Gophers: Pitino previews season at Big Ten Media Day in Chicago


Richard Pitino's first year at the helm of the Golden Gophers men's basketball team didn't culminate with a trip to the NCAA Tournament, but it did lead to 25 wins and the NIT title.

The tournament championship was a solid start for Pitino, but he joked during his press conference Thursday at Big Ten Media Day in Chicago, Illinois, that the NIT title wasn't even mentioned in the media's notes.

The upcoming season begins in less than a month when Pitino faces his father, Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals Nov. 14 in the Armed Forces Classic in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

This year's Gophers return four of five starters, including a dynamic backcourt featuring Andre Hollins and DeAndre Mathieu. Hollins was slowed for the majority of conference play last season after he sprained his ankle in Minnesota's upset win over the Wisconsin Badgers, who were voted the favorite to win the Big Ten this year.

Hollins is healthy again and Pitino expects the senior scorer to have a big season.

Among other notes, Pitino said he expects fewer 3-point attempts and more balance on offense, and a more aggressive, turnover generating defense this year.

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