Richard Pitino Blog: Breaking Down Big Ten Play

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Golden Gopher basketball is already four games into conference play, the first Big Ten action for new head coach Richard Pitino. He takes the time to rate his team's performance in each game -- Michigan, Purdue, Penn State and Michigan State.

Tuesday also saw the release of a new episode of the team's web series, "Raise the Barn," featuring point guard Deandre Mathieu. Watch above or click here to watch that video.

Richard Pitino's Gophers are 2-2 through the first four B1G games.


Good:  We outrebounded Michigan by 14, and had 15 offensive rebounds.  Elliott having 10 rebounds in 24 minutes was big.  He has been our most consistent player.  He has earned the right to become more of a leader on our team.

Bad:  Shot selection!  We are too good of a shooting team to be shooting 26% from the 3-point line.  Typically when that happens it comes down to taking shots we don't practice.

Overall:  Oto and Elliott showed up on the glass.  Austin had 4 big steals.  We watched the film and learned that shot selection is key.  I have a great deal of respect for Coach Beilein and his program.


Good:  We learned from our mistakes in the Michigan game.  We shot 52% against a very good Purdue defense.  Elliott played phenomenal defense on AJ Hammons who was coming off a great game against Ohio State.  Elliott had 6 blocks!  Austin played a great all around game.

Bad:  Last 6 minutes.  We miscommunicated on defense.  We used poor clock management when we had the lead. 

Overall:  Showed flashes of greatness for 33 minutes.  We executed our game plan offensively and defensively.  We made several mistakes that almost cost us a league win.

@ Penn State

Good:  DeAndre and Austin made 2 huge steals at the end of the game.  Elliott changed the game defensively.  We shot 46% from the field in the second half. 

Bad:  Negative assist to turnover ratio wasn't good.  We weren't aggressive enough defensively until the last 2 minutes.

Overall:  A road win in the Big Ten is always something to be proud of!  We found a way to win when nothing was going right. 

Deandre Mathieu and the Gophers nearly came away with an upset at No. 5 Michigan State.

@ Michigan State

Good:  We played with great poise, confidence, and fearlessness.  Every timeout our guys believed we would win the game.  We executed in the first half offensively extremely well.

Bad:  There was a lot!  I counted 50 mistakes that we made throughout the game.  Defensively we didn't execute our pick and roll coverage.  Offensively we got away from throwing the ball inside.  These mistakes will catch up to you against an opponent like Michigan State. 

Overall:  Much like Purdue we showed flashes of greatness, but we also made costly mistakes at the end of the game.  We have to establish our inside attack again.


Can't wait for Thursday night.  Let's show college basketball what The Barn is all about, Gopher fans!


Go Gophers,

Richard Pitino

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