One intriguing candidate for the Gophers head coaching vacancy is former Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders. One of the factors working against Saunders is his lack of coaching experience at the college level, but here are the other factors he brings to the table:
Minnesota Timberwolves: 1995-2005
Detroit Pistons: 2005-2008
Washington Wizards 2009-2012
Career record: 638–526, 47-51 playoff record
4 first place finishes (2003-2004, 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007-2008)
Reached the NBA Conference Finals 4 times (2003-2004, 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007-2008)
Pros brought to table-
Saunders is a Gopher alum and would appeal to fans and other alumni.
Saunders can appeal to recruits due to his NBA coaching experience
One of the names most associated with the Minnesota Gopher basketball head coach vacancy is that of Virginia Commonwealth head coach Shaka Smart. Gopher athletic director Norwood Teague was the athletic director at VCU before coming to Minnesota, so the ties Teague has to Smart would make him a natural fit in Minnesota. In
Gopher senior forward/center Trevor Mbakwe has been named the Big Ten player of the week for leading the Gophers to wins over #1 Indiana and last place Penn State. Mbakwe posted double-doubles in both Gopher wins including a season high 21 points and 12 rebounds in the win over Indiana.
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