

HOLY CRAP:

Pitino: "I don't normally enjoy coaching during the games".

I know others will dismiss this statement as just "talk", but this tells you a lot. The guy looks so lost and uncomfortable out there. It's clear as day. I can see it a mile away.
 

GopherJake

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HOLY CRAP:

Pitino: "I don't normally enjoy coaching during the games".

I know others will dismiss this statement as just "talk", but this tells you a lot. The guy looks so lost and uncomfortable out there. It's clear as day. I can see it a mile away.
Idiotic comment. But thanks for quoting the entire OP - really helpful.
 

Ewert86PC

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HOLY CRAP:

Pitino: "I don't normally enjoy coaching during the games".

I know others will dismiss this statement as just "talk", but this tells you a lot. The guy looks so lost and uncomfortable out there. It's clear as day. I can see it a mile away.
+1

Even with the covering qualifier of "but today I really enjoyed it" it say volumes about the previous seasons.

Why didn't he enjoy it up to this point, the players he recruited? Is he too dependant upon stats? He can't make adjustments during halftime? It's too hard to get the players attention when they are on social media?

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+1

Even with the covering qualifier of "but today I really enjoyed it" it say volumes about the previous seasons.

Why didn't he enjoy it up to this point, the players he recruited? Is he too dependant upon stats? He can't make adjustments during halftime? It's too hard to get the players attention when they are on social media?

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You people....
 

EG#9

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+1

Even with the covering qualifier of "but today I really enjoyed it" it say volumes about the previous seasons.

Why didn't he enjoy it up to this point, the players he recruited? Is he too dependant upon stats? He can't make adjustments during halftime? It's too hard to get the players attention when they are on social media?

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Wouldn't a simpler explanation be that he simply finds in game coaching stressful and perhaps frustrating? I am sure a lot of coaches would tell you they enjoy coaching in practice where they can stop and teach, but in the games when you can't continuously stop and teach and have to live with mistakes it's not a lot of fun.
 

Ewert86PC

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Wouldn't a simpler explanation be that he simply finds in game coaching stressful and perhaps frustrating? I am sure a lot of coaches would tell you they enjoy coaching in practice where they can stop and teach, but in the games when you can't continuously stop and teach and have to live with mistakes it's not a lot of fun.
Then you shouldn't be a head coach who is responsible for the entire program. This is what happens when you promote an assistant coach out of their capabilities.

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I think it's time to start Curry over Murphy. He anyone seen murphy since the start of big ten play? It's like where's waldo...
 

GopherLady

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Wouldn't a simpler explanation be that he simply finds in game coaching stressful and perhaps frustrating? I am sure a lot of coaches would tell you they enjoy coaching in practice where they can stop and teach, but in the games when you can't continuously stop and teach and have to live with mistakes it's not a lot of fun.
I think it's exactly this ^^^.
 
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Then you shouldn't be a head coach who is responsible for the entire program. This is what happens when you promote an assistant coach out of their capabilities.

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Do you think assistant coaches don't deal with the exact same thing?

I really enjoy learning and I'm a very good test-taker but taking tests isn't fun. This is how he feels and I'm sure 99% of all coaches feel. The best aspects of coaching are developing young men in life and their craft and preparing for the games. But when you're actually coaching in-game, there's nothing that's fun about it, only stress and frustration.

You clearly just don't like Pitino and you're looking for any excuse to attack him.
 

underground629

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We talked all game long about the bigs going one on one against us and Pitino choosing not to double down. It's a tough choice with Wisconsin because all of their guys can hit the three and Koenig especially is deadly. We double down in overtime and got burned immediately with a 3. Wisky is good and tonight the refs just let them continue to back our guys down, I thought we should have stood tight and flopped a few times to draw some charges but I can't really argue with Pitino on the choice as it is pick your poison with them. Our problem on offense right now is our bigs are not much of a threat and everyone knows it. Even Lynch is more of a garbage bucket guy more than a natural scorer in the low post. Murphy is doing nothing and Konate can't catch.
Completely agree with all of this. I was fine not doubling because of the reasons you said (and worked 1st half), though it was so frustrating how easily Happ was just backing our guys down and getting layups. Like you, I thought our defenders needed to either hold their ground or try to draw charges. Pull the chair. Do something. 14 straight points for a big guy is ridiculous. Reminded me of our 1st game against MSU.
 

underground629

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I'd like to hear something different from Pitino than "making a play" and some questions and discussion about why this keeps happening throughout his tenure. It can't always be that the other team simply "made a play" and your team did not. Earlier in his tenure, I felt like he got the team some good looks late in games (at Nebraska and at Purdue come to mind) and they simply missed good looks. In this game, Koenig got a great look out of a timeout on a set play and knocked it down. It's unfortunate that he made it, but he had more space than Akeem did either to end regulation or overtime. There were 3 possessions late in regulation from the Gophers that all ended in turnovers and that's not just about one play. If hypothetically, Pitino's guys are put in position to take a 25% shot and Gard or Izzo put their guys in position to take a 35% shot...then their guys are going to make that play more often. I thought in Pitino's second year when we lost a ton of games like this that he did put his guys in at least an equal position to succeed...they just didn't do it. Now that we are in year four and they are still losing these games...the make a play line rings quite hollow.

Is more set plays the answer? Is driving to the basket and seeking contact while having the bigs crash hard the answer? The dribble hand offs at the top of the key, the 1-5 pick and roll, and the iso for the point guard have been the main concepts I've seen late in games over the past two years. More often than not the end result has been a contested midrange miss from Nate Mason or a turnover.

I am surprised nobody asked him about changes to the post defense. If this teams strength is it's length defensively...why not send traps at Happ and try to force turnovers? Use the length and athleticism advantage you do have to trap and then rotate to shooters on the perimeter. Maybe there was a reason why they continually let Hayes and Happ back down and take multiple dribbles, but it sure didn't seem like the right strategy.
Totally on board with you with a lot of your frustrations at the end of games. It does seem like we used to get better looks at the end of games and guys just weren't hitting, whereas now it feels like almost every time it's Mason waiting way too long to cross half court and even come inside the 3 point line. I would be more okay with that if he would then at least attempt to get into the lane and shoot, dish, or get fouled. Instead, it's usually put up a really deep and contested off-balance 2 or just jack up a 3 at the last second. I get so frustrated with Mason's shot selection late in games. He just settles far too often and it drives me crazy when it's so early in the clock. I think we have actually done a nice job with end of shot clock possessions this year--it's the really quick shots that aren't great looks that kill us. After just playing 30 seconds of hard d (and I love our defense this year), the last thing you want to do is see a player force a bad look early in the clock. So selfish and frustrating.
 
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