The Gophers routed South Dakota State on Tuesday night, 75-59, thanks to 20 points and 14 rebounds by senior Austin Hollins. But unfortunately for Hollins, his career performance wasn’t what fans were buzzing about following Minnesota’s ninth win of the year.
Richard Pitino, the head coach of Louisville, took time off from his own busy basketball schedule to watch his son led the Gophers to victory at Williams Arena.
“Somebody asked me, ‘When did you know he was coming?’” Richard Pitino said. “Legitimately, when I walked on the court and I saw him, and I saw my idiot brother yelling at me.”
Speaking of this “idiot” brother, here’s a great photo of Michael Pitino attempting a photobomb after the game.
— GopherRob (@GopherRob) December 11, 2013
Pitino senior sure looks good in maroon and gold, so it begs the question if Richard could ever convince his father to work for him.
“He looked good in that maroon and gold,” Richard said. “I think if one of our guys gets a job, we’ll just slide him right in as an assistant coach. I did three years with him (as an assistant) – he’s got to pay me back.”
Rick didn’t keep to the stands — he spoke to the Minnesota team after the game. More quotes from 1500 ESPN’s report:
“He’s a legend, so it’s always good to play in front of a legend. It feels different, like he’s critiquing everything,” Mathieu said. “He told us we have the ability to be a Final Four team if we just think we are a Final Four team. If we just go out there every day and get better on defense, he feels like we’re a good team and we can make it to the Final Four.”
Father and son will face each other in the regular season next year, if not in the NCAA Tournament in March. So perhaps Rick was scouting the up-and-coming Gophers ahead of time? Probably not. But what’s certain is that fans love seeing Rick and Richard together. Now, we can only hope that Louisville versus Minnesota will grow into an annual father/son rivalry.