Richard Pitino put together the most impressive turn around of any program this past season, taking an eight-win Minnesota team — one that was so bad on the court and ran into trouble with the law so many times off of it — that he had entered the season sitting at the top of just about every hot seat list on the internet.
By the end of the season, the Gophers were a No. 5 seed in the NCAA tournament with a 24-10 record, improving 16 games on the previous season and putting themselves in a position where they are ranked No. 14 in the NBC Sports Preseason Top 25.
“Since I came back to Minnesota as the AD last May, I have been impressed with Coach Pitino and his management of our men’s basketball program,” said Athletics Director Mark Coyle. “I’ve seen accountability, commitment and focus from every student-athlete and member of the men’s basketball staff, led by Coach Pitino. The team’s success on the court this year generated a lot of excitement on campus and around the state. I’m looking forward to much more of that with Coach Pitino leading our program.”
Pitino, who was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year last season, will enter his fifth season as the head coach of the Gophers. His contract was extended through 2022,
Former University of Washington star and NBA All-Star Brandon Roy was reportedly shot in the leg in Los Angeles over the weekend while visiting family.
According to USA Today, gunfire erupted outside of his Grandmother’s house, and Roy took the bullet as he was protecting children that were playing outside at the time.
The Portland Trail Blazers, whom Roy spent his entire NBA Career with, released a statement on the incident.
“Like many others, we’re just learning of the injury suffered by former Trail Blazers player Brandon Roy in a shooting over the weekend in California,” the statement read. “According to those reports, Brandon was wounded as a bystander but is expected to recover. Our thoughts and prayers are with Brandon and his family.”
Roy spent this past basketball season as the head coach at Nathan Hale HS in Seattle, the school that Michael Porter Jr. and Jontay Porter attended.
A crime-wave has hit Luke Kennard’s hometown of Franklin, Ohio.
It seems people cannot stop stealing signs declaring Franklin the home of Ohio’s two-time Mr. Basketball.
Franklin is not a large town — population 11,771, according to Wikipedia — and they are awful proud of producing Kennard, who twice won Mr. Basketball in the state of Ohio and had more career points in high school than LeBron James.
Well, they made five signs at the entry points for the town that let everyone entering Franklin that, yes, it was indeed the home of Luke Kennard. Well, since Kennard has declared for the NBA Draft, two of those five signs have been stolen, forcing the other three to be taken down as a precaution.
Those signs reportedly cost $155.00 to make, making the thieves that swiped those signs quite possibly the dumbest criminals since this guy.
North Carolina and Theo Pinson announced on Wednesday that the 6-foot-6 wing will be returning to school for his senior season.
“I’m glad I took the time to explore the NBA Draft process but I am going to play my senior year as a Tar Heel,” said Pinson in a statement. “It was a dream of mine to play college basketball at the best school and in the best league in the country, and it is a dream of mine to play in the NBA as well. The best path for me to reach the league and have a long career there is to have a great senior season and I am so excited to have that opportunity to play another year for Coach Williams and finish my degree as well.”
As a junior, Pinson averaged 6.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists despite battling foot injuries throughout the year. A former five-star prospect, Pinson has developed into a key role player for the Tar Heels, a guy that fits in perfectly on the wing.
Last week, Joel Berry II announced that he would be returning to school for his senior season as well, meaning that Roy Williams is currently waiting on two decisions: Tony Bradley and Kevin Knox. Bradley is a potential first round pick if he opts to head to the NBA, but he’s also a guy that could end up being one of the five best big men in college basketball should he return to school. Knox, a top ten prospect in the Class of 2017, would be the ideal replacement for Justin Jackson on the wing. He is expected to make a decision soon, and will reportedly be picking between UNC, Duke, Kentucky and Florida State.
If the Tar Heels get both of those players, they’ll likely end up being the preseason No. 1 team in the country.
TMZ Sports caught up with John Calipari to ask him about LaVar Ball, and, as anyone who has dealt with John Calipari before will probably guess, he says a whole lot without actually saying anything in the interview.
Kansas landed a commitment from William & Mary transfer Jack Whitman, according to multiple reports on Tuesday afternoon.
Whitman is a 6-foot-9, 235 pound low-post presence from Lexington, Kentucky. As a junior, he averaged 10.1 points and 5.4 boards, but opted to become a graduate transfer. He’ll provide Kansas with some front court depth next season, becoming the seventh transfer on the roster for the Jayhawks next season: Malik Newman, San Cunliffe and Dwight Coleby will play next year while Dedric Lawson, K.J. Lawson and Charlie Moore will sit out the season as redshirts.
Here’s where this thing gets interesting, however: He would also be the 13th player on scholarship for the Jayhawks next season, meaning that there would not currently be room for Trevon Duval or Jeremiah Tilmon, uncommitted Class of 2017 players, or Svi Mykhailiuk, a sophomore who declared for the NBA Draft without an agent.