Richard Pitino

Recent Articles

Inclusive candidates for Borton’s replacement



The news wasn’t even an hour old before a local daily newspaper posted on their website a list of possible candidates to succeed Pam Borton as Minnesota women’s basketball coach. Not one, however, of the eight current head coaches and six assistant coaches suggested for the position was of color. The Gophers probably hadn’t gotten back in town after last Thursday’s loss at South Dakota State before Minnesota AD Norwood Teague simply inserted the final date on Borton’s “Dear Jane” dismissal letter — the same type letter that former coach Tubby Smith received last year. Every time I saw Teague at a Gopher game during the season, he looked like he was just counting days, hours and minutes before he could zap her out. The former coach had been on shaky ground since last season. Continue Reading →

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March madness continues



The National Invitational Tournament (NIT) has a rich storied history dating back to pre-World War II days. The Women’s NIT since 1998 has tradition as well — just not as long as the men’s. However, present-day hoops fans and snobbish media types give both the Rodney Dangerfield treatment:

No respect for either of them. While there are those who only see one tournament, and while the men’s NCAA annually gets marathon King Kong coverage and barely Timberbell-like coverage on the women’s side, this reporter gives four-fold attention to the two bigger tournaments, as well as the NIT and WNIT. Both men and women Gopher squads this week are in their respective NIT sweet 16 — the men play Southern Mississippi Tuesday at Williams Arena, and the women go to South Dakota State on Thursday. Continue Reading →

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Richard Pitino’s Gophers are struggling!

University of Minnesota this year has assistant basketball coaches now making $175,000. Last year under Tubby Smith, not one of his coaches was paid over $125,000. Remember, Jimmy Williams was not permitted to be an assistant coach for Tubby Smith for some frivolous violation. And the university battled in court paying big money to keep Williams off the staff. Athletic Director Norwood Teague fired Smith a year ago because Smith suggested the program needed a practice facility. Continue Reading →

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Gopher basketball faces real competition in upcoming Big Ten contests

The non-conference portion of a typical college basketball season, especially in Gopherville, is pretty much fool’s gold. This is where the home team’s fans are fooled into thinking such a gaudy win-loss record will translate into a successful conference campaign. Both non-league-winning Gopher squads begin conference play this week — the men on Thursday, the women on Saturday. If the guards don’t handle pressure better than they did in a loss to UCLA last month, or if other players don’t become more consistent offensively, it will be a long Big Ten season for the Minnesota women (now 11-3). “Other people need to step up — we need to find a third scorer on this team,” bemoaned Coach Pam Borton. Continue Reading →

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