Doogie talks Pitino fate, interesting Matthew Hurt analysis, skeptical of 2020

SelectionSunday

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You keep saying this over and over but it's untrue and impossible to prove. There were some very alarming performances last season before the Lynch suspension came down.
Spot on.

No guarantee Gophers would have made tournament last season. There were at least two alarming performances (in a bad way) before Lynch went down, @ Arkansas and @ Nebraska. The common denominator was both were on the road, and neither were particularly competitive. Sound familiar?

Next couple Gopher road games will tell us a lot about this squad's maturity, or lack thereof. First one is vs. a team we're totally capable of beating, but always a tough place to win (Madison), and the next one vs. a team (Illinois) the Gophers absolutely should be expected to beat. If the Gophers don't get at least 1 of those 2, there's likely trouble in river city.
 

Keyser Söze

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Are you saying that high school coaches don't become college assistants? Or that ADs don't hire them? I think ADs are the hiring agent for every coach.
If our AD ever starts hiring assistant coaches, you can expect the head coach to be looking for a new job.
 

JimmyJamesMD

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That team was good, but it was over-seeded in the Tournament as a #5. Based on computer ratings they were a top 35 team and should have been slotted in around 8 or 9. Even had they been healthy going in, a match-up with Middle Tennessee would have been a close to 50/50 game in Vegas. So, a good year, a top-4 finish in a down year in the league. But it must be said, finishing the season as a top-40 team is something that Tubby Smith accomplished multiple times, and he was still fired for plateauing at that level of success. That level of success represents Richard's best season so far.
This is a level headed post. I'm as big of a Pitino backer as anybody i know. But I would be foolish to not admit Pitino's time could be up. If the team has a medicore season, and with only 1 recruit coming in, writing is on the wall. Tubby stopped recruiting well, and I thought it was a good pro-active firing. Pitino should be held to the same standard.
 

dpodoll68

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If not for injury and suspension catastrophe, the Gophers were about to get back-to-back top 6 seeds in the NCAA tournament. Crazy uncharted territory.

Pitino is by no means on the hot seat this year. If they can at least be a bubble team this year, I think it's a solid coaching job for this season. I think there is potential here to be a top-6 seed again if luck falls kindly. That'd be THREE years in a row as a top-25, top-6 seed caliber team. Pretty remarkable when it comes to Gopher basketball.

We need to keep working on getting to a sustained success point that allows us to be competitive for Minnesota 5-star recruits. Same story in both football and basketball - there's almost no chance to keeping any of them at home right now. We NEED to stop with the delusional expectation that we are supposed to consistently get out-of-state 4 star and hometown 5 star players at this stage.. Leads to all this stupid talk of "awwww 2019 is a miss, now 2020 is a miss" because they aren't raking in 4 and 5 star classes. It all comes down to how you do with the regular diet of 3-stars with the occasional 4-star sprinkled in. Wisconsin has been a model basketball program for this class of recruits, and Minnesota is starting to show signs of doing just the same. I think Minnesota has the potential to be a much more attractive draw than Wisconsin if they an get to that level of consistency.

It's guys like Tre Williams that will be the key. 3-star guy that everyone pushes into the recruiting dust bin, then all of the sudden they turn out to be a Kalscheur type that out-performs many high 4-star talents.
That's not how it works. You don't get to pretend that the negative things that happened last year didn't happen, then take your speculative alternate ending and substitute it in place of the actual reality. The fact is that we've had one NCAA Tournament appearance in 5 years, and things are not looking promising at the moment to make it 2 in 6 years. That would be 2 in 3 years if it happened, not the 3-for-3 that you imagine in your fictional universe.
 

JimmyJamesMD

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That's not how it works. You don't get to pretend that the negative things that happened last year didn't happen, then take your speculative alternate ending and substitute it in place of the actual reality. The fact is that we've had one NCAA Tournament appearance in 5 years, and things are not looking promising at the moment to make it 2 in 6 years. That would be 2 in 3 years if it happened, not the 3-for-3 that you imagine in your fictional universe.
Its about results. Pitino needs to be held to the same standard as Tubby
 

Tim1406

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Its about results. Pitino needs to be held to the same standard as Tubby
We'll see what this year brings but at least Pitino did get above 0.500 in a big ten season once. If he can repeat it then he gets more time here. Tubby never once got a better than 0.500 record in the Big Ten. While Pitino's down years have been worse (by a large margin) his best year (relative to to conference and NCAA seeding) is better than Tubby's best. Interesting to see how this year plays out but that's just something to remember.
 

alchemy2u

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I am obviously very skeptical of anything Doogie says, but the segment was interesting because it wasn't intended to a go in a Gopher direction. All of Doogie's comments were made kind of matter of factly as opposed to his usual more dramatic style when he has "scoops". If even one of the recruiting things is true (The Hurts have eliminated Pitino, the 2020 class is shaping up to be another big miss) then you really could make an argument for moving on even with a NCAA tournament berth and immediate exit as Doogie speculated (I don't think I would personally be in favor of making a change under such a hypothetical scenario unless Coyle already knew "his guy" was a done deal).

I am not going to take my time to go back and provide links to disprove the notion that "Minnesota never gets the top in state kids" and that this is somehow a "tough job" that a poster in this thread was so confidently espousing. It's simply not true. A completely off the top of my list of top Minnesota kids that chose to go to Minnesota: Sam Jacobson, Kyle Sanden, Kevin Loge, Joel Pryzbilla, Michael Bauer, Shane Schilling, Rick Rickert, Jerry Holman, Kris Humphries, Spencer Tollackson, Moe Hargrow, Blake Hoffarber, Royce White, Rodney Williams, , Joe Coleman, Jarvis Johnson, Amir Coffey, Daniel Oturu. Every one of these kids was on top 100 or top 150 lists at the time of their commitment (or an elite juco recruit like Holman, you could count Trevor too coming out of Juco). If anything Clem Haskins didn't offer enough Minnesota kids...(Troy Bell stands out) he never offered Nick Horvath who ended up accepting an offer to Duke. Dan Monson started off strong in state but lost steam when he lost Mckenzie to Oklahoma and his plan B Kam Taylor had committed to Wisconsin. Tubby absolutely owned in state recruiting for a while landing just about every one he wanted...problem was the state went through a drought where Joe Coleman was his only target over a 3 year period. At the end of his tenure his inability to make connections with any of the "big 3" was a certainly a factor in his dismissal. Pitino has been up and down in state, but he's had more misses on priority in state kids to non blue bloods than the other 3 (maybe more than the other 3 combined). Losing Theo John to Marquette or a legacy kid like Jericho Sims to Texas stand out. You can make a strong argument that recruiting is different in the era that Pitino is coaching in even compared to what things were like for Tubby and maybe expectations should be altered somewhat. That's a different argument for a different time though.

I am rooting for Pitino. I hope he makes the NCAA's and finally gets a victory there. I can think of fewer than 5 posters who are so fed up with him that they are actively rooting for him to fail. When you look at the entirety of his tenure from his record to his recruiting to the off the court stuff, it's pretty remarkable that the vast majority are willing to give him this year (and some even longer than that).
How can you justify making the comments that Tubby owned this state, but only got one top recruiting in 3 years? And how can you compare that to today’s world when MN is producing several D1 recruits every year with some of them being considered with the best in the country. Don’t you see the bias in those comments? It would be nice if every MN player wanted to stay home at the U, but that isn’t the case and it doesn’t matter who we have as the coach, that will not change. Last year Pitino owned the state, he got who he wanted except for Tyus Jr.

In many ways we must have the most irrational fanbase in the country. Pick any mid level P5 team in the country and tell me how the U is any more jinxed, lose more recruits, blow more games, have more ugly wins, etc... then they do? Our fans gripe about how we are so bad, sabotage our own recruiting, justify why recruits should play somewhere else, make up stories about our players, dwell on the past and have no hope for the future.


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builtbadgers

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How can you justify making the comments that Tubby owned this state, but only got one top recruiting in 3 years? And how can you compare that to today’s world when MN is producing several D1 recruits every year with some of them being considered with the best in the country. Don’t you see the bias in those comments? It would be nice if every MN player wanted to stay home at the U, but that isn’t the case and it doesn’t matter who we have as the coach, that will not change. Last year Pitino owned the state, he got who he wanted except for Tyus Jr.

In many ways we must have the most irrational fanbase in the country. Pick any mid level P5 team in the country and tell me how the U is any more jinxed, lose more recruits, blow more games, have more ugly wins, etc... then they do? Our fans gripe about how we are so bad, sabotage our own recruiting, justify why recruits should play somewhere else, make up stories about our players, dwell on the past and have no hope for the future.


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Nope every fan base is like that. It is a myth about closing the borders, every program could say that. It is not even close to the top 15 states for producing top talent. Kids from all over have grown up in a sports world that televises big brand name programs , better coaches at better schools. Find the best guys you can that want to be here, fit with what you do and Win ! Dozens of programs do this year after year. We are rarely going to have top 20 classes but that does not mean you should not be top 20 as a program. The key forever has been and forever will be hiring great coaches.
 

Blitzkrieg

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Spot on.

No guarantee Gophers would have made tournament last season. There were at least two alarming performances (in a bad way) before Lynch went down, @ Arkansas and @ Nebraska. The common denominator was both were on the road, and neither were particularly competitive. Sound familiar?

Next couple Gopher road games will tell us a lot about this squad's maturity, or lack thereof. First one is vs. a team we're totally capable of beating, but always a tough place to win (Madison), and the next one vs. a team (Illinois) the Gophers absolutely should be expected to beat. If the Gophers don't get at least 1 of those 2, there's likely trouble in river city.
And even after Lynch went down and we lost Amir to injury we still should have been able to win more than we did. For sake of comparison Wisconsin lost Trice and King before January and were left with Happ and 4 new starters, including 2 freshmen. Somehow they were coached up and won 7 B1G games vs. MN’s 4, including a win vs. Purdue who finished 2nd in conference. And I think Murph is as important as Happ is.

When faced with adversity we’ve seen very little production. Let’s not forget we still had Murphy, an injured Mason and McBrayer, and Jelly. We should have done better than win only 1 of our final 12 games.
 

bleedsmaroonandgold

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We'll see what this year brings but at least Pitino did get above 0.500 in a big ten season once. If he can repeat it then he gets more time here. Tubby never once got a better than 0.500 record in the Big Ten. While Pitino's down years have been worse (by a large margin) his best year (relative to to conference and NCAA seeding) is better than Tubby's best. Interesting to see how this year plays out but that's just something to remember.
Number of big ten seasons is one metric to consider. We should also consider number of tournament wins, number of tournament appearances, number of seasons where we failed to qualify for even the NIT, number of B1G seasons at or above .500, and overall B1G winning percentage. But the big ones should always been how often we get to the dance and how we do once we get there.
 

cjbfbp

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And even after Lynch went down and we lost Amir to injury we still should have been able to win more than we did. For sake of comparison Wisconsin lost Trice and King before January and were left with Happ and 4 new starters, including 2 freshmen. Somehow they were coached up and won 7 B1G games vs. MN’s 4, including a win vs. Purdue who finished 2nd in conference. And I think Murph is as important as Happ is.

When faced with adversity we’ve seen very little production. Let’s not forget we still had Murphy, an injured Mason and McBrayer, and Jelly. We should have done better than win only 1 of our final 12 games.
Yes. Another appropriate point of comparison could be Tubby's 2012 team. Mbakwe went down fairly early in the year and Sampson stopped playing by the end of the regular season. Their front court at the end of the season consisted of Rodney Williams joined by RS freshman Elliot, RS freshman Oto, and local junior college transfer Andre Ingram. The rest of the rotation included freshmen Andre Hollins and Joe Coleman, soph Austin Hollins, UC-Davis transfer Julian Welch, and Chip Armelin. That team upset higher seeded NW in the Big Ten tournament and took 2nd seeded Michigan to overtime. Then they went to the final game of the NIT while playing all of their tournament games on the road.
 

Bad Gopher

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This is a level headed post. I'm as big of a Pitino backer as anybody i know. But I would be foolish to not admit Pitino's time could be up. If the team has a medicore season, and with only 1 recruit coming in, writing is on the wall. Tubby stopped recruiting well, and I thought it was a good pro-active firing. Pitino should be held to the same standard.
I really do like the guy, and he really does seem to like it here, and it would be a perfect marriage if the results were there. So far it's been a step back from the Smith tenure, at least in terms of NCAA appearances and national rankings.
 

Holy Man

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Spot on.

No guarantee Gophers would have made tournament last season. There were at least two alarming performances (in a bad way) before Lynch went down, @ Arkansas and @ Nebraska. The common denominator was both were on the road, and neither were particularly competitive. Sound familiar?

Next couple Gopher road games will tell us a lot about this squad's maturity, or lack thereof. First one is vs. a team we're totally capable of beating, but always a tough place to win (Madison), and the next one vs. a team (Illinois) the Gophers absolutely should be expected to beat. If the Gophers don't get at least 1 of those 2, there's likely trouble in river city.
I'll give the team the benefit of the doubt on this one. I think the Reggie situation poisoned the whole season, not just after he was no longer available to play. Those two horrific road games were most likely played when everyone knew what was about to happen to Lynch. It was clear to me when Reggie was still with the team that something was up with him. His head was not in the game. I just don't think the comparison between the two poor road performances this year and last year is a fair assessment of trends in the program.

Completely agree about the next couple of road games. Both are the dreaded "winnable" and will go a long way in salving or destroying the psyche of both team and fans. Say what you want about the results last year, Pitino has to get credit for keeping the guys in the game and still competing in that disaster of a season.
 

Angrygopher1

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I'll give the team the benefit of the doubt on this one. I think the Reggie situation poisoned the whole season, not just after he was no longer available to play. Those two horrific road games were most likely played when everyone knew what was about to happen to Lynch. It was clear to me when Reggie was still with the team that something was up with him. His head was not in the game. I just don't think the comparison between the two poor road performances this year and last year is a fair assessment of trends in the program.

Completely agree about the next couple of road games. Both are the dreaded "winnable" and will go a long way in salving or destroying the psyche of both team and fans. Say what you want about the results last year, Pitino has to get credit for keeping the guys in the game and still competing in that disaster of a season.
I was at that Nebraska game and it was quite apparent Lynch and the whole team was distracted from the beginning of warm-ups to the end of the game!
 

Rouser

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Let’s not forget we still had Murphy, an injured Mason and McBrayer, and Jelly. We should have done better than win only 1 of our final 12 games.
I agree that we might have won more than 1 game. But how many, 2? Lets be realistic. Huh, With no bench and our only two veteran guards hurt and not playing or hurt and playing at 50 to 60%, plus a true freshman, we were not going to win at all. We were without Curry, Lynch, Coffee and Dupree for the final games. Thats 4 starters for cripes sake. Yes, some additional depth would have been nice, but you don't recruit to be able to replace 4 starters on the fly.

I like Pitino and also think he needs to improve in areas. I don't mind criticizing him, but it needs to be more constructive. I think he should have vetted Lynch more, thats a problem. That said, injuries cannot be all placed on him.. when his players (that he recruits) plays, we usually do fairly well. When they don't (injuries or off court stuff), we don't. Not rocket science.
 

gophereric30

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If our AD ever starts hiring assistant coaches, you can expect the head coach to be looking for a new job.
Are you saying that our AD after the season is just gonna start hiring assistant coaches? Pretty sure if we got a new coach that the coach would want to hire his own staff with maybe one of our assistants staying here.
 

builtbadgers

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Off court troubles can be shrunk to nearly zero if character id placed above all. The real question becomes can he be above .600 in the conference over the next two years, can he win the conference, win the conference tourney , win NCAA games. If not , he can not be called a great coach because that is what they do. We have to stop at thinking that 6th place or worse is acceptable, we do not want to be Iowa, Nebraska, Penn State or Clemson, Wake and BC. It is not acceptable. Pat Richter said to demand precision building and then excellence. This roster is plenty good enough to win something important now ! There are coaches who would finish top 3 by year 6. Play defense, take quality shots. There is no reason to be out of the top 60 in defensive ppp ! Good programs never do that, hell they never leave the top 25 in that stat. It has to be stressed everday once you know how to teach it. Jeter know this.
 

Keyser Söze

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Are you saying that our AD after the season is just gonna start hiring assistant coaches? Pretty sure if we got a new coach that the coach would want to hire his own staff with maybe one of our assistants staying here.
Haha no, I'm saying head coaches do and should hire their assistants, and if the AD stepped in and did it, it wouldn't go over well with the head coach.
 

bizzle22

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I agree that we might have won more than 1 game. But how many, 2? Lets be realistic. Huh, With no bench and our only two veteran guards hurt and not playing or hurt and playing at 50 to 60%, plus a true freshman, we were not going to win at all. We were without Curry, Lynch, Coffee and Dupree for the final games. Thats 4 starters for cripes sake. Yes, some additional depth would have been nice, but you don't recruit to be able to replace 4 starters on the fly.

I like Pitino and also think he needs to improve in areas. I don't mind criticizing him, but it needs to be more constructive. I think he should have vetted Lynch more, thats a problem. That said, injuries cannot be all placed on him.. when his players (that he recruits) plays, we usually do fairly well. When they don't (injuries or off court stuff), we don't. Not rocket science.
This is true for just about every D1 basketball coach. It's not hard to find coaches that can succeed with healthy rosters and no suspensions.
 

manderson1984

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Off court troubles can be shrunk to nearly zero if character id placed above all. The real question becomes can he be above .600 in the conference over the next two years, can he win the conference, win the conference tourney , win NCAA games. If not , he can not be called a great coach because that is what they do. We have to stop at thinking that 6th place or worse is acceptable, we do not want to be Iowa, Nebraska, Penn State or Clemson, Wake and BC. It is not acceptable. Pat Richter said to demand precision building and then excellence. This roster is plenty good enough to win something important now ! There are coaches who would finish top 3 by year 6. Play defense, take quality shots. There is no reason to be out of the top 60 in defensive ppp ! Good programs never do that, hell they never leave the top 25 in that stat. It has to be stressed everday once you know how to teach it. Jeter know this.
I like Ben and Kimani was fine, but it's so true that our in game adjustments are so much better this year than in years past. This in my mind is certainly attributed to Jeter. I hope we are blessed to have him for more than a year or two before he gets another head job.
 

Tim1406

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There are coaches who would finish top 3 by year 6.
I was going to argue this point and then I looked up some stats. McCaferry, Turgeon, Beilein, Izzo, Painter, Gard (of active coaches) all finished in the top 3 within 6 years of starting the job. Given that statistic, Pitino, Chambers, Collins, and Miles should be on the warm-hot seat in the big ten.
 

dpodoll68

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I was going to argue this point and then I looked up some stats. McCaferry, Turgeon, Beilein, Izzo, Painter, Gard (of active coaches) all finished in the top 3 within 6 years of starting the job. Given that statistic, Pitino, Chambers, Collins, and Miles should be on the warm-hot seat in the big ten.
While what you say is true, it is important to offer this context - each of your "haves" (with the exception of McCaffery) followed a coach who had achieved the same feat. Each of the "have nots" followed coaches who did not achieve that feat - they work at schools that have achieved little or nothing in basketball, and followed guys who were mediocre to bad at their jobs. Most of the "haves" (except McCaffery and Beilein) followed a Hall of Fame coach. Historical performance and precedent are very difficult to overcome. McCaffery had the luxury of following Lickliter, so he looks great by comparison.

Looking at the four newest coaches in the Big Ten, the ones you didn't mention - Holtmann has already done it, Miller probably will, while Underwood and Pikiell are looking pretty unlikely at the moment. Unsurprisingly, Holtmann and Miller followed guys who did it, while Underwood and Pikiell did not.

In sum - 13/14 current Big Ten coaches followed (or are likely to follow) the exact same performance trend as their predecessor.
 
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Tim1406

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While what you say is true, it is important to offer this context - each of your "haves" (with the exception of McCaffery) followed a coach who had achieved the same feat. Each of the "have nots" followed coaches who did not achieve that feat - they work at schools that have achieved little or nothing in basketball, and followed guys who were mediocre to bad at their jobs. Most of the "haves" (except McCaffery and Beilein) followed a Hall of Fame coach. Historical performance and precedent are very difficult to overcome. McCaffery had the luxury of following Lickliter, so he looks great by comparison.

Looking at the four newest coaches in the Big Ten, the ones you didn't mention - Holtmann has already done it, Miller probably will, while Underwood and Pikiell are looking pretty unlikely at the moment. Unsurprisingly, Holtmann and Miller followed guys who did it, while Underwood and Pikiell did not.

In sum - 13/14 current Big Ten coaches followed (or are likely to follow) the exact same performance trend as their predecessor.

Thanks for this analysis. That is really interesting. Somehow I forgot that Holtman was there last year so I never even looked at his record.
 
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