Gophers roster construction-expectations vs. reality

skiumah1

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Did Pohto and Thompson already commit either way?
 

builtbadgers

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Ben is in a great spot. High expectations for himself and his players, low expectations from fans and a media who is very patient with basketball coaches. Also the media pays attention to several other teams in the market.Great opportunity.
 

MplsGopher

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Ben is in a great spot. High expectations for himself and his players, low expectations from fans and a media who is very patient with basketball coaches. Also the media pays attention to several other teams in the market.Great opportunity.
Well s___t, now all he has to do is win.
 

short ornery norwegian

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Hard to evaluate the new players without knowing what type of system they are being recruited to play in. Have to assume the coach knows what type of player he needs to fit his vision for the type of game he wants to play.
 

Mulligan

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My expectations for next year as far as wins are not very high. On the court though I expect to see a team that plays hard and some sort of a system being put in place. Off the court I want players that are good representatives of my university both as students and citizens. Naturally, I'd like to see some results in recruiting that point to Johnson being able to deliver on the Minnesota kids but also being able to bring in talent from other parts of the country.

I don't want to see the type of recruiting that reeks of desperation like taking springs gambles on centers who are big but can't catch a basketball or guards that can't shoot. I don't follow recruiting that closely but it seems Pitino would settle for players in the spring because he missed on guys in the early signing period. He had some bad luck with some teams; but he never constructed a team that had depth. Maybe more accurately he never developed depth.
 

cjbfbp

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I don't follow recruiting that closely but it seems Pitino would settle for players in the spring because he missed on guys in the early signing period. He had some bad luck with some teams; but he never constructed a team that had depth. Maybe more accurately he never developed depth.

I agree about his inability to ever establish sufficient depth but I don't think his spring recruiting was bad on the whole, especially when it came to transfers. He certainly got some clunkers but he recruited some pretty good, or at least decent, players as well.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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BJ also needs to grow into this job, having established transfers will allow him to experiment with strategy with veteran players.

You don't grow into a Big 10 HC job. I support Ben and I'm excited about the transfers but if we hire a HC who needs to grow into the position it is a failure. It was a failure when people said it about Pitino too.
 

MennoSota

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There are so many components to being a competitive basketball team. You need good player, but you also need good coaches who can teach, but also scheme against an opponent. You need to build disciplined expectation into the entire program from the weight room to the classroom. These details need to be communicated and expected from each member in the community.
Ben is behind at this point. His roster is in flux, his staff is in flux and his competition will not show him any mercy.
I have low expectations for wins vs losses this upcoming season. Ben will be establishing culture and will build from a base that isn't well formed. This is going to take time and patience.
 

BarnBurner

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Ben is in a great spot. High expectations for himself and his players, low expectations from fans and a media who is very patient with basketball coaches. Also the media pays attention to several other teams in the market.Great opportunity.
Low expectations from fans. Just wow.
 

Iceland12

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True, but I think the transfers will need their own adjustments coming into a completely new roster and system. Completely different than having a veteran group that’s played together. Took a lot of time for Gach and Robbins to find the right pace of play. Neither ever figured out how they gelled in the gopher offense (which is also on Pitino). I could be wrong.

That's what the Non-Conference games are all about. But agreed. That's probably on Pitino.
 

Costa Rican Gopher

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You've said some good things in your post, for sure, but I think you overstate the complaint. For the most part, I think people are pretty happy around here with Ben's pickups so far. Something else that's very good is that he was able to pick up these three quality veterans in comparatively little time. That gives reason for optimism that he will be able to fill his additional roster needs with players of reasonable quality in perhaps a shorter time than expected.

Trying to achieve perfect consensus and eliminate criticism and snark on an internet message board is a fool's errand. It's also a bit fascist. Also, if everyone agrees with you, then there's nothing to fight about. Hell, that's half the reason I come to this site!
 

goldenboy

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So many parallels between Johnson and Pitino. No proven track record as a head coach. Reputation as a strong recruiter. Nice, likable guys. Other than the pressure to make a minority hire, Johnson seems to be Pitino 2.0. If anything, Pitino’s experience as an assistant was under much more accomplished coaches and programs than Johnson’s (which was mainly Pitino, himself). While the portal has made the process of transferring much simpler and more public than in the past, and the freebie that the NCAA gave transfers last year (which, it seems, many players are counting on continuing), players have always faced the decision to stay or bail when a new coach arrives. I’m most disheartened by the fact that Pitino was able to keep all of Tubby’s players (which provided an NCAA bubble team and NIT champ) and Johnson has had virtually the entire team say “no thanks.”
 

GopherPlaya

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So many parallels between Johnson and Pitino. No proven track record as a head coach. Reputation as a strong recruiter. Nice, likable guys. Other than the pressure to make a minority hire, Johnson seems to be Pitino 2.0. If anything, Pitino’s experience as an assistant was under much more accomplished coaches and programs than Johnson’s (which was mainly Pitino, himself). While the portal has made the process of transferring much simpler and more public than in the past, and the freebie that the NCAA gave transfers last year (which, it seems, many players are counting on continuing), players have always faced the decision to stay or bail when a new coach arrives. I’m most disheartened by the fact that Pitino was able to keep all of Tubby’s players (which provided an NCAA bubble team and NIT champ) and Johnson has had virtually the entire team say “no thanks.”
The portal wasnt an option when Pitino took over
 

goldenboy

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The portal wasnt an option when Pitino took over
Which is what I said. And no Covid. Players often still bailed in that era, though.
Still a pretty remarkable difference for new coaches starting with similar (lack of) experience. For now, it seems like Pitino's launch was better than Johnson's, at least as far as not losing the entire inherited roster.
 
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PhiloVance

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Ben is in a great spot. High expectations for himself and his players, low expectations from fans and a media who is very patient with basketball coaches. Also the media pays attention to several other teams in the market.Great opportunity.
True fans have low expectations but what about potential recruits?
 

dlnavra

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Interesting article in today's Dallas Morning News sports section re: Baylor and Scott Drew. It notes that while he's expecting to lose a lot of talent this year, Drew has "moved away from elite recruits to experienced transfers who can develop in his system." ESPN stats noted that Baylor is just the third NCAA champ since '79 without a McDonald's All-American on the roster. That changes next year w/ 3 top 100 recruits. But closes with "don't discount Drew delving into the transfer portal again. Five of his eight rotation players this season started at another school. . ."

It's been lamented fairly often on this board, but the transfer portal appears here to stay, and while a big mystery what Ben Johnson's actual "system" will be, other than Robbins which will be a huge loss, other coaches have also seen dramatic turnover in their roster, and let's reserve judgement and see what he can do.

I like that he's pulling players from all over, and not fixated on MN ties, although he should benefit with the upcoming strong MN high school class. Obviously a killer if no Robbins or capable replacement(s) via portal. It will turn this season into a Hoiberg Huskers similar couple of years. Btw, see Hoiberg just signed another big man 7' Lithuanian. He now has a top 15 class, so jokes about Huskers aside, Hoiberg is turning corner after some very rough years.
 

ethomasp31

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Funny how all the posters that have been lecturing others on this board about demanding more and having high standards and expectations all of the sudden are now saying we are going to stink and that’s ok.

I've said I think we will be better than last year. I think it's mainly the people who have been complaining about the hire who are saying we are are going to stink. We don't even know who will be on the team yet.
 

MplsGopher

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We don't even know who will be on the team yet.
Why would any player who can legitimately, reasonably help us place better than last year, come to our program in the current state it is in? Particularly for their last year of college basketball?
 

cjbfbp

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I've said I think we will be better than last year. I think it's mainly the people who have been complaining about the hire who are saying we are are going to stink. We don't even know who will be on the team yet.

It's certainly not impossible that we could be better. Thinking we could stink could be motivated by other impulses than the one you mentioned. I haven't complained much at all about the coaching hire but I'd prefer to set my expectations for the coming year as low as possible.
 

cjbfbp

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Why would any player who can legitimately, reasonably help us place better than last year, come to our program in the current state it is in? Particularly for their last year of college basketball?

Well, that's the great thing about our world. Not everyone is driven by the same thing.
 
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