Men's Basketball

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The University is adding amenities to the building before a formal practice facility comes later on.
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Wed, 06/25/2014
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Tubby Smith didn’t hide the fact that he wanted a new practice facility during his six-year tenure as the University of Minnesota’s men’s basketball coach, and now more than a year into Richard Pitino’s time at the helm, the facility still hasn’t been built.

But that hasn’t stopped the men’s basketball coach from working to improve his team’s practice conditions.

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Gophers’ executive associate athletics director Mike Ellis is one of the most connected men in college basketball.
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Wed, 06/18/2014
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Mike Ellis’ desk is littered with thank-you notes — each card representing a different athletics department ranging from California to Florida.

College basketball programs across the country have a reason to be thankful for Ellis, the Gophers’ executive associate athletics director.

In 2004, he founded Villa 7 — an event that allows Division I assistant coaches to network with athletics administrators. In the 10 years that followed, well over 100 men’s and women’s assistants from Villa 7 have gotten jobs as head coaches.

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The Gophers head coach didn’t have much time to form bonds with recruits last year.
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Wed, 06/11/2014
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When Richard Pitino was introduced as the Gophers head men’s basketball coach on April 5, 2013, he was already at a disadvantage.

Pitino, then 30, was heralded as a tireless recruiter — which seemed perfect for Minnesota with highly touted local recruits Tyus Jones, Reid Travis and Rashad Vaughn all heading into their senior year of high school.

Jones and Vaughn were among the nation’s top 10 recruits, according to prominent basketball recruiting website Rivals.com, which ranked Travis at No. 44.

Pitino quickly offered all of them scholarships.

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Flip Saunders is also a minority owner of the Wolves and will have to juggle multiple responsibilities.
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Wed, 06/11/2014
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Flip Saunders hasn’t slipped on a University of Minnesota uniform since 1977, but he’s still having a major impact on the state’s basketball landscape.

The Minnesota Timberwolves announced Friday that Saunders, who has served as the franchise’s president of basketball operations since last season, will take to the sidelines to replace former head coach Rick Adelman, who retired in April. Saunders will remain president of basketball operations while coaching.

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Many Gophers coaches use Twitter to promote their team, build their personal brand and interact with their fans.
Publish Date: 
Wed, 06/11/2014
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Social media isn’t just popular among University of Minnesota students.

Some Gophers coaches are taking to Twitter to promote their team, build their personal brand and interact with their fans, among other things.

The Minnesota Daily talked to four Gophers head coaches to discuss how they use Twitter and how it impacts their teams.

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Fri, 06/06/2014
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Flip Saunders hasn’t slipped on a Minnesota uniform since 1977, but he’s still having a major impact on the state’s basketball landscape.

The Minnesota Timberwolves announced Friday that Saunders, who served as the franchise’s president of basketball operations last season, will take to the sidelines to replace former head coach Rick Adelman.

Saunders will remain president of basketball operations while coaching. The Cleveland, Ohio, native is also a minority owner and will have to juggle multiple responsibilities.

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Chris Clarke will likely return to Minnesota for an official visit soon.
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Wed, 05/28/2014
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When Gophers men’s basketball head coach Richard Pitino tells out-of-state recruits about Minnesota, the athletically gifted teenagers typically don’t know what to expect.

It’s cold. It’s mostly rural. The school’s arena is called “The Barn.”

But if one of the Gophers’ top targets had preconceived notions about the North Star state, they were debunked after the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League tournament in Eagan, Minn., last weekend.

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Chris Clarke will likely be back for an official visit.
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Sun, 05/25/2014
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When Gophers head coach Richard Pitino tells out-of-state recruits about Minnesota, the athletically gifted teenagers typically don’t know what to expect.

It’s cold. It’s mostly rural. The school’s arena is called “The Barn.”

But if one of the Gophers’ top targets pre-conceived notions about the North Star state, they were debunked after playing in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League tournament in Eagan, Minn., last weekend.

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Richard Pitino’s recruits may not be highly ranked, but they fit his system.
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Thu, 05/08/2014
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Richard Pitino accentuated the importance of recruiting from the moment he stepped foot on campus.

The Gophers men’s head basketball coach punctuated his first season at the helm with an NIT title, but he knows future recruiting efforts are going to make the difference in the program turnaround.

“I think the one thing you do [as a head coach], 95 percent of the time, is you wake up and think about recruiting,” Pitino said before the season. “It’s the lifeblood of our program. I know the great coaches … have great players.”

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Publish Date: 
Tue, 04/29/2014
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I’ve covered almost every Gophers sports team in some capacity during my tenure at the Minnesota Daily.

In the span of the last three and a half years, my job has provided me a gateway into the approaches and philosophies of several different coaches at the University. Some I know better than others.

Though my own athletics career ended a few years back, if it was still going on today, there are a few coaches I’d really like to play for.

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