Mar 11, 2013; Hot Springs, AR, USA; Florida International Panthers head coach Richard Pitino reacts during the championship game of the Sun Belt Conference tournament against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Summit Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Pitino starts blogging, offering insight into practice

In a society where transparency is hard to come by, freshman Gopher basketball coach Richard Pitino is going above and beyond by starting his own blog.

Pitino made his first post Tuesday afternoon after coming up with the idea Monday night, according to the Pioneer Press.

In his first entry, he answered a few common fan questions. He also spent a large portion of the post commenting on each of his 13 players.

As far as we know, Pitino is one of the only Division-I head coaches who maintains an official blog. Pitino’s father, Rick, certainly does not have a blog opening critiquing players on his roster, but can we even be sure Pitino Sr. knows what a blog is?

In addition to the blogosphere, Pitino has been relatively active on Twitter since taking over as head coach. With more than 300 tweets to date, he’s already tripled the number of tweets from ex-Gophers head coach Tubby Smith.

Notable highlights from Pitino’s first blog post:

  • Transfers Malik Smith and Joey King have been playing very well in practice. Smith is ” playing arguably the best basketball on the team right now” and King “raises the level of intensity for everyone in practice.” Both players will need to be declared eligible by the NCAA before they can play this upcoming season, but Pitino said earlier this week that he would be surprised if they weren’t immediately eligible.
  • Mo Walker lost more than 45 pounds but could still use more conditioning. Walker, a former top-recruit from Cananda, is the best passer on the team “by far” according to Pitino. Walker has played limited minutes in two seasons with the Gophers. Injuries have certainly hampered the 6-foot-10 center, but his conditioning has been his biggest issue.

While we’re not sure when Pitino will make another post, we hope it’ll be about his adventures on the recruiting trail. Certainly his blogging and Twitter-ing will appeal to the likes of Minnesota’s Big 3 (Rashad Vaughn, Tyus Jones and Reid Travis).

In other news…

  • Ex-Gopher Trevor Mbakwe, who played two NBA Summer League games with the Philadelphia 76ers, will play for the Toronto Raptors in the Las Vegas Summer League from July 12-22.
  • Another Gopher alum is making news in the pros. Glen Perkins was named to his first MLB All-Star Game over the weekend. The closer for the Twins has 20 saves and an earned run average of 1.93 this season.

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