Monday, September 23, 2013

Richard Pitino On Early Gopher Practices and on Jerry Kill

Let me add -- my daughter attends the University of Minnesota.  She said, "Dad, I cannot believe it, but I see Gopher basketball players walking around with books and backpacks, actually going to class." 

If Pitino emphasizes classwork, the Gophers will probably be up for some national awards for academic performance, because Kill's latest academic progress report (994 for 2011-12)  was an all-time record for the school.

Pitino mentions his "white" press.  This appears to basically be a man-to-man press where the guy on the ballhandler cannot permit his guy to hold the ball and must force a speed dribble.  As Pitino states, this is incredibly demanding for the guards defensively.  A full court man to man press is extremely effective in speeding up the game, but it wears out most guards in the space of about 6 possessions.  However, if done properly, there is no escaping from the press.  Unlike a zone press or any press that emphasizes a trap, if you pick the ball up against a man to man press, there is no where to turn.  All of your other 4 teammates are guarded as well.  And 2-3 of them probably do not want the ball even if you could get it to them.

I would hate to see the conditioning drills that Pitino will have to conduct to get his team ready to play this way (especially compared to Tubby's 55 point per game pace that he liked to play).


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