Nov. 21, 2013
Minnesota (5-0) 79, Wofford (1-3) 57
Williams Arena - Minneapolis, Minn.
Minnesota Head Coach Richard Pitino
"Good game obviously. I thought the start was the best part about it. Just responding to what we’ve talked about the last day and a half. To come back with that type of defensive intensity was really good and to do it without Joey King and Mo Walker, it was a hard game to coach.”
On this game as a confidence booster...
“I really believe it’s harder to play these games than it is to play at Richmond or against Syracuse in Maui because we don’t have to get them excited for those games. (For these games) you have to get it from within, with these guys in the locker room. They were very anxious to get back on the court because they were very disappointed about their defensive performance against Coastal (Carolina).”
“They played tremendous. Elliott almost getting a triple-double, he continues to grow and get better. Oto was great offensively. I just love the confidence he’s playing with right now. He played the 5, and that’s tough to do because he never practices at the 5. That shows his basketball IQ.”
Senior Guard Austin Hollins
On the team's overall play tonight...
“Even without Joey (King), we played with a lot of energy as a team defensively and offensively. When you’re playing really hard things start to go your way and getting on a transition with a few easy buckets.”
On what it would mean to beat Syracuse...
“It would be huge. They are a top-ranked team. We have to play like any other game and play as hard as we can. We respect them as an opponent.”
On this game as a transition for Maui...
“The way we played this game is going to help everyone’s confidence going into Maui.”
On playing the 4 position...
“I don’t mind playing the 4 position, especially with Joey gone. There were a few times I had to play the 4 position, and I don’t mind it. It’s not too big of a change for me.”
Sophomore Guard Wally Ellenson
On playing with four guards...
“Austin (Hollins) played (forward) before and we did a really good job rebounding.”
On what kind of test this was for the Maui Invitational...
“It was a tough game. Everyone is thinking about the future, but we have to focus on now. We have to focus on this game to get it out of the way.”
On the opportunity of playing in Maui...
“We are all really excited to go on the trip Maui to have fun and play Syracuse.”
Minnesota Downs NJIT, 74-68
Akeem Springs came off the bench to score 19 points and Nate Mason added 18 for Minnesota, which came from behind in the second half and escaped with a 74-68 victory against NJIT.
Preview: Gophers vs. NJIT
The men's basketball team returns to the Barn Tuesday to begin a six-game December homestand.
Minnesota holds off Vanderbilt in 56-52 win
Minnesota erased a 12-point first half deficit and hung on Saturday to defeat Vanderbilt 56-52.