Now, a pundit at Minnesota sees virtue in the model.
Minnesota fans should look at this Wisconsin program as hope. The Gophers will never be Duke. They are not going to recruit a roster full of McDonald’s All-Americans, but they could be Wisconsin.Whether a coach named Pitino has the patience for such an approach remains to be seen, but it had to have galled a few Minnesotans to see a young man from Apple Valley contributing to that Duke win.
There are no comparisons between the two programs right now. I get that. The Badgers are perennial contenders in the Big Ten behind one of the best coaches in the business in Bo Ryan.
Minnesota is happy to be on the bubble come Selection Sunday. Still, there is no reason to think this basketball program can’t be relevant in the Big Ten. Improved facilities could help considerably.
This is the only Division I program in Minnesota, a state that has basketball talent at the high school level. The first step to building a solid team is to make this program appealing to those in-state kids again.
Wisconsin has had a knack for poaching players from Minnesota and helping them flourish during their four years in Madison.