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Updated: April 14th, 2014 11:40am
Richard Pitino picks Deandre Mathieu as Gophers team MVP

Richard Pitino picks Deandre Mathieu as Gophers team MVP

by Derek Wetmore
1500ESPN.com
Email | Twitter

It's unofficial but we'll take it from somebody who would know: Deandre Mathieu was the Gophers' most valuable player this season.

Head coach Richard Pitino picked Mathieu in his latest blog as the team MVP. Here's what he had to say about the diminutive point guard:

Nobody was more consistent from top to bottom than Dre. Incredible where he has come from to get to where he is now. He certainly deserves all the credit. He will also have to stay hungry because he will have a bigger reputation next season.

Pitino also answered the question: did this year meet your expectations?

"100 percent yes," Pitino wrote.

That's debatable among fans and observers, but there doesn't seem to be a consensus. Some fans say anything short of an NCAA Tournament appearance is a disappointment. Others were impressed by the NIT showing. For what it's worth, we looked back at teams with recent NIT success to see if it translated to a stronger showing the following year. Here's what we found.

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Other awards Pitino handed out in his blog:

Most Improved: Mo Walker

Best Defender: Austin Hollins

Hardest Worker: Austin Hollins

Best Attitude: Maverick Ahanmisi

Sacrifice Award: Oto Osenieks (Oh, good! A sacrifice award!)

Best Moment: Hollins' 3-pointer vs. SMU in the NIT Championship

You can read his full blog here.

Derek Wetmore is the senior editor for 1500ESPN.com. His previous stops include MLB.com and the Minnesota Daily.
Email Derek | @DerekWetmore
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