ESPN writer: U of M basketball coach is a bad job


The University of Minnesota mens basketball coaching position is one of college basketball's bad jobs, according to an article from ESPN.com's Myron Medcalf.

The U of M was among eight schools listed. The list included two other Big Ten schools, Northwestern and Rutgers.

Medcalf said the perception of the Gophers program among recruits has helped contribute to their lack of success.

"The elite kids in Minnesota don't dream of playing for the Gophers the way that Michigan kids want to play for Tom Izzo and John Beilein, or how North Carolina prospects dream of joining the Blue Devils and Tar Heels," Medcalf said.

Medcalf knows a thing or two about the Gophers' program. He covered the Gopher basketball team for the Star Tribune until 2011, when he left to work for ESPN.com.

The Gophers have had a tough time with recruiting the state's top players, as Medcalf points out. Three Minnesotans were in RecruitingNation's top 30 2014 basketball recruits, and all three chose schools other than the U of M.

Medcalf also points out Minnesota's facility troubles. The Gophers now have an 86-year old arena and have been working to round up enough funds for a new practice facility, despite current coach Richard Pitino's attempt at a make-shift practice facility.

The U of M is on their third coach since the program was rocked by scandal in the late 90s. The Gophers have made it to the NCAA Tournament five times since 1999, but only made it out of the first round in 2013, Tubby Smith's final season.

It appeared as though the Gophers did not get their first choice when hiring Pitino. During the hiring process, it was rumored the Gophers went after the likes of Fred Hoiberg and Gopher alum Flip Saunders, but ended up with a more young and upcoming coach like Pitino.

While Pitino and the Gophers did win the NIT championship in his first season, Medcalf says Pitino will run into the same problems as his predecessors.

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