KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Minnesota head men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino and junior Nate Mason added to their impressive list of awards Wednesday, as both earned All-District recognition from the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
Pitino was named the District 7 Coach of the Year, while Mason was tabbed to the NABC All-District 7 Second Team.
In his fourth year at the helm, Pitino engineered the best win improvement in both the NCAA and in program history, improving by 16 victories. The Gophers (24-10, 11-7) earned their highest finish in the Big Ten in 12 seasons, also the last time Minnesota finished conference play with a winning record. Minnesota earned a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament, its highest seed since 1982, and its first NCAA berth since 2013. Pitino was also voted the Big Ten Coach of the Year by the Associated Press and the league’s polls of media and head coaches.
Mason led the Gophers in scoring, assists, steals, free throw shooting, and minutes played as he became the first NABC All-District Selection for the Gophers since Trevor Mbakwe in 2013. A first-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches, media and Associated Press, Mason also earned USBWA All-District Team honors. He moved to 23rd on all-time scoring list (1,214 points), fourth in career assists (382) and 14th in career steals (129), while posting the second-most assists in single season school history (169). The Decatur, Ga., native became the first player in school history with more than 500 points and 100 assists in a season.
The full list of NABC Division I All-District Teams can be found here.
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