Transparency is important to Minnesota’s basketball programPublished 2:23am Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Column: Notes from Nashville, by Andrew Dyrdal
While I was sports editor of the Tribune, I wrote an article about my appreciation for coaches who were transparent about their programs.
I used Lake Mills volleyball coach Jim Boehmer as the prime example. He spoke to me win or lose and was in touch with me daily. As a result, the Bulldogs were featured heavily in the sports section.
Some coaches, like Boehmer, embraced the media and understood that coverage of the season’s low points came with plenty more of the positive. Others feared it or disagreed.
With the increase in digital media, I’m now more concerned with what my iPhone captures than my pen. Instead of sticking a voice recorder in a coaches’ face, I stick a video camera. Fans are no longer satisfied with reading what a coach said. They want to hear and see it, too.
I am one of them.
Like Boehmer, I appreciate young college coaches who practice transparency.
Tim Miles, who coached Albert Lea native Ben Woodside at North Dakota State and now coaches Nebraska’s men’s basketball team, tweets his thoughts on the first half during halftime.
Vanderbilt football coach James Franklin welcomes video cameras into the huddles and locker rooms during practices and games. Coaches like Miles and Franklin have nothing to hide.
These coaches’ transparency keep them more in touch with fans, but more importantly, recruits.
One of the youngest coaches in NCAA Division I men’s basketball, Minnesota’s Richard Pitino, started a blog on the Gophers athletics official website.
Pitino’s first post was his impressions of his players following the team’s fourth practice. He said Maverick Ahanmisi has the potential to be the Gophers’ leader and that Florida International transfer Malik Smith was playing the team’s best basketball.
As Pitino’s relationship and trust with his players has grown, so has his transparency.
Pitino’s latest post on Monday listed the positives and negatives of each player’s performance during the team’s first public scrimmage.
Some highlights include:
• Charles Buggs did a good job trapping in the press but had zero rebounds in 13 minutes.
• Joey King attempted his first shot from inside the 3-point-line during a scrimmage but had zero defensive rebounds and five fouls.
• Malik Smith didn’t hit any fans with his errant passes but was 1-for-9 shooting on challenged shots and had eight turnovers to zero assists. Pitino added Smith will be fine.
• Elliott Eliason had nice passes out of the post, screened and ran the floor well but still needs to demand the ball better.
• Andre Hollins had five steals and is showing pride in becoming a great defender but only had one rebound.
• Austin Hollins was all positive and Pitino said he is really impressed with the senior shooting guard.
Pitino said in his blog that the team is making great strides and that he showed his players clips from Louisville’s scrimmage, likely to help set an example of the work it takes to win a championship.
Pitino shares the low moments of his players with the media and fans, because he knows we expect the good with the bad. I am looking forward to continuing to connect with him on social media and to the connections he makes with his recruits.
Andrew Dyrdal’s column appears in the Tribune each Tuesday.