• "JJ" Journalist Jake

Firing Pitino is as Stupid as the Coronavirus Panic!

I heard of people buying emergency food supplies and stores selling out of respiratory masks. People are crazy! This coronavirus craze has been way over-hyped and people are freaking out for what will be more than likely no reason in just a few months.

I think the same people freaking out and practically doomsday-prepping for the coronavirus "apocalypse" are the same individuals who are calling for the firing of Gopher basketball head coach, Richard Pitino.

If you type in "Pitino" on Twitter, every single tweet has to do with firing Richard Pitino, and people give their stupid analysis to why he should be.

Don't get me wrong, people make some valid points! But no one is looking deeper into this situation and simply place all the blame on the coach as Minnesota fans tend to do.

Minnesota fans, especially gopher fans, like to run a coach out of town just to get something new to only run that new coach out of town in five years without solving the real problems that are effecting the program. Believe me, some past coaches deserved to be fired here, but the firings of Tubby Smith and Glen Mason for example, were questionable.

Sure, the Gophers have blown some games as of late and have killed their chances at making the NCAA Tournament, but all the blame cannot be placed on Richard as easy as that is to do.

Firstly, the Gophers have one of the shortest benches in the country. He could not control the injury of Eric Curry, which could have drastically helped strengthen the bench. Instead, Richard is forced to play Alihan Demir, who seems to turnover the ball every time he touches it. Curry would have definitely brought much more experience to the court, but he is so damn injury prone he can't seem to be healthy for a whole season. That ain't Richard's fault.

Plus, Richard cannot control whether or not players leave for the NBA. Richard was not necessarily preparing for Amir Coffey to leave for the NBA after his Junior season. You keep Coffey, we have a full team and easily win some of those games we blew at the end. EASILY!!!

This short bench situation is not so much because of Richard Pitino. The only thing I put on him is that he could have maybe recruited a little harder so we could have some players to choose from, but who would guess that a player would get injured right before the season and another would declare for the draft. You can't really prepare for that. AT ALL!

Secondly, this has lead to mass fatigue among our star players, especially for our only true point guard, Marcus Carr. He is an exciting player to watch. The way he can drive the lane and split through defenders is stunning. But the guy plays so damn much because we don't have a back up to relieve him. Carr is playing the most minutes per game in the Big Ten and is definitely within the top 20 for playing time in the country.

And with players like Carr and Daniel Oturu playing so many minutes, this does not allow the Gophers to finish games strong. Fatigue has lead to sloppy turnovers and poor decisions late in games, and it really falls back on the bench.

My main point is, GIVE PITINO A BREAK!!!

Any one who says to just fire the coach does not realize how tough and complicated the situation truly is. And they sure as hell do not know how difficult it is to win at the University of Minnesota.

We need a fuller roster and an upgraded bench, not a new coach. Not right now at least.

We would just be starting all over again if we fire the coach, and be back at square 1. Pitino is still young and is a smart basketball coach. He has been burdened with some bad luck from injuries and players leaving for the NBA. Give him some time to develop another full roster before putting this all on the coach.

When he has been able to develop a full roster we made it to the NCAA Tournament once as a 5-seed (even though we lost) and another time as a 10-seed, and we upset Louisville. I say give him one or two more years tops to see what he does with recruiting and a deeper roster.

Minnesota fans need to calm down just like people who are freaking out about the damn coronavirus.


Go Gophers!

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