The Gopher men's basketball team lost both games last week to the two worst teams in the Big Ten and talks of Richard Pitino being replaced after the season seems to be gaining momentum.  Star Tribune Sports Columnist Jim Souhan joined me on WJON today.  He says one hurdle for the University is buying out the remaining portion of Pitino's contract while the University is hurting for money due to the pandemic.  Souhan says if the University is willing to move on from Pitino he expects Athletic Director Mark Coyle to be aggressive in searching for a candidate based on how aggressive he pursued P.J. Fleck.

 

Candidates to replace have already been speculated and they include many with University of Minnesota connections.  Those include Eric Musselman (son of former coach Bill Musselman), Brian Dutcher (son of former coach Jim Dutcher), and Ryan Saunders (son of former player Flip Saunders).   Musselman is the current head coach at the University of Arkansas while also coached at Nevada from 2015-2019.  Dutcher is a Minnesota graduate who is the current head coach at San Diego State.  He has held that position since 2017.  Ryan Saunders was replaced fired by the Timberwolves after holding the head coach position for nearly 2 years.

The Timberwolves lost Sunday night 118-99 to the Phoenix Suns.  The Wolves are 0-4 under new head coach Chris Finch.  Jim says Finch isn't a rah-rah go so a slow start was expected.  He says the Wolves should experiment with what they have knowing that losing could make it more likely that they keep their 1st round pick this year that is top-3 protection otherwise it will go to Golden State as part of the D'Angelo Russell trade.

The Minnesota Wild go for their 7th straight win when they play at Vegas against the Knights at 9 p.m., pregame on WJON at 8:45.  Jim says the Wild continue to play well in large part due to the play from rookie Kirill Kaprizov.

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