USA Today names Gophers' Richard Pitino among 5 college coaches who should consider jumping to the NBA

That's a bold strategy, Cotton.
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Richard Pitino

In an effort to not waste any more of your time than you already are by reading this article, we're here to tell you that a USA Today columnist put Richard Pitino's name among a group of five college basketball coaches who "should consider" making a jump to the NBA. 

USA Today's Scott Gleason forced out a story Monday reacting to John Beilein's decision to leave Michigan for the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, and he came up with five current college coaches who should consider following suit. 

The first five are no-brainers: Jay Wright (Villanova), Bill Self (Kansas), Tom Izzo (Michigan State) and Mike Krzyzewski (Duke). 

The last name: Pitino. 

"What's most intriguing about Pitino, perhaps more than being the son of Rick Pitino, is his age. At 36, Richard Pitino's early success as a head coach at Minnesota — he was 2017's Big Ten coach of the year — seems like the first of many accomplishments. It's the same reason coach Shaka Smart (now 42) was on NBA teams' radars half a decade ago after a then-36-year-old Stevens went to the Celtics."

Gleason fails to point out that Shaka Smart was also on everyone's radar – and never made the jump to the NBA – because he led Virginia Commonwealth, an 11-seed in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, all the way to the Final Four. 

Pitino has guided the Gophers to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances in six seasons, winning one of three tournament games. 

As crazy as it sounds, Pitino continues to get national exposure and attention. That's good for the Gophers, and never a bad thing to be named alongside four future Hall of Fame coaches. 

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