Oct. 31, 2013
The Gophers open the 2013 exhibition schedule against Cardinal-Stritch University, the reigning NAIA Division II National Champions. Minnesota will host Concordia-St. Paul on Monday, Nov. 4 at Williams Arena before Lehigh comes to Minneapolis to officially begin the 2013-14 campaign.
Minnesota will begin the season with a whole new coaching staff, as well as five newcomers on the roster.
Head Coach Richard Pitino comes to Minnesota after spending last season at the helm of the Florida International program.
Pitino led FIU to 18 wins, the fourth-most in program history, and its first appearance in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship game. FIU finished with 11 conference wins on the season, the most by a Panther team since joining the Sun Belt Conference.
FIU had not had a winning season since 1999-2000 and in the three seasons before Pitino's hiring posted a combined record of 26-65.
Pitino added former Gopher Ben Johnson, along with Dan McHale and Kimani Young, to his staff at Minnesota.
Guards Malik Smith, DeAndre Mathieu and Daquein McNeil, along with forward Joey King will be making their Gopher debuts in Maroon & Gold. The roster also includes freshman walk-on guard Jasen Baranowski.
The Hollins' Chance at History:
Senior guard Austin Hollins and junior guard Andre Hollins will begin the 2013-14 season with career point totals of 851 and 820, respectively.
Austin Hollins finished his junior campaign with a career-high scoring average of 10.7 points per game, the second-highest average on the team last season.
Andre Hollins led the Gophers, and finished eighth in the Big Ten Conference, with an average of 14.6 ppg last season, earning All-Big Ten Honorable Mention honors by coaches and Third Team All-Big Ten by the media.
With 1,000 career points, Andre & Austin would join 38 other former Gophers on the list. Rodney Williams joined the list last season, finishing with 1,145 points.
Looking Back at 2012-13:
The Gophers finished the season with 21 victories and qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
Minnesota went 1-1 in the NCAA Tournament with an 83-63 victory over UCLA in the second round before losing to Florida 78-64. It was the first NCAA Tourney victory for the Gophers since the 1989-90 season (not counting vacated seasons).
Minnesota led the Big Ten Conference in blocked shots with a total of 187 last season, the fourth-most in program history. The Gophers have now led the conference in blocks the last five seasons, including five of the top six season block totals in the history of the Gopher program: a program leading 201 in 2008-09, 199 in 2009-10, 186 in 2011-12 and 169 in 2010-11.
Minnesota also led the Big Ten Conference in rebounding margin (+7.6) and offensive rebounds with and average of 14.7 offensive boards per game.
Rodney Williams finished his Gopher career with 1,145 points - 26th on the Gophers scoring list. Williams also finished with 537 rebounds to become just the 19th Gopher in the history of the program to amass 1,000 pts & 500 rbs. in a career.
Andre Hollins erupted for 41 points in a win over the University of Memphis, the third-highest total in the history of Gopher basketball - Oliver Shannon (42 vs. Wisconsin - 3/6/71) & Eric Magdanz (42 at Michigan - 3/5/62).