2016-2017 ITH Season Preview: Minnesota Golden Gophers

BleedGopher

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Inside the Hall usually does a nice job:

Bottom Line: The Gophers won’t contend for an NCAA or an NIT berth, but the Gophers’ fanbase is expecting Pitino’s team to take significant strides coming off a season in which they won just two conference games. Shooting will likely be an issue, as the Gophers ended last season with an effective field goal percentage ranking 309th nationally by KenPom. The defense should be improved with the additions of Lynch and Coffey, but Pitino’s young squad will need to make major improvements across the board if they want to contend in the Big Ten.

Quotable: “He’s got phenomenal potential. At 6-foot-7, to pass like he can pass, to handle (the ball) like he can handle it, he’s going to have to make an impact right away for us. I know he’s excited about that. When I watch him play, the things he can do from an offensive standpoint really excite me.” – Richard Pitino on Coffey to the Pioneer Press last April.

http://www.insidethehall.com/2016/09/23/2016-2017-ith-season-preview-minnesota-golden-gophers/

Go Gophers!!
 

dtrain19

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Not contending for an NIT berth would mean the end of RP I'm afraid.
 

Cayman

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Yeah, that bit about not contending for an NIT berth was a bucket of cold water. Does that mean they don't even think we'll crack .500 overall? I've brushed off some of the 12th place predictions as outsiders mostly just going off of the fact that we sucked last year and therefore will probably suck again, and that they aren't really aware that we're bringing in at least 4 likely major contributors who weren't here last year. Admittedly I just went through the schedule quickly, and I conservatively put us around 15-16, assuming we only win one of the St. John's/Arkansas/Florida State/Vanderbilt games, have 1 hiccup loss to a non-conference team at home (I think I heard UT-Arlington is supposed to be decent this year), and lose all of our conference road games except for Rutgers, while beating some of the mid-pack teams like Ohio State, Michigan, Maryland, or Iowa at home.

But I also think back on the close games we lost last year, and wonder if some veteran leadership and experience, as well as another talented and experienced guard to take the pressure off Mason could have made the difference. Not to mention we'll actually have some reserves that can hold their own out there. Last year we had 3 true freshmen averaging over 18 minutes a game, and Murphy was arguably the only one who deserved that kind of playing time. I like McBrayer a lot, but ideally I don't think he would have played as much if we had another solid experienced guard to play in front of him. We'll actually have the ability to use our freshmen as reserves this year, instead of pinning the fate of our season on them because we have no other options. Our offense should also be helped by having better guards and big men who can consistently catch post feeds and finish.
 

Atl Gopher

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Not contending for an NIT berth would mean the end of RP I'm afraid.
I would not be concerned about it. They certainly will contend for a NCAA bid and I believe they will make it. I don't think they will go beyond the round of 32 though. Way too much talent on this team for them not to contend for a NCAA bid.
 

whogoofed

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There's a podcast on the daily gopher that has a preview of MN. I think its the Big Ten power house preview. Depressing listen. The Gopher writer was really down on the coaching staff and thinks that this will be Pitinos last year. That they will not make either the NIT or NCAA.
 

Winasota Gopher

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I don't blame reporters predicting us to be bad. Much better chance of being right when they have no clue.
 

vagopher

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I don't blame reporters predicting us to be bad. Much better chance of being right when they have no clue.
Plus I don't see a downside to being underrated. We have our 2017 commits and being underrated should help motivate the team.
 

mplarson7

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To be honest, I don't really expect a post-season berth this year. But I expect vast improvements this year compared to last season, and if I had to bet I would put money down on a continued trend upward from here on out assuming we keep Pitino. I sense a change in the winds coming, lads.
 

alchemy2u

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To be honest, I don't really expect a post-season berth this year. But I expect vast improvements this year compared to last season, and if I had to bet I would put money down on a continued trend upward from here on out assuming we keep Pitino. I sense a change in the winds coming, lads.
+1000, but I think they could playing in the tourney.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

Tim1406

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I think people are vastly underestimating the impact Akeem Springs will have on this team from a leadership perspective. Anyway that was a bland read just listing the players off pretty much. Nothing really preview-ish about the schedule or the challenge of mixing in so many new players.
 

EG#9

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I am kind of surprised nobody has taken a shot at putting the Gophers higher in their conference predictions, but it seems like everyone is just going with 12. Last year they lost by 5 at Michigan, completely choked away a game to lose at home to Illinois in OT, lost by 4 at home to Purdue, lost by 6 at Indiana, lost by 4 at Iowa, and won by 5 at home against Maryland...they were 1-5 in games decided by two possessions or less in conference play and lost four more games in single digits. If you ignore the last 3 games of the season where they basically couldn't field a team...you are looking at 4 really ugly games: at Ohio State, Northwestern, at Nebraska, and at Northwestern. Granted, those 3 games against teams not named Ohio State are three of the worst games I've ever seen a Gopher team play/coach (in the conversation with the last year of the Monson regime), so their is definitely reason to be pessimistic too.

A lot of those losses could have been wins if the Gophers had just on more player. Often times, the staff was in a tough spot (their fault, it was their recruiting) where they had to choose to go with basically one rebounder (Murphy) in late game scenarios. This year, you would think that Fitzgerald, Coffey, Curry, and Lynch should be a big upgrade on the interior. I realize Coffey won't be playing the 4 at all, but his length at the 2/3 will be a welcome addition. My biggest concerns about this team are the lack of perimeter shooting (you have to hope McBrayer shoots like he did in the last month or two (on the court) and that Springs or Hurt or Fitzgerald can also give you something) and the loss of Dorsey as the ball pressure guard.

It does worry me that I have the maroon colored glasses on in thinking this team could compete for the 5th or 6th spot in the conference when literally nobody is picking them as high as 8th...I think that's probably a sign I am being a homer. I also wouldn't be surprised if things go bad early in conference play to see things snowball in to another disastrous season. I see a fairly high ceiling with this group, but also a very low floor...lets hope for once we can be on the positive side of possible outcomes.
 

Winasota Gopher

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I am kind of surprised nobody has taken a shot at putting the Gophers higher in their conference predictions, but it seems like everyone is just going with 12. Last year they lost by 5 at Michigan, completely choked away a game to lose at home to Illinois in OT, lost by 4 at home to Purdue, lost by 6 at Indiana, lost by 4 at Iowa, and won by 5 at home against Maryland...they were 1-5 in games decided by two possessions or less in conference play and lost four more games in single digits. If you ignore the last 3 games of the season where they basically couldn't field a team...you are looking at 4 really ugly games: at Ohio State, Northwestern, at Nebraska, and at Northwestern. Granted, those 3 games against teams not named Ohio State are three of the worst games I've ever seen a Gopher team play/coach (in the conversation with the last year of the Monson regime), so their is definitely reason to be pessimistic too.

A lot of those losses could have been wins if the Gophers had just on more player. Often times, the staff was in a tough spot (their fault, it was their recruiting) where they had to choose to go with basically one rebounder (Murphy) in late game scenarios. This year, you would think that Fitzgerald, Coffey, Curry, and Lynch should be a big upgrade on the interior. I realize Coffey won't be playing the 4 at all, but his length at the 2/3 will be a welcome addition. My biggest concerns about this team are the lack of perimeter shooting (you have to hope McBrayer shoots like he did in the last month or two (on the court) and that Springs or Hurt or Fitzgerald can also give you something) and the loss of Dorsey as the ball pressure guard.

It does worry me that I have the maroon colored glasses on in thinking this team could compete for the 5th or 6th spot in the conference when literally nobody is picking them as high as 8th...I think that's probably a sign I am being a homer. I also wouldn't be surprised if things go bad early in conference play to see things snowball in to another disastrous season. I see a fairly high ceiling with this group, but also a very low floor...lets hope for once we can be on the positive side of possible outcomes.
Every year there is a team that suprises.

#WhyNotUs
#POLLYANNA!!!
 

Winasota Gopher

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Who was the surprise (good team) last year in the B1G?
Damn you SS..... ;)


While maybe not in Big 10 play, Wisconsin definitely faired better than most anticipated.

I'd have to dig it up, but how many were predicting an IU championship? (edit:many)

To my original point, I have 0 empirical evidence that there is always a team that surprises, it just felt like the right thing to say.
 

Otis

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Gophers will make the NIT or better! I guarantee it.
 

Bayfieldgopher

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I am kind of surprised nobody has taken a shot at putting the Gophers higher in their conference predictions, but it seems like everyone is just going with 12. Last year they lost by 5 at Michigan, completely choked away a game to lose at home to Illinois in OT, lost by 4 at home to Purdue, lost by 6 at Indiana, lost by 4 at Iowa, and won by 5 at home against Maryland...they were 1-5 in games decided by two possessions or less in conference play and lost four more games in single digits. If you ignore the last 3 games of the season where they basically couldn't field a team...you are looking at 4 really ugly games: at Ohio State, Northwestern, at Nebraska, and at Northwestern. Granted, those 3 games against teams not named Ohio State are three of the worst games I've ever seen a Gopher team play/coach (in the conversation with the last year of the Monson regime), so their is definitely reason to be pessimistic too.

A lot of those losses could have been wins if the Gophers had just on more player. Often times, the staff was in a tough spot (their fault, it was their recruiting) where they had to choose to go with basically one rebounder (Murphy) in late game scenarios. This year, you would think that Fitzgerald, Coffey, Curry, and Lynch should be a big upgrade on the interior. I realize Coffey won't be playing the 4 at all, but his length at the 2/3 will be a welcome addition. My biggest concerns about this team are the lack of perimeter shooting (you have to hope McBrayer shoots like he did in the last month or two (on the court) and that Springs or Hurt or Fitzgerald can also give you something) and the loss of Dorsey as the ball pressure guard.

It does worry me that I have the maroon colored glasses on in thinking this team could compete for the 5th or 6th spot in the conference when literally nobody is picking them as high as 8th...I think that's probably a sign I am being a homer. I also wouldn't be surprised if things go bad early in conference play to see things snowball in to another disastrous season. I see a fairly high ceiling with this group, but also a very low floor...lets hope for once we can be on the positive side of possible outcomes.
Yep.
 
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