STrib: Richard Pitino used Bill Belichick's quote to focus on Gophers' strengths


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Nov 11, 2008
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per Marcus:

It was almost time for the Gophers to leave the locker room for warmups before the start of Monday’s game against Clemson when Richard Pitino decided to motivate his players with a quote from Bill Belichick.

The New England Patriots coach and six-time Super-Bowl winner indirectly helped Pitino establish an identity for his team.

“There’s a really good Belichick clip I saw on Twitter,” Pitino said after the 78-60 win vs. Clemson. “He keeps it so simple: Utilize your strengths. So, I wrote on the board, what are our top three strengths? First thing was get the ball to [Daniel Oturu]. The second was catch-and-shoot threes. The third thing was defending without fouling.”

The Gophers desperately needed a win against a high-major opponent for the first time after losing the first four. Having them focus on their strengths ended up making a difference against the Tigers.

When Pitino first asked his players what the team’s No. 1 strength was they weren’t specific enough. Throw the ball inside? Post touches? They were on the right track, but it was more than that.

“Nobody wants to say his name,” Pitino said. “I said, ‘throw the ball to Dan.’ It doesn’t mean he has to shoot 30 times. But if he gets a touch there’s going to be a scheme to get it out of his hands. Maybe a guard slapping down. Maybe a big trapping. Get him a touch and kick it out. A little bit like Wisconsin with [former Badgers All-American] Ethan Happ. Maybe not as much as him, because he was getting it all over the place.”

Go Gophers!!


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Jun 9, 2016
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It sounds like Pitino is espousing Wisconsin’s philosophy during the Bo Ryan years. Throw it to center , surround with shooters and on defense play as Hard as you can without fouling. I’m completely fine with this considering the results Bo Ryan was able to achieve.
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