Good morning Gopher fans,
Barely two weeks have passed since our players came back to campus for the school year. We have had a total of six individual instruction workouts with our guys. Along with working our players out on campus, our staff has hit the road recruiting.
Freshman Bakary Konate is one of Coach Pitino's early standouts.
- I have been impressed with several players. As for the
newcomers, Bakary Konate has stood out the most. This year will be
perfect for him to learn under Elliott and Mo. He is a legit 6-11, plays
with a high motor, and is very skilled. He also is a phenomenal kid and a quick
learner. We are very excited! Andre and Deandre continue to progress
on the court as well as in the weight room. They should prove to be a
very strong backcourt.
- Next week we will start team practice for a total of two
hours a week. We will bring them along slowly starting with the basic
fundamentals on defense. The look of this year's team will be
different. We will certainly miss our veterans and they will be tough to
replace. All of our newcomers are eager to learn and will have to impact
this team immediately. It will be fun to see who separates themselves.
- September 9th marked the beginning of the recruiting
period. The first three days I was in Minnesota, Kansas, and several
different locations in Florida. Last year's NIT championship and 25 wins
has certainly helped in recruiting. We hope to deliver a very strong recruiting
class that tailors to our system. We will try to get quicker and more
athletic. We constantly talk about our tremendous fan base and our second-to-none basketball conference. Expectations will
be higher this season. They should be! We will embrace the challenge.
- Hoops season is just around the corner and we need to be ready.
Not too many programs open up their season vs. a top-five team on national
TV. Gopher fans, I must warn you. Ignore anything and everything
that comes out of my father's mouth leading up to this game. He does it on the
golf course all the time and will start playing mind games with all of us soon
enough! Pay no attention to him. He will say they are young and
inexperienced. They are talented, athletic and obviously well-coached.
He will tell everyone we are the overwhelming favorite. Prepare
yourselves. He tried to coach my team last year during the NIT
championship. I am looking forward to watching him try to coach both
teams at once on November 14th! Haha.
- Thanks to Land O' Lakes for their generous donation.
Our basketball program is extremely grateful.
- The immediate upgrades to Bierman and to our Williams Arena
locker room are first-class. The barber shop was also a nice touch.
I have said it before and I'll say it again, we have one of the best athletic
directors in the country. Norwood Teague will continue to move this
athletic department forward.
Good luck to the football team on Saturday.
Should be a fun one!
"I am thrilled and honored to be the next women's basketball coach at Macalester College," Roysland said in a release announcing her hiring. "It is a great school, in a competitive conference and I am looking forward to leading the women's basketball program."
Roysland finished her basketball career at Minnesota ranked 12th (currently 16th) on Minnesota's all-time scoring list with 1,074 career points. She averaged 8.5 points per game over 126 contests for the Gophers, including a team-high 13.2 points per game during her senior season in 2006-07.
As a senior, Roysland was named Minnesota's Most Valuable Player, while earning All-Big Ten third team accolades from the conference's media members and honorable mention honors from the league's coaches. She also fared well in the classroom, earning Academic All-Big Ten acclaim her final three seasons with the Gophers, and was a two-time recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award in 2007 and 2008.
During her Gopher career, Minnesota made three trips to the NCAA Tournament and one appearance in the WNIT. Roysland played in nine NCAA Tournament games, which included reserve roles on the Golden Gophers' 2004 Final Four team and 2005 Sweet Sixteen squad, while averaging 6.6 points per game in those nine contests.
Roysland earned her bachelor's degree in sport management, graduating from Minnesota in 2007 with a 3.365 grade point average. She then compiled a 3.860 GPA to receive a master's degree in exercise science from Minnesota in 2009. She received the University of Minnesota's Presidential Leadership Award in 2007. She is one of three former Gopher players - Carol Ann Shudlick and Lindsay Whalen being the others -- with an endowed scholarship in her name.
Roysland also served as an assistant coach at Minnesota for four seasons (2010-14), where she worked with the Gophers' guards, as well as having responsibilities with scouting and recruiting. She aided Minnesota in securing the 17th-ranked recruiting class in 2011 and the 34th-ranked recruiting class in 2010 nationally. She also helped guide the team's guards to numerous accolades, including six All-Big Ten honors, WBCA All-Region 6 and WBCA Honorable Mention All-America honors.
Her father, Mike Roysland, is the head women's basketball coach at Division II member UM Crookston.
Gopher women's hockey alum Krissy Wendell has been named the co-host of a Minnesota high school sports television program airing on 45TV this year. The two-time Olympian will co-host MN Prep Spotlight with Tori Holt. The first installment of the half-hour show is set to air at 11 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 30.
School Space Media is partnering with Hubbard Broadcasting to air the program on 45TV. MN Prep Spotlight will cover "human interest features and highlights/scores on all parts of Minnesota high school athletics." The program is scheduled to run through the end of the Minnesota State High School League Baseball Tournament and will cover all MSHSL sanctioned athletics.
"I am really excited to join the show," Wendell said. "I have always talked about how passionate I am regarding high school athletics, and I am very eager to get started this coming fall."
"Adding Krissy to our team demonstrates our commitment to providing knowledgeable and insightful analysis into prep sports in Minnesota," said School Space Media's President Brian Nicholson. "Her experience as a prep athlete, a two-time Olympian and lifelong athlete helps Prep Spotlight share stories of interesting and exceptional young athletes and those who help shape them."
Wendell competed for the Gophers for three seasons from 2002-03 through 2004-05. She was a three-time All-American and the 2005 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner. Wendell still ranks second in Gopher women's hockey career scoring with 237 points (106 goals, 131 assists). In addition to winning two NCAA national championships with the Gophers, Wendell competed for Team USA in the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah and the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy. Wendell recently joined 45TV as a studio analyst during the MSHSL Girls Hockey Tournament as well.
Summer Blog Photo Gallery
Hello folks! This summer has been quite a whirlwind of hard work and good times. I started out the summer at home in Wheaton, Ill. for a couple of weeks where I got to spend some nice quality time with my family, friends, and my dog, Sugar.
It was nice to be home and relax for a bit before I returned back to campus to start my summer classes. I took a Spanish course to fulfill a minor requirement and a course about technology in the elementary classroom for my major, Elementary Education. When I wasn't in class, I was putting in work in the weight room with our strength coach, Sara Wiley, to get ready for the season.
I also spent some time hitting with Erica Meyer in the mornings and volunteering when I could. The rest of my days were filled with some fun projects including: creating fun, new wall art for my room, organizing my ever-growing closet, and catching up on television shows I was too busy to watch during the school year. On nice days, I am fortunate enough to go to the Meyer's house and spend some time on the lake with Erica and some other teammates.
Other than the normal schedule, I had three really special days this summer. The first was tubing down the Apple River with some of my teammates. It was a beautiful day and we just got to lay in some inner tubes and float along the Apple River for three hours just relaxing and talking. When we were done, we headed into Stillwater for a nice dinner and some more fun.
The second was my trip home in the beginning of August for Lollapalooza, a music festival in Chicago. Everyone on the team knows that I am a HUGE music fan, and going to concerts is what makes me happiest. So, going to Lollapalooza is a real treat. This year, my whole family went and it was really special to get to share our love of music and concerts with each other for three days in Chicago.
My third favorite day of summer would have to be actually a couple of days this past week. The seniors on campus got to help the freshmen move into their dorms and get settled. It is really great to see them excited to get started and be a part of the Gopher Softball program. We are really fortunate to be adding six more girls and their families to the Gopher Softball family. These freshmen are extremely talented and great to be around. It is going to be really fun to see their impact this year and in the years to come after my senior class leaves the program.
I am looking forward to starting this fall season; hope to see you all at some games!
Softball Summer Blog #1: Erica Meyer
Softball Summer Blog #2: Erika Smyth
Softball Summer Blog #3: Madie Eckstrom
Softball Summer Blog #5: Hannah Melick
Softball Summer Blog #6: Sydney Fabian
Softball Summer Blog #7: Kaitlyn Richardson
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Minnesota making progress (Pioneer Press)
Predictions from Joe C (Star Tribune) and Marcus (Pioneer Press)
These Gophers play defense (Star Tribune)