Mouthpiece: Pitino a refreshing change for Gophers hoops
When Tubby Smith was hired to coach the University of Minnesota men's basketball team in 2007, it was the start of something big at The Barn, time to start thinking of days gone by when Clem Haskins brought a Minnesota team to a Final Four (or did that ever really happen?). Or, at least that's what it was supposed to be.
For whatever reason, Tubby wasn't able to bring that excitement back to Williams Arena, at least not consistently. He never seemed to connect with Gophers fans.
That's what makes new head coach Richard Pitino so refreshing.
It's way too soon to say he'll be the guy to get the Gophs back to a Final Four. But, he is charasmatic (as shown recently by his blogging skills on GopherSports.com). That charisma has already helped him connect with fans and players -- and not in a Tim Brewster, make-you-wanna-lose-your-lunch kind of way.
He also looks like a winning college basketball coach — his father.
But, y'know, no pressure, Richard.
— Jason Feldman