Joe Nelson: All of a sudden, Gophers' 2020 starting 5 could be really good

BleedGopher

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per Joe:

Don't sleep on the 2020-21 Minnesota Gopher men's basketball team just yet. If the season is played – pending the pandemic – head coach Richard Pitino's roster could actually be quite loaded with talent.

On Monday, former Minnesota prep standout Both Gach (Austin, MN) announced that he's transferring from Utah to the Gophers, though like fellow transfer Liam Robbins (Drake), his playing status for the upcoming season is pending a transfer waiver being granted by the NCAA.

If Gach and Robbins are immediately eligible, the starting five combinations that Pitino could roll onto the hardwood for Big Ten action could be rather intimidating. Let's a dream a little...

Starting five
  • PG: Marcus Carr
  • SG: Gabe Kalscheur
  • SF: Both Gach
  • PF: Brandon Johnson
  • C: Liam Robbins
This lineup features three pro-caliber starters in Carr, Gach and Robbins. Remember, we've previously written about Robbins, a 7-footer, who had some NBA scouts salivating while he was routinely dominating the paint at Drake. Carr set assist-to-turnover records with the Gophers last season and tested the NBA Draft waters, as did Gach, who is a 6-foot-7 do-it-all wing capable of playing the point the way Amir Coffey did two years ago.


Go Gophers!!
 

T-Bonegopher

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per Joe:

Don't sleep on the 2020-21 Minnesota Gopher men's basketball team just yet. If the season is played – pending the pandemic – head coach Richard Pitino's roster could actually be quite loaded with talent.

On Monday, former Minnesota prep standout Both Gach (Austin, MN) announced that he's transferring from Utah to the Gophers, though like fellow transfer Liam Robbins (Drake), his playing status for the upcoming season is pending a transfer waiver being granted by the NCAA.

If Gach and Robbins are immediately eligible, the starting five combinations that Pitino could roll onto the hardwood for Big Ten action could be rather intimidating. Let's a dream a little...

Starting five
  • PG: Marcus Carr
  • SG: Gabe Kalscheur
  • SF: Both Gach
  • PF: Brandon Johnson
  • C: Liam Robbins
This lineup features three pro-caliber starters in Carr, Gach and Robbins. Remember, we've previously written about Robbins, a 7-footer, who had some NBA scouts salivating while he was routinely dominating the paint at Drake. Carr set assist-to-turnover records with the Gophers last season and tested the NBA Draft waters, as did Gach, who is a 6-foot-7 do-it-all wing capable of playing the point the way Amir Coffey did two years ago.


Go Gophers!!
If all are eligible very exciting starting lineup. Almost as exciting to me is coach Pitino’s deepest bench ever. Ihnen,Williams,Omersa and Curry (assuming he is healthy) all proven. Great promise in Mashburn. Hopeful for contributions from Mitchell,Mutaf and Freeman.
 

Deusen

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I would have liked to seen Coffee more at a wing vs: Point for his time at the U. Great player and loved his dad Richard. They were tuff warriors that never backed down. Thank you both for being part of the Gopher Brotherhood.
I haven't seen tape on Gach. If he is quicker then Coffee can Gach become a stud at the Point? Does he have the ball skills, the vision to create and set up players? Can he step back off the dribble and hit the J? Where is he at with his defense? I think Mashburn is more of 2 guard sharpshooter but needs to develop his handle and domination with the ball. Even Mutaf looks like he can be special. Mitchell, where is he at? Brandon Johnson Love his game. They all need to all hit the weights and put on a lot of mussel to compete at the top of the Big 10. And yes. It's time we change Gopher Basketball. How?
WINNING
 

BTChamp

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When I first read the title of the thread, I almost spit out my coffee. I read it as:

"All of a sudden they could be----------------good"
 

GopherJack

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I would have liked to seen Coffee more at a wing vs: Point for his time at the U. Great player and loved his dad Richard. They were tuff warriors that never backed down. Thank you both for being part of the Gopher Brotherhood.
I haven't seen tape on Gach. If he is quicker then Coffee can Gach become a stud at the Point? Does he have the ball skills, the vision to create and set up players? Can he step back off the dribble and hit the J? Where is he at with his defense? I think Mashburn is more of 2 guard sharpshooter but needs to develop his handle and domination with the ball. Even Mutaf looks like he can be special. Mitchell, where is he at? Brandon Johnson Love his game. They all need to all hit the weights and put on a lot of mussel to compete at the top of the Big 10. And yes. It's time we change Gopher Basketball. How?
WINNING
Richard yes - Amir, not so much. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but Amir was not the warrior his father was. Amir is a very good basketball player though, but I wouldn't classify him as a tuff warrior.
 

goldenboy

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Richard yes - Amir, not so much. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but Amir was not the warrior his father was. Amir is a very good basketball player though, but I wouldn't classify him as a tuff warrior.
I’d agree. Amir was way more skilled than his dad, and could be aggressive with the ball (many times out of control), but tough is not an adjective I would even consider. He’s got to have the fewest rebounds per minute played for a player of his height in Gopher history.
 

Chico Gopher

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I would have liked to seen Coffee more at a wing vs: Point for his time at the U. Great player and loved his dad Richard. They were tuff warriors that never backed down. Thank you both for being part of the Gopher Brotherhood.
I haven't seen tape on Gach. If he is quicker then Coffee can Gach become a stud at the Point? Does he have the ball skills, the vision to create and set up players? Can he step back off the dribble and hit the J? Where is he at with his defense? I think Mashburn is more of 2 guard sharpshooter but needs to develop his handle and domination with the ball. Even Mutaf looks like he can be special. Mitchell, where is he at? Brandon Johnson Love his game. They all need to all hit the weights and put on a lot of mussel to compete at the top of the Big 10. And yes. It's time we change Gopher Basketball. How?
WINNING
Not that hard to find Gach highlights and/or scouting reports. Short synopsis: Superior athlete. Can be spectacular or pretty much disappear from game to game. Runs the floor well. Hasn't been very consistent and questions about his defensive (desire and being held to standard more than physical questions) ability. My opinion is that if it clicks for him mentally, he can be one of the better players in the Big 10.
 

MinnGopher

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If all are eligible very exciting starting lineup. Almost as exciting to me is coach Pitino’s deepest bench ever. Ihnen,Williams,Omersa and Curry (assuming he is healthy) all proven. Great promise in Mashburn. Hopeful for contributions from Mitchell,Mutaf and Freeman.
With you all the way on this, the guard depth would be something we haven't had in awhile. I also am of the belief that Brandon Johnson will be better than Demir. Not to discredit Demir but he was athletically limited, although I'm thankful we had him last year. I'd guess the lineup is something like this toward the start of the year:

PG: Carr
SG: Gabe
SF: Gach
PF: Johnson
C: Robbins

6. Tre
7. Ihnen
8. Mash
9. Curry
10. Omersa

Ranking them based on minutes is tough because I do feel like Ihnen will get 20 a game in some shape or form. Tough to call the difference in Mash and Tre. I would guess that Mash has better offensive ability, but Tre does play pretty darn solid D. Will be interesting to see how the guard minutes are chopped up throughout the year. I assume we will go small when Gach comes off of the floor and have 3 guards out there, although there seems to be a thought on here that Ihnen will play the 3 (I 100p disagree that he will play there however). With that being said I could still see Mash or Tre getting 20 min, and the other not far behind that. I'm just not sure if we really have a wing other than Gach unless we want to go mega slow big guy lineup. Ideally Mitchell could play some 3/4 but I think he might take a bit to come along although I love his potential.
 

bga1

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With you all the way on this, the guard depth would be something we haven't had in awhile. I also am of the belief that Brandon Johnson will be better than Demir. Not to discredit Demir but he was athletically limited, although I'm thankful we had him last year. I'd guess the lineup is something like this toward the start of the year:

PG: Carr
SG: Gabe
SF: Gach
PF: Johnson
C: Robbins

6. Tre
7. Ihnen
8. Mash
9. Curry
10. Omersa

Ranking them based on minutes is tough because I do feel like Ihnen will get 20 a game in some shape or form. Tough to call the difference in Mash and Tre. I would guess that Mash has better offensive ability, but Tre does play pretty darn solid D. Will be interesting to see how the guard minutes are chopped up throughout the year. I assume we will go small when Gach comes off of the floor and have 3 guards out there, although there seems to be a thought on here that Ihnen will play the 3 (I 100p disagree that he will play there however). With that being said I could still see Mash or Tre getting 20 min, and the other not far behind that. I'm just not sure if we really have a wing other than Gach unless we want to go mega slow big guy lineup. Ideally Mitchell could play some 3/4 but I think he might take a bit to come along although I love his potential.
I think this is one team where the starting line up will not be nearly as important as the minutes and the combinations that Pitino finds to put on the floor. It is my hope that the depth gives us a chance to play some really aggressive and nasty defense as well as gives us an opportunity to score off the break more. We had almost nothing for fast break buckets last year.
 

MplsGopher

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Then I will appreciate your desire to let us know. You are also free to ignore my reply, thanks!
You shouldn't have had a reply in the first place. But you did, so I did. Still on you from the beginning.
 

GopherBlood666

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You shouldn't have had a reply in the first place. But you did, so I did. Still on you from the beginning.
You are correct. Next time i will attempt to interpret every possible scenario your statement could possibly imply so i will save a reply, thanks!
 

MplsGopher

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You are correct. Next time i will attempt to interpret every possible scenario your statement could possibly imply so i will save a reply, thanks!
You don’t even need to do that. You said “who cares”, but if I posted it then objectively at least I care, thus invalidating any need for you to interpret if more than zero posters care. Save your brain cells and fingers.
 

GopherBlood666

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You don’t even need to do that. You said “who cares”, but if I posted it then objectively at least I care, thus invalidating any need for you to interpret if more than zero posters care. Save your brain cells and fingers.
I guess I was looking for an elaboration on why you care about a trivial article at this point in the season. I'll make myself more clear next time.
 

MplsGopher

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I guess I was looking for an elaboration on why you care about a trivial article at this point in the season. I'll make myself more clear next time.
I liked the article. Indeed, I hit Like on the OP.

I felt the need to make a sarcastic remark about counting your chickens before they hatch, because that’s how I do.
 

GopherNuts

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We all have different opinions on Pitino but I think real strides have been made in roster management. The projected starting five is made up entirely of experienced upperclassmen if Robbins gets a waiver. Allows for some of the younger guys to develop naturally behind the scenes, build confidence and have to earn PT instead of forcing them into bigger roles to fill gaps in the rotation like we have previously. I still have some doubts about whether RP can make this a consistent B1G title contender long term but the changes post Ben Johnson-Kimani have been good. Feeling pretty optimistic about the direction recruiting is headed too.
 

60's Guy

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“Ideally Mitchell could play some 3/4 but I think he might take a bit to come along although I love his potential.” Not picking on you but I have seen this on the board by a few people.
Somebody please link a game video that shows Mitchell doing something other than dunking.
Yet, another theme is Ihnen can’t play 1,2, or 3. He’s only a 4. I see different things
when Ihnen plays. He is versatile, athletic and has the makeup and ability to play on the perimeter imo. (You guys see it different...cool.)
Maybe Mitchell does too? No videoI I have seen says he is anything but an athletic 5 however.
 

die hard gopher

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“Ideally Mitchell could play some 3/4 but I think he might take a bit to come along although I love his potential.” Not picking on you but I have seen this on the board by a few people.
Somebody please link a game video that shows Mitchell doing something other than dunking.
Yet, another theme is Ihnen can’t play 1,2, or 3. He’s only a 4. I see different things
when Ihnen plays. He is versatile, athletic and has the makeup and ability to play on the perimeter imo. (You guys see it different...cool.)
Maybe Mitchell does too? No videoI I have seen says he is anything but an athletic 5 however.
 

tmvander

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Ha, some of those 6'2 guys trying to guard him.
 

Otis

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“Ideally Mitchell could play some 3/4 but I think he might take a bit to come along although I love his potential.” Not picking on you but I have seen this on the board by a few people.
Somebody please link a game video that shows Mitchell doing something other than dunking.
Yet, another theme is Ihnen can’t play 1,2, or 3. He’s only a 4. I see different things
when Ihnen plays. He is versatile, athletic and has the makeup and ability to play on the perimeter imo. (You guys see it different...cool.)
Maybe Mitchell does too? No videoI I have seen says he is anything but an athletic 5 however.
I'm pretty sure it's consensus Ihnen is not a 1! He is also not a 5.

2 to 4 are all definitely in play for his abilities though. Just don't see the need for him to play 2 with the team loaded like it currently is unless you wanted to go with the length lineup:

PG: Gach
SG: Ihnen
SF: Mitchell
PF: Johnson
C: Robbins

Not sure what this lineup would do other than strike absolute fear in a division 3 team's hearts but it might be fun to run
 

GopherBlood666

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I'm pretty sure it's consensus Ihnen is not a 1! He is also not a 5.

2 to 4 are all definitely in play for his abilities though. Just don't see the need for him to play 2 with the team loaded like it currently is unless you wanted to go with the length lineup:

PG: Gach
SG: Ihnen
SF: Mitchell
PF: Johnson
C: Robbins

Not sure what this lineup would do other than strike absolute fear in a division 3 team's hearts but it might be fun to run
Gopher version of the "death lineup" ?
 

MplsGopher

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Not counting chickens, but even counting the eggs looks more encouraging than some past years.
I’m all but certain Carr will return and Gach will get a waiver.

Robbins doesn’t “deserve” one, but certainly less deserving have gotten them, so we shouldn’t be any different.
 
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