Richard Pitino

Minnesota’s Mo Walker shed more than 50 pounds this summer

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At his heaviest, at the end of his freshman season at Minnesota, Mo Walker was 346 pounds.

Think about that.

That’s heavier than a lot of NFL offensive linemen, whose sole purpose on the field is to be able to stand in one place while getting hit at full speed by the likes of Jared Allen and Julius Peppers. In other words, Walker weighed more than men that were paid millions of dollars to get big enough not to move.

It’s no wonder that Walker managed to average all of 2.2 points in 6.6 minutes last season, and that was in Tubby Smith’s, grind-it-out system.

This year, he’s being coached by Richard Pitino, the son of Rick Pitino, and while the apple doesn’t fall to far from the tree, neither does the coaching style. The younger Pitino’s teams press and get up-and-down the floor just as much as the elder’s, which is why Walker has made the transformation you see below:

source:
Walker’s Instagram

Walker’s shed 50 pounds since the end of last season and nearly 100 pounds in his time as a Gopher, as he’s now reportedly down to a trim 260.

“I’m really proud of him for being so self-motivated,” Pitino told Jeff Eisenberg of the Dagger. “People think we’ve had this big, long strategic plan and we’ve had to be on him every single day, but it was really simple. I just told him he wasn’t going to play unless he lost a lot of weight, and that was really it. He’s done the rest.”

How did he lose the weight?

Well, increased conditioning workouts and weightlifting sessions have helped, but the biggest change that Walker made was to his diet. No more pasta. No more junk food. No more ice cream and vanilla milkshakes.

“If I were to go to [a Mexican restaurant], I’d just have to order salad instead of a burrito,” he told Myron Medcalf of ESPN.com.

The process isn’t over for the redshirt junior. Just because Walker’s in better shape and eating healthier doesn’t mean that he’s ready to take over the paint for Minnesota with Rodney Williams and Trevor Mbakwe off to the professional ranks.

He still needs to become a better basketball player, but that task is much easier without that extra weight slowing him down.

VIDEO: Memphis’ Shaq Goodwin gets technical foul for copying famous Vince Carter dunk

Memphis forward Shaq Goodwin (2) shoots over Cincinnati forward Quadri Moore (0) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
(AP Photo/Gary Landers)
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Memphis senior forward Shaq Goodwin picked up one of the dumbest technical fouls of the season on Saturday with the Tigers on the road against Tulane. Goodwin attempted to copy Vince Carter’s famous arm-in-the-rim dunk from the 2000 NBA dunk contest. This would have been okay during pregame warmups, but Goodwin tried to pull this off on a breakaway near the end of the first half. He was quickly hit with the T for hanging on the rim.

Goodwin has good timing when it comes to current events, as the NBA’s dunk contest airs on Saturday night, but the timing of pulling this off in the first half of a tight conference game is not so great.

For past reference, here’s Carter’s original arm-in-the-rim dunk from 2000, which had everyone astonished since it had never been done before.

(H/T: The Cauldron)

No. 20 Providence ends skid with 75-72 win over Georgetown

Providence guard Kris Dunn (3) shoots the ball as Georgetown forward Isaac Copeland (11) and forward Trey Mourning (33) defend during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Providence, R.I., Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)
(AP Photo/Stew Milne)
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) Rodney Bullock had 23 points and 10 rebounds, and No. 20 Providence held off a furious rally to beat Georgetown 75-72 on Saturday.

Kris Dunn added 20 points, and Ben Bentil finished with 16 points and nine rebounds to help the Friars (19-7, 7-6 Big East) end a three-game losing streak.

Georgetown (14-12, 7-6) had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds, but L.J. Peak’s 3-point attempt was blocked by Bullock.

The Hoyas cut what had been a 26-point first-half deficit all the way down to a point with just over a minute to play.

The Friars put the ball in the hands of Dunn and Bentil, and they accounted for 12 of Providence’s final 14 points to help stave off Georgetown’s comeback efforts.

Marcus Derrickson led the Hoyas with 18 points and nine rebounds.

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, the Hoyas’ leading scorer, knocked down a 3-pointer – his first basket of the game – to pull Georgetown within 70-67 with 2:42 left.

It was 71-67 when Dunn blocked a shot by Smith-Rivera. But Bentil came up empty on a 3-point attempt on Providence’s ensuing possession.

Georgetown got it back and cut it to a point on a 3 by Trey Mourning with 1:08 left.

Bullock was fouled underneath and connected on two free throws to push the lead back up to three.

Out of a timeout, Georgetown ran the shot clock down and Isaac Copeland was fouled on a 3-point attempt by Junior Lomomba with 10 seconds left.

But Copeland got only two of the three free throws, forcing the Hoyas to foul Bentil.

Bentil made both, setting up Georgetown’s final shot.

The Friars’ offense was in sync early, and had an 11-0 run midway through the first half.

Georgetown fell apart on both ends of the court during the stretch, going without a field goal for nearly 7 minutes, and turning it over five times as it fell into a 20-point deficit.

TIP-INS

Georgetown: Had five players in double figures. … Shot 25 percent in the first half (9 for 28).

Providence: Its 49 points in the first half was a season-high. The previous first-half high was 47 points against Hartford on Dec. 2. … Had only two first-half turnovers.

UP NEXT

Georgetown hosts Seton Hall on Wednesday.

Providence travels to No.5 Xavier on Wednesday.