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Minnesota Basketball: Gophers TCOB Against South Dakota State With Rick Pitino Watching

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

The two key storylines form the Gopher's 59-75 win over South Dakota State have very little to do with the game and the final result.

I'll start with Austin Hollins scoring 20 points to get himself over the 1,000 point mark for his career.  He is the 38th Gopher to surpass 1,000 points and based on his current average and expected games to be played I expect he'll finish as one of the top 20 scorers in Gopher history. A nice little career for the son of an NBA coach.  Austin rarely gets the credit he deserves for the complete basketball player that he is.  He is very good as so many aspects of the game and probably gets fewer headlines because he isn't outstanding at any particular facet.  But being a very good defender, rebounder, passer, shooter and has reliable ball-handling skills; that will get you far and makes you incredibly valuable.

"He was awesome. I thought he was so good tonight. He had no turnovers and he was athletic. I do not think Austin Hollins gets enough respect, and that is no disrespect to anyone else on our team. I think when people think about the face of the program they say it is Andre Hollins, but I think we have two faces and that is Andre and Austin Hollins. We are going to go as far as they take us. Austin Hollins is a tremendous player, and he is such an easy player to coach, it is almost disturbing."

Andre Hollins should  hit 1,000 on the 20th when the Gophers host Nebraska-Omaha.

The other major story from last night's win was the attendance of Richard's father, Rick Pitino.  The father was in the Barn supporting his son and sporting maroon and gold.  The visit was a surprise to Richard who claims he didn't know about it till he walked onto the court prior to the game.  This created quite a stir on Twitter and has been talked about quite a bit today as well.

The game went about as expected and resulted in a 16-point Gopher win.  Austin Hollins scored 20 but also had 14 rebounds, 3 assists, a steal and zero turnovers.  Elliott Eliason had a double-double of his own with 10 points and 12 rebounds.  The team rebounded very well securing just over 40% of our own misses and over 85% of Jackrabbit misses.  Turnovers were also held in check with under 12% of our possessions ending in a turnover.  Those are strong numbers and this is what we should expect to see when facing a weaker program.

Poor shooting in the first half was rectified at half-time and the Gophers cruised to the win.  Not a whole lot to see here.

In other news I dominated Greasy Llama in some rec league basketball last night.  Not really and his team cruised to a big win, but it was fun to randomly run into a TDGer.