University of Minnesota

Hoops Notebook: Media Day talk with Pitino about Spring, Lynch, etc

Minnesota Basketball opened their doors to the media today with the team speaking to press from the state. GI runs you through the important details of today’s media session.

Hot Springs

Last night senior graduate transfer Akeem Springs tweeted “Looks like my time in Minnesota may be shorter than I thought.  It’s all good though”. 

About the same time as that message went publick Akeem’s brother sent out numerous messages about his unsatisfactory feelings towards his brother (Akeem) not being named a current starter (by Pitino) in a recent article.  The twitter message from Akeem was deleted by early this morning.

Naturally the first thing that Minnesota Head Coach Richard Pitino had to talk about at today’s media day was the status of his 23 year old wing who has played at Northern Illinois, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and now Minnesota.

“I don’t think it was anything at all,” Pitino said about the tweet.  “I talked to him to find out what the tweet was about and Akeem said he was just kidding and that he wants to be a part of the program. We had a great talk today. He’s been practicing hard and is a great teammate.”

Later in the hour many media members asked Akeem about the tweet and he said “It meant nothing, I was taken out of context.  I had a good talk with Pitino about it.”

So the dramatic tweet from Monday night has quickly been squashed as a joke less than 24 hours later.  Gopher basketball fans can rest easy.  For the most part.

Lynch Will be Ready Soon

Last winter Reggie Lynch hurt his shoulder and it kept him out of action for several months and then he had a recent knee surgery causing him to miss the start of practice.  Lynch did not practice in last Saturday’s 14 minute scrimmage but he is getting back into full contact work this week.

“Reggie did 15 minutes of contact in practice yesterday,” said Pitino. “Reggie and Akeem both will be major parts of what we are doing, but they both have catching up to do since they weren’t here (for spring and summer work).”

Reggie is expected to be the starting center this winter once he gets back to full health.  Pitino warns everyone to be patient with Reggie though.

“Reggie has not played in a long time, the Big Ten is different than the Missouri Valley.  There is going to be a pretty big adjustment period for him”.

Lynch of course came to Minnesota from Illinois State where he played as a freshman and sophomore.

Quotes

“Amir (Coffey) is a tremendous passer, a better defender than I thought he’d be.  He’s been taught well.  He’s skinny but he will be fine physically.  He’s going to have to do everything.” – Pitino

“We better be ready for the non-conference schedule.  It’s our toughest non-conference schedule since I’ve been here.” – Pitino

“Our shooting, that’ll be a concern.  We’ve shot a lot, last year was not a great shooting team so we’re working on shooting a lot.” – Pitino

“Eric (Curry) has no idea how good he can be.  That’s exciting.  He runs really well, rebounds at a high rate, has good post moves but needs to finish better, is a good passer.  I think he’s going to be a major factor, he and Michael Hurt.” - Pitino

“I think for (Bakary Konate) it’s a matter of learning how to play defense without fouling.  He works really hard every day.” - Pitino


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