Pitino undecided on Ellenson; almost-Gopher Buckles honored


The Gophers host Montana tomorrow night, and a few things stood out the day before their clash with the Big Sky conference opponent.

Head coach Richard Pitino said today that forward Wally Ellenson is once again healthy and available for the Gophers, as he was Friday in their regular season opener, but wouldn't commit to playing Ellenson.

The ultra-athletic sophomore swingman saw significant playing time in both of the Gophers' exhibition games, but was held out Friday because of a reported disagreement between he and Pitino.

Reports of a heated verbal altercation have been dismissed by all parties, but Pitino has sidestepped most questions about the issue.

Elsewhere, Florida International forward Rakeem Buckles, who was nearly a Gopher before having his appeal to transfer to Minnesota denied, has been named the Conference USA Player of the Week.

Buckles, who will round out an embattled NCAA career this year with the Panthers, posted averages of 18 points and 12 rebounds per game in FIU's first three contests, recording double-doubles in all of them.

Pitino was furious when Buckles' transfer was denied, and this honor likely will not settle those feelings.

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