Good afternoon, Gopher fans!
I am currently writing this blog 30,000 feet in the air, headed back from my last recruiting trip of the July recruiting period. A lot of coaches differ in their approach when it comes to July recruiting. During this period, NCAA rules allow us to evaluate possible recruits. That means we aren't allowed any in-person contact with a recruit, AAU coach, or anyone associated with the recruit. Many coaches have different game plans during this time. Some head coaches will follow around their top targets and make sure they are seen at their games. Other coaches believe being seen during this period isn't important come decision time. I have gone back and forth on this topic. I do believe it keeps you in the mix with recruits, but when it's time for a decision to be made, rarely does me being at their games in July come into the discussion. There are several stages to recruiting and this is simply a necessary step that has to be taken. Every kid is unique and values certain things in the process differently. Our staff will get together tomorrow and put together a game plan for how to approach each recruit.
Over the last two weeks we have done individual instruction instead of team practices. My goal during our team practices was to establish our style of play with the guys - more so offensively than defensively. We have given them a few plays and let them run with it. We have taught them certain terminology and rules that they will hear daily during the season. In the end, the summer is great because we get to work with our players, but it will be completely different than the regular season. We also do our best to build as much chemistry with the incoming guys so that they feel comfortable when school starts. It's only July and everyone understands it is a long season. A great foundation was laid with Coach Smith. We are looking to continue to strengthen that foundation each and every day.
I hope everyone was able to pick up Saturday's Wall Street Journal. The front page mentioned a story, "The Nations Nicest City." It was a two-page feature about how beautiful the Twin Cities are. It certainly was a great depiction of how beautiful our new home truly is. I hope everyone can check it out!
The Wall Street Journal has a great article about Minnesota today. Love the headline! pic.twitter.com/wSKzugUb7O-- Richard Pitino (@MNCoachPitino) July 27, 2013
Can't give enough credit to what Mo Walker has done with his body over the summer. He has lost more than 50 pounds and will continue to be in the best shape of his life.
Congrats to Peyton Siva, a player I helped recruit while I was at Louisville, and his new wife, Patience. I took a break from recruiting on Saturday to attend their wedding. Peyton is a great player and an even better person. We hope to find another one like him on the recruiting trail!
Lastly, we will be releasing our non-conference schedule tomorrow so be sure to check it out on Gophersports.com.