Gophers Reap the Rewards of a Great Season
Last season, the Minnesota Gophers didn't have a chance for post season accolades. This year there's almost not enough room!
Five year-end Big Ten honors were announced yesterday after this record-breaking regular season which featured the nation's largest turnaround.
Head coach Richard Pitino was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year, while junior guard Nate Mason earned first team All-Big Ten plaudits and sophomore forward Jordan Murphy was selected to the All-Big Ten Third Team. All three were consensus picks in the polls by the league's head coaches and media panel.
Redshirt junior center Reggie Lynch was chosen as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, and guard Amir Coffey was named among the top newcomers as a member of the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. Those awards were voted upon by the head coaches.
Pitino is just the second Gopher head coach to win the award since Jim Dutcher won it in 1982. The Gophers (23-8, 11-7) earned their highest finish in the Big Ten in 12 seasons, also the last time Minnesota finished conference play with a winning record.
Pitino's squad reached 11 conference wins for the first time since the 1989-90 campaign. Minnesota's 23 regular season wins sets a new school record, and the Gophers enter the postseason with a top-20 RPI and strength of schedule, poised for their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2013.
Their Big Ten Tournament debut is this Friday afternoon and we'll have it for you on KROC-AM.