Richard Pitino on Twitter: “I don’t like it one bit”

Jace Frederick

Gophers head coach Richard Pitino understands how relevant Twitter is in today's world.

And he knows how much his players use it.

"It's very much a part of everyone's lives," Pitino said in October. "Everyone has a Twitter handle, everybody does it often. It's probably too much of a part of their life. But I don't think you can ignore it. I think you've got to understand it."

But just because he understands it, doesn't mean he likes it.

"I think it's changed our whole game and all of sports for a whole lot of wrong reasons," he said after the Gophers 54-48 win over Northwestern on Sunday night. "It's not good for any of us. When you're building a team, you're talking about team ego all the time. It's not healthy to have one player with 5,000 followers and another one with 800 followers. It's not healthy. It's not healthy that they go to their phones all the time looking for their mentions and all those things."

"I don't like it one bit," he said. "I understand it, but I don't like it. I think it creates a feeling that one guy's a celebrity. Twitter is anti-team in my opinion."

Pitino doesn't have any anti-Twitter policies installed for his players. He said he knows he has to let his players be themselves, too.

"I just talk to them about: A. don't buy in to any of the nonsense," he said. "Dont' tweet about what you had for dinner — nobody cares. Don't tweet about where you are — nobody cares. We're not interested in what restaurant you're going to, or what movie you're watching. Don't do that. Let's worry about the team."

Every player on the team except Elliott Eliason has Twitter — even Pitino has it.

"It's a distraction, even for me," Pitino said. "You try to block it out as much as possible, it's not easy though."

Pitino said in October that his players are very aware of one another's follower counts.

"They all know how many followers they have, they know how many I have, they know how many Miley Cyrus has," Pitino said. "It's ridiculous."

Here's a list of the players' Twitter accounts and their tweet and follower totals, as of Monday afternoon:

Maverick Ahanmisi (@CaLi_LuvsME): 1,186 tweets, 1,302 followers

Charles Buggs (@BuggieBoo24): 159 tweets, 586 followers

Elliott Eliason does not have Twitter: "I'm good," he said. "I have enough in my life." (Note: There is an account under Eliason's name listed as @eliason_goose, which he said is a fake someone made. That account has 1 tweet, 16 followers.)

Wally Ellenson (@wallyellenson): 2,023 tweets, 2,489 followers

Andre Hollins (@AndreHollins): 6,204 tweets, 9,375 followers

Austin Hollins (@aHolli_20): 4,034 tweets, 4,756 followers

Joey King (@KingJoey_24): 12.5K tweets, 984 followers

DeAndre Mathieu (@Drizzy_AttackM): 37.7K tweets, 2,062 followers

Daquein McNeil (@idaymcneil5): 3,341 tweets, 590 followers

Oto Osenieks (@OtoOsenieks10): 1,331 tweets, 1,670 followers

Kendal Shell (@Shell_Ken): 2,374 tweets, 1,092 followers

Malik Smith (@leeksmith30): 13.6K tweets, 2,305 followers

Mo Walker (@BigggMo): 2,962 tweets, 2,574 followers

Richard Pitino (@MNCoachPitino): 401 tweets, 23.1K followers


–Also, in case anyone was wondering, Miley Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) has 6,775 tweets and 17.1 M followers.