Despite flurry of activity, Gophers men’s basketball roster still has major questions

CYW5 BornGoph

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Has McNeilly officially been hired? I’m genuinely wondering. I’ve been off the board for a few weeks now.
There has been speculation about needing to wait until May because of contract issues at A&M--and he is Canadian, which may require additional paperwork from the U.

The kids, one of whom is his nephew are thought to be coming, as well, but it seems they will wait for the deal to be announced.

I don't have specific knowledge, just passing along my understanding of what has been said on the board.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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Could Ben have gotten off to a worst start. Where are all these guys now Ben is a great recruiter. Yikes this is embarrassing how bad he has done. Not one power 5 kid, about 2000 kids in free agency with guarantee starting spots and we can’t land anyone worth a darn. Can’t get Minnesota kids. But hey the star tribune and a few locals got him the job. I have say a big gophers guy this is so so bad.

I actually like what he did in the portal. It's probably not enough to field a really strong team but so far, I've liked what I think the roster construction looks like.
 

hungan1

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Could we have any worse 'fans.' Where are all the 5 guys that Ben pulled in within a week or two of being hired because he is a great recruiter. Yikes this is embarrassing how bad some of our 'fans' are. Not one but two power 5 kids coming from A&M to fill starting spots that are reportedly studs and worth a dam. A number of MN kids pulled from the portal in short order and returning home. But hey the star tribune didn't get him the job but a number of locals touted Ben for the job to an AD whose job is on the line if he makes a bad hire. I have say that gopherhoopsguy is so so bad.
We need to relax. Obviously, if he had listened to Assistant Coach Thorson's podcast, there is a lot to be excited about his comments.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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We need to relax. Obviously, if he had listened to Assistant Coach Thorson's podcast, there is a lot to be excited about his comments.

Dave Thorson rules. There is virtually nothing I can say about the hiring of Ben Johnson with any certainty except one thing, he got that hiring right. I've never met a person connected to MN basketball over the last 20-30 years who doesn't gush about Thorson. I'm certainly a fanboy.

The BJ hiring moved from a C to a B for me when Thorson got onboard.
 

umn99

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There has been speculation about needing to wait until May because of contract issues at A&M--and he is Canadian, which may require additional paperwork from the U.

The kids, one of whom is his nephew are thought to be coming, as well, but it seems they will wait for the deal to be announced.

I don't have specific knowledge, just passing along my understanding of what has been said on the board.
I wonder if this is an end of May situation or we might hear something early next week. Hopefully it's all finalized soon.

The fact that there are no other names coming up for an Asst Coach (Ben would have filled it by now) and that Ben and his current staff aren't filling certain positions with kids from the portal when they have 9 kids on scholarship makes it seem like these three (coach and two players) are a given to be headed to Mpls. The focus seems to be on getting a 5. Guessing they have a good sense of what Brandon Johnson is going to do (I would put money on him coming back) and then maybe best player available? Will they even fill all 13 scholarships or bank for next year?
 
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PMWinSTP

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I actually like what he did in the portal. It's probably not enough to field a really strong team but so far, I've liked what I think the roster construction looks like.
He's doing what he can getting players who can step in and be serviceable and competitive this season, with his focus on 2022 class.
 

eker0016

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Dave Thorson rules. There is virtually nothing I can say about the hiring of Ben Johnson with any certainty except one thing, he got that hiring right. I've never met a person connected to MN basketball over the last 20-30 years who doesn't gush about Thorson. I'm certainly a fanboy.

The BJ hiring moved from a C to a B for me when Thorson got onboard.
Just listened to Thorson's recent podcast with Gaard. It was a fun listen, and I enjoyed hearing him gush about BJ. Particularly when he talks about his vision, his drive, attention to detail, and ability to connect/listen/build relationships.
 

bfriedrichs10

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what happens if none of the A&M stuff materializes?

I'm guessing this board will lose it
It's possible it doesn't materialize. But I've read from more than place that it seems odd there's not much interest in Miller, and the likely explanation is that his coming here is a not-very-well-kept secret. Same with McNeily, but the lack of buzz around him is more understandable considering he'll be two years removed from high school and hasn't played one second yet. Still, even a Power 5 guard that was highly rated would be getting some interest from someone, yet... crickets.
 

Mulligan

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I'm not expecting much in W/L record next year, and can accept the rationale for the hiring. But, damn, I'd like to be rewarded for checking GH about 5 times a day looking for some positive recruiting news. It's like a retired guy in his 70's doesn't have better things to do. Um ... come to think of it, I don't, but I still want to be rewarded.
 

CoMn

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Could we have any worse 'fans.' Where are all the 5 guys that Ben pulled in within a week or two of being hired because he is a great recruiter. Yikes this is embarrassing how bad some of our 'fans' are. Not one but two power 5 kids coming from A&M to fill starting spots that are reportedly studs and worth a dam. A number of MN kids pulled from the portal in short order and returning home. But hey the star tribune didn't get him the job but a number of locals touted Ben for the job to an AD whose job is on the line if he makes a bad hire. I have say that gopherhoopsguy is so so bad.
I agree but say Ben is even better...he has 6 so far not 5.
 

60's Guy

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I don't have any idea if Ben will be spectacular as the Minnesota basketball coach. But he spent time with the higher rated Xavier kids in the transfer portal coaching them and they are not Gophers yet. Gabe knows Thorson and Ben well and he left. Martice Mitchell was recruited by Ben at Xavier and I'm sure again to stay on the UofM roster...he is going to Northern Illinois. All these and some other little hmmm kind of things makes me wonder if Ben truly is as amazing as Thorson says?
I know this...without at least one guy you can count on for 15-20 points every night it is going to be tough to beat a lot of our opponents. And that guy ain't here yet.
We had two like that when Robbins was healthy with Carr. Plus, Gabe or Brandon or Mash might alternate too to give you 3 guys on a night when things were rolling.
Our horrible defense confused Michigan State and Michigan ....will we match that effectiveness?
We think if we get to that level we will be more consistent with Thorson. But athletes do matter and you absolutely gotta have guys who can score no matter how good your defense is.
My point: I'm worried how good we'll be this year....how competitive on the scoreboard? And if we miss on the 2022's then what...if on top of that we are getting thumped in the present?
It's early....could be concerned for no reason.
 

Johnnyboy18

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I don't have any idea if Ben will be spectacular as the Minnesota basketball coach. But he spent time with the higher rated Xavier kids in the transfer portal coaching them and they are not Gophers yet. Gabe knows Thorson and Ben well and he left. Martice Mitchell was recruited by Ben at Xavier and I'm sure again to stay on the UofM roster...he is going to Northern Illinois. All these and some other little hmmm kind of things makes me wonder if Ben truly is as amazing as Thorson says?
I know this...without at least one guy you can count on for 15-20 points every night it is going to be tough to beat a lot of our opponents. And that guy ain't here yet.
We had two like that when Robbins was healthy with Carr. Plus, Gabe or Brandon or Mash might alternate too to give you 3 guys on a night when things were rolling.
Our horrible defense confused Michigan State and Michigan ....will we match that effectiveness?
We think if we get to that level we will be more consistent with Thorson. But athletes do matter and you absolutely gotta have guys who can score no matter how good your defense is.
My point: I'm worried how good we'll be this year....how competitive on the scoreboard? And if we miss on the 2022's then what...if on top of that we are getting thumped in the present?
It's early....could be concerned for no reason.
Do you think it's a coincidence that Mitchell ended up at NIU? He couldn't get off the bench when the team was God awful and wasn't recruited to stay here.

Robbins scored more than 15 3 times in about 15 games of Big Ten play. I'd rather have guys who are willing to share the ball and score as a team rather a Carr type ball dominator.
 

60's Guy

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Do you think it's a coincidence that Mitchell ended up at NIU? He couldn't get off the bench when the team was God awful and wasn't recruited to stay here.

Robbins scored more than 15 3 times in about 15 games of Big Ten play. I'd rather have guys who are willing to share the ball and score as a team rather a Carr type ball dominator.
Cool...but what teams win with that formula? Sounds great but...
If you are solely talking about Carr dribbling too much....total agreement.
But 7, 8 guys averaging the same amount of points is not a recipe for success.

NBA teams are more public about it...you gotta have not two, but three scoring stars to win in the NBA is the theory. To win anywhere you gotta have at least one person everybody on the team knows is your scorer. Without it when you need a bucket in a crucial situation everybody watches everybody or the worst of the 5 shoots and you lose.
You don't want 7,8 guys taking equal shots...that's bad math. Somebody has to consistently shoot a higher percentage and be the guy who always come through in the pressure. It does not happen by accident consistently.
Think UCLA and their run this year...that was one guy with a couple complimentary pieces.
Gonzaga three guys.
Baylor had four guards and won it all....close as you're gonna get but they deferred to the hot hand.
Scoring as a team is getting your best player the most shots!! Did the Gophers help Carr get good looks? No. That is a different issue.
 

hungan1

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Dave Thorson rules. There is virtually nothing I can say about the hiring of Ben Johnson with any certainty except one thing, he got that hiring right. I've never met a person connected to MN basketball over the last 20-30 years who doesn't gush about Thorson. I'm certainly a fanboy.

The BJ hiring moved from a C to a B for me when Thorson got onboard.
He's got what, nine state titles at De LaSalle? He preaches tenacious defense in addition to good offense. We are going to see consistency and team discipline developed. His HS teams were great at playing team ball.

We might as well Ben Johnson and Dave Thorson are co-head coaches. he is going to guide Ben in his coach-in-training until the training wheels come off.
 

60's Guy

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He's got what, nine state titles at De LaSalle? He preaches tenacious defense in addition to good offense. We are going to see consistency and team discipline developed. His HS teams were great at playing team ball.

We might as well Ben Johnson and Dave Thorson are co-head coaches. he is going to guide Ben in his coach-in-training until the training wheels come off.
Thorson is a really good coach. Absolutely, but there a lot of advantages to coaching at DeLaSalle versus the competition. Recruiting makes a pretty big difference when most of your opponents are not doing so by restrictions. You got the best players every year you should win.
“I remember Ben and his dad sitting in my office as a 7th grader deciding what school they were going to choose.”
Niko and Dave were .500 together their first three years. This is an uphill climb.
 

MennoSota

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We can stop with this co-coaching nonsense, Ben is the guy and we should be happy about that
We should. We should trust that Coyle chose well. Yet, history is not on Ben's side when looking at UMN basketball head coaches. Moreso, Ben has zero head coaching experience. You cannot blame people for tending toward negative at this point when there is no sample size from Ben and a handful of mediocre coaches who have funneled through the doors.

Unfortunately, with the complete dump from this year's portal, there is no way one can honestly judge based upon the upcoming season. 2022 will begin to give us a feel for how Ben can recruit and coach.

It's unfair to compare Ben with Jalen Howard at Michigan. First, Jalen inherited a top 10 program. Second, Jalen can sell his all-star career in the NBA as well as college. His #1 recruiting class for 2021 shows this. Ben will have to blue collar his way to winning. He will have to be very strategic and precise in his approach. At this point, there is nothing to go from. You just have to cross your fingers and hope it works out.
 

MNVCGUY

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I don't have any idea if Ben will be spectacular as the Minnesota basketball coach. But he spent time with the higher rated Xavier kids in the transfer portal coaching them and they are not Gophers yet. Gabe knows Thorson and Ben well and he left. Martice Mitchell was recruited by Ben at Xavier and I'm sure again to stay on the UofM roster...he is going to Northern Illinois. All these and some other little hmmm kind of things makes me wonder if Ben truly is as amazing as Thorson says?
I know this...without at least one guy you can count on for 15-20 points every night it is going to be tough to beat a lot of our opponents. And that guy ain't here yet.
We had two like that when Robbins was healthy with Carr. Plus, Gabe or Brandon or Mash might alternate too to give you 3 guys on a night when things were rolling.
Our horrible defense confused Michigan State and Michigan ....will we match that effectiveness?
We think if we get to that level we will be more consistent with Thorson. But athletes do matter and you absolutely gotta have guys who can score no matter how good your defense is.
My point: I'm worried how good we'll be this year....how competitive on the scoreboard? And if we miss on the 2022's then what...if on top of that we are getting thumped in the present?
It's early....could be concerned for no reason.
I get that nobody wants to see the team struggle in 21-22 but anyone concerned with the record next year needs to take a step back and realize that isn't what we should be looking at right now.

As fans, next season will give us a feel for the style of basketball Johnson wants to play. And the 2022 recruiting class will give us our first taste of what kind of recruiter he is going to be as well. It is frustrating to think the team is going to have a rough season on the court but that is most likely what is going to happen given the turnover on a roster that wasn't all that good to begin with.

The one thing I will say is that you are making a lot of assumptions about the new faces. You mention needing a guy you can count on for 15-20 a night and that we don't have that player. Not really sure how you can be certain of that as we have brought in a number of guys that averaged 15+ for their team last year (yes at a lower level but these guys are used to being leaders). And if the A&M thing happens and we get Miller, now you add a guy who went for 16/8 in the SEC.

The odds of being a contender are super low for next year but I honestly feel like we will have a decent chance to at least be competitive most nights and maybe surprise some people.
 

Spaulding!No!

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Ben gets anything less than 8 yrs at the helm and the U will be judged harshly. The u could have gone with a sacrificial 2 yr coach to reset the pitino 8 yr death March but they didn’t.
 

GopherBlood666

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Ben gets anything less than 8 yrs at the helm and the U will be judged harshly. The u could have gone with a sacrificial 2 yr coach to reset the pitino 8 yr death March but they didn’t.
If Coyle hired Pitino, he probably would have been gone in less than 8 years. Coyle came in the middle of his tenure and right around when Pitino had his best regular season, it seems that bought him more rope than what he actually deserved. Keeping another coach around longer than he needs to be because the previous coach got more time than he deserved is cutting off your nose to spite your face. Hopefully in 5 years we will not be having this conversation.
 

skiumah1

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Does anybody have a definite answer on remaining scholarship count? I'm thinking Sutherlin, Stevens, Willis, and Loewe could all be eligible not to count against the team? Anybody that is a senior that is coming back to be a super senior seems eligible. I don't feel confident in that answer though.
 

Johnnyboy18

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Does anybody have a definite answer on remaining scholarship count? I'm thinking Sutherlin, Stevens, Willis, and Loewe could all be eligible not to count against the team? Anybody that is a senior that is coming back to be a super senior seems eligible. I don't feel confident in that answer though.
That is only the case if they were on the team last year. So if Johnson came back he would not count against the limit.
 

DanvilleGopher

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I'm not expecting much in W/L record next year, and can accept the rationale for the hiring. But, damn, I'd like to be rewarded for checking GH about 5 times a day looking for some positive recruiting news. It's like a retired guy in his 70's doesn't have better things to do. Um ... come to think of it, I don't, but I still want to be rewarded.
You're ONLY checking 5 times per day? I match that each hour of each day! I think if I was retired, I might live on Gopherhole, at least until we get the scholarships filled.

To me, this is a very exciting time to see what transpires! I was extremely disappointed with the hire! In fact I was shocked and really didn't understand why Coyle would make this hire. I've had time to rationalize things a bit and while I still don't fully understand why he rolled the dice yet again after what we've gone through the last 8 years, I am now to the point where I really look forward to BJ filling out the roster so we can look at it in the end and see what we've got. Hence the reason for checking so frequently.

If we get the A&M players and coach, I'll feel even better about the hire. IF we don't... we'll cross that bridge but my feeling is we won't need to cross that bridge. My fingers (and toes) are definitely crossed. Perhaps we'll know by next Monday!
 
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