Let the Gopher Basketball specualtion begin: Negativity reigns early on Pitino regime

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It's still nearly two months until the Gopher Basketball regular season opener against Lehigh, but that isn't stopping pundits from throwing opinions around on the maroon and gold.

The first preseason projections we've seen aren't favorable for new coach Rick Pitino and Minnesota basketball, with Lindys and The Sporting News slotting the Gophers at ninth in the Big Ten.

Minnesota has received a number of blows regarding the 2013-14 roster, including would-be transfer forward Rakeem Buckles transfer and free-to-play-this-season request denied.

The Gophers were ranked as high as eighth in the nation last year before going into a tailspin and backing into the NCAA tournament, in which they beat UCLA in round one before being eliminated by Florida in the round of 32.

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