Minnesota Richard Pitino Basketball

Richard Pitino introduced at Minnesota, has already talked to Tyus Jones and Rashad Vaughn

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Richard Pitino, son of future Hall of Famer, Rick, was introduced as the new head coach at Minnesota on Friday, taking over for Tubby Smith.

Norwood Teague is rolling the dice, hiring a 30-year-old with one season of head coaching experience. Though, Pitino has studied under his father as well as Florida’s Billy Donovan and took Florida International to a 18-14 record and was within one win of earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Pitino in his press conference held on Friday mentioned that landing the Big Ten coaching job was a dream come true and he has one promise for the Golden Gopher faithful.

“It’s going to be a style that the kids love to play,” Pitino told reporters.

Pitino, who’s press conference aired on the Big Ten Network, used the right choice of words, especially in this year of Minnesota high school hoops. The North Star State has a talented group of players in the Class of 2014, including point guard Tyus Jones (Apple Valley High/Apple Valley, Minn.), shooting guard Rashad Vaughn (Cooper High/New Hope, Minn.) and small forward Reid Travis (De La Salle/Minneapolis Minn.) ranked by Rivals as No. 3, 6, and 41 overall, respectively.

All of them have been offered by Minnesota and  the new coach of the Golden Gophers had talked to each of them by Thursday, according to TwinCities.com.

“He seems like a good guy. He was really friendly,” Vaughn told Marcus R. Fuller of the Pioneer Press. I don’t know much about him yet, but I do like the brand of basketball that I’ve heard.”

Jones narrowed his list to seven back in early March which included Minnesota. The 6-foot-7 Reid has more than a dozen high major offers including Michigan State, Arizona and Notre Dame. Vaughn, the 6-foot-5 shooting guard, also has a wide-open recruitment which includes offers from Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, Syracuse and Pitino’s father’s team, Louisville.

Richard Pitino takes over a Minnesota team that finished 21-13 (8-10 Big Ten), eighth in the conference.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

VIDEO: Kentucky’s ‘Dancing Guy’ has scary fall while carrying girl

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Kentucky’s ‘Dancing Guy’ has turned into a fan favorite at Rupp Arena.

Every home game, during one of the TV timeouts in the second half, ‘Mony Mony’ will come on, Dancing Guy will hop into the aisle and he’ll break it down like only a middle-aged white guy from Kentucky can.

As you can see, it didn’t quite go all that well for Dancing Guy on Tuesday night, as he tried to do a rail slide while holding a young, female fan and completely ate it.

Here’s another angle of the fall:

It looks much scarier that it actually was, as all reports indicate that everyone made it through the fall healthy.

No. 5 Xavier stumbles at Creighton, lose 70-54

Creighton's Cole Huff (13) and Toby Hegner, left, guard Xavier's Jalen Reynolds (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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Mo Watson went for a career-high 32 points, seven boards and five assists as Creighton jumped out to an early 21-4 lead and never looked back, beating No. 5 Xavier, 70-54, in Omaha on Tuesday night.

 

It was a massive win for the Bluejays, who still have an outside shot at earning an at-large bid this season. (We wrote all about that here.)

As well as Creighton played, the bigger story here may actually be Xavier, who lost for just the third time this season; they had been the only top ten team with just two losses to their name.

The issue for the Musketeers tonight was two-fold, but they both are a symptom of what could be an issue down the road for this team: Xavier doesn’t really have a true point guard.

They certainly didn’t have anyone to stop Watson. By the second half, they had essentially asked Reynolds, who was playing the middle of their 1-3-1 zone to matchup with Watson. It was weird but was actually somewhat effective.

The Musketeers also started out ice cold from the floor, missing 11 of their first 13 shots, and those misses led to leak outs from Bluejays, who got layups and open threes in transition to build that 17 point lead. Once Xavier got behind, it turned into scramble mode for Xavier. They forced shots early in the clock and didn’t start pounding the ball into the paint until it was too late. What they needed was someone to be able to settle things, to ensure that offensive would get initiated and sets would get executed when they were able to get the lead down to single digits.

That 1-for-19 shooting performance from beyond the arc certainly didn’t help matters, and neither did the fact that they got just nine field goals all game from players not named James Farr or Jalen Reynolds. The most frustrating part for head coach Chris Mack? They had good shots. It wasn’t like Creighton took away everything that Xavier wanted to do.

The kids just had one of those nights where nothing went down.

Those happen.

And when you combine them with a total inability to contain the opposing team’s point guard, what you get is a 16 point loss on the road against a team that was desperate to get a good win.