Richard Pitino Blog: Breaking Down First Look Scrimmage

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Thanks to the thousands of Gopher fans that came to the Barn on Friday night for our first open scrimmage of the season. If you missed it, you can watch highlights from the game above or click here for a recap and box score. Below are my player-by-player evaluations of how I felt each guy performed:


Charles Buggs
Did a good job of trapping in the press.  
Had a great steal.  
Attempted to offensive rebound.  
He will continue to improve.
Only a freshman.

0 rebounds in 13 minutes.

Wally Ellenson
Played with a very high motor.  
4 offensive rebounds was great.  
9 deflections was also very encouraging.  
Has the physical ability to be a stat sheet stuffer.
He will continue to improve because he wants to get better.

Struggled with certain things defensively in the half court - very normal for this time of year.  
Has to be ready to rotate for steals better in the press.  

Joey King
Took 2 charges and got three offensive rebounds.
Attempted his first two point shot in a Gopher uniform during a scrimmage!

0 defensive rebounds and 5 fouls.  
Very willing to draw charges but is a half step slow on his rotations.

DeAndre Mathieu
There were a lot of them!  
9 deflections, took 11 high percentage shots.  
Showed great leadership.  
Never quit, fought through fatigue.

Didn't demand the ball vs. the press.  
Had a negative assist to turnover ratio.

Kendal Shell
Played good defense on the ball.  
Always shows great leadership.


Malik Smith
He didn't hurt any of our great fans with his errant passes.
He will be fine.

1 for 9 on challenged shots.  
8 turnovers, 0 assists. 

Mo Walker
6 deflections for a big is great.  
9 rebounds and 5 offensive were a team high.  
Drew a big charge at the end of the game.
Love the direction he is headed.

6 missed screens.  
Not a whole lot of other negatives - I was impressed.


Maverick Ahanmisi
Took very good shots.  
Stayed within himself and didn't force much.  
5 defelections.

6 turnovers and 6 fouls.

Elliott Eliason
5 rebounds was good, not great.  
Made some very nice passes out of the post.  
Ran the court well.  
Did a better job screening.  
He is getting better.

Only 1 offensive rebound.  
Still needs to demand the ball better in the post.

Andre Hollins
Great defensive performance.  
Team high 10 deflections and 5 steals.  
He is showing pride in becoming a great defender.  
Effort was extraordinary.  
Didn't force anything.

Only one rebound.

Austin Hollins
All positive.  
Really impressed with his overall performance.  
Very efficient.
Played great defense.  
6 deflections.
He is playing with a lot of confidence right now.

2 turnovers - other than that he was phenomenal.

Daquien McNeil
Effort level was very good.  
4 deflections in 13 minutes.
Great attitude.

4 turnovers.

Oto Osenieks
Best he has looked as a Gopher.  
Showed a lot of toughness.  
7 rebounds.  
Was efficient offensively.  
Very happy with the strides he took.

4 missed screens, 2 bad turnovers against the press.

I am very happy with the strides we are taking as a team.  We got much tougher this scrimmage.  I showed the team a couple of clips from Louisville's scrimmage last week that my father sent me. We tried to explain to the guys that if they wanted to compete with the best they had to be as physical as the best.  I also showed them the clip of Torii Hunter trying to rob David Ortiz of a home run in the playoffs. They responded very well after watching both films. The maroon team won the game because they were the better "team."  They played together offensively and defensively.  Gold did a lot of good things but tried to do it by themselves.  I was impressed and grateful for the crowd that showed up Friday night.  That's what makes this job and program so special.  

The goal over the next couple of weeks is certainly to continue to develop on the fundamentals.  One glaring issue is the turnovers.  

Less than three weeks to our first game!
Go Gophers!

Richard Pitino

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