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Leaner, Quicker Gophers Try To Keep Up In Big Ten

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota has a new coach in Richard Pitino, a fresh outlook and a faster style.

Will it be enough for the Gophers to keep up in the tough, deep Big Ten? That’s the biggest of many questions about this team, which must find a way to counteract the loss of standout post players Trevor Mbakwe and Rodney Williams. Most predictions have Minnesota finishing in the bottom third of the 12-team conference.

The backcourt should be strong, though, with senior Austin Hollins, junior Andre Hollins and transfer Malik Smith pushing the defensive pressure, running the fast break and shooting the 3-pointers.

The Gophers open the season on Nov. 8 against Lehigh and get an early test three weeks later with a game against Syracuse in the Maui Invitational.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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