Minnesota took their ascending basketball program to the next level last season with an upset win over UCLA in their first game, marking their first NCAA Tournament win since 1997. The Golden Gophers were led by Andre and Austin Hollins, who averaged 14.6 and 10.7 PPG, respectively. Both of them have eligibility to return although Trevor Mbakwe (10.0 PPG, 8.7 RPG) doesn’t. And when the hiring of Pitino was announced, Joe Coleman (8.7 PPG) announced he would transfer. They don’t have the strongest recruiting class for this season but their new coach should give them a big lift as you’ll find out in the next paragraph.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers operate under Coach Richard Pitino at Williams Arena in Minneapolis. Pitino is the son of coaching legend Rick Pitino and he replaces popular Tubby Smith. Smith arrived in 2007 and rejuvenated a dwindling basketball program with six straight winning seasons, three NCAA Tournament appearances, and a win in the Tournament last season. But Pitino also comes from legendary coaching stock and should have an immediate leg up on the competition. Minnesota has sent 41 players to the NBA including two currently in the league in Joel Przybilla and Kris Humphries. Other notable alums include Kevin McHale, Bobby Jackson, Mychal Thompson, and Mark Olberding. They have 12 NCAA Tournament appearances all-time but just one Final Four in 1997. Watch this improving program under its new leadership with Gold Coast Tickets!