April 3, 2013
Could Richard Pitino Bring a Star Forward to Minnesota?
Richard Pitino and the University of Minnesota have reached an agreement for him to become the next men’s basketball head coach at the U.
The son of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, Richard was the head coach at Florida International. At 30 years old he’s less than half the age of former Gopher head coach Tubby Smith and will inject energy into a program that needs it.
Minnesota loses front line seniors Trevor Mbakwe and Rodney Williams, but returns its three starting guards in 2013-14. Power forward is a position of need for next year’s team and Pitino could potentially deliver in a major way.
We have visited Palm Beach State this year and have written about Kevin Thomas. We’ve also mentioned his teammate Jonathan Holton, a 6’7”+ sophomore who is a Florida International commit.
Now, Holton is a Miami native and does come with some baggage, but he took care of business on the court at Palm Beach this year and would be an impact addition for the Gophers.
Richard Pitino will enjoy recruiting success at Minnesota, but if that starts with Holton this spring it’s a major addition for the program and changes their 2013-14 outlook.
Jonathan Holton is a dominant rebounder and has a versatile offensive game. As a freshman at Rhode Island he averaged 10 points and 8 rebounds per game. This season at Palm Beach State he was the NJCAA D1 rebounding leader (14 per game) and averaged more than 17 points per contest.
At 6’7”+ and able to operate in the paint, Holton also has the ability to step out behind the arc. He attempted more than 100 3-pointers this season and made 40% of them.
Could Richard Pitino bring Holton to the Twin Cities? The opportunity for playing time is certainly there and we not only believe he can compete in the Big Ten, we believe he can be an impact player in the conference.
Follow @LateNightHoops on Twitter.