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Gophers’ Pitino — Dealing with L’ville not a distraction

DES MOINES, Iowa — Minnesota coach Richard Pitino had the predictable thought when he noticed the Gophers would play towards Louisville within the first spherical of the NCAA event.

“Once you see Louisville pop up, you are extra about, ‘What am I going to say to the media? How am I going to mislead the media?”’ Pitino stated. “It’s a must to be ready for these questions.”

Ready he was on Wednesday, a day earlier than the 10-seed Gophers face the 7-seed Cardinals within the East Regional. After permitting a quick peek into his preliminary pondering, Pitino downplayed the truth that he is teaching towards the varsity the place his father Rick coached for 16 seasons and received a nationwide championship in 2013 earlier than being fired in 2017.

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Richard Pitino labored two stints as an assistant for his father at Louisville.

“From an feelings standpoint, whenever you play within the Huge Ten, there are such a lot of emotional video games,” Pitino stated. “I discovered that. I am solely 36. That is a younger head coach. However it’s a must to maintain your feelings in verify. I feel I do a fairly respectable job of that.

“Once I’m watching movie and I am watching Louisville play, it is about probably not what the title on the entrance of the jersey is, however I am watching a very good staff in Louisville, a very well-prepared and well-coached staff with numerous good expertise and the way can I put myself ready to assist our staff beat them?”

Rick Pitino, who’s teaching in Greece, has been quiet publicly in regards to the matchup.

“I spoke to him as soon as,” Richard Pitino stated. “It isn’t actual straightforward to come up with individuals in Greece. We did not speak a lot about something aside from he requested about (injured Gopher Matz Stockman) and the way he is doing. He requested in regards to the staff.”

A lot of his day-before-game press convention was crammed with questions in regards to the difficulty, however Pitino stated it hasn’t been and would not be a distraction for him.

“I am excited in regards to the truth we’re within the NCAA event,” he stated. “I am going to play whoever. I am excited. There’s not one a part of me that is not 1000 % honored, appreciative, humbled by the truth that we’re within the NCAA Match.

“You may by no means hear me ever complain about anyone that we play.”


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