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!