Kenny Pohto commits

Gopher_In_NYC

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I get what you’re saying but the process has been mediocre at best in this tenure. that’s not photos fault but the benefit of the doubt is long gone by this point in tenure.


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Goldy Gopher

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So the headline here obviously is no Chet Holmgren for Pitino which means he misses out on Holmgren, Brown (and I'd argue Tschetter now that he's taken Pohto) after missing out on the entire 2020 class.

The sub headline is that the roster construction is currently a mess. As of now for 2021 the roster would have FOUR center only prospects among the 13 scholarship players. With the way modern basketball is played, I would strongly argue that only 2 scholarships should be used on centers. As of now the 2021 Gophers would have Robbins, Freeman, Thompson, and now Pohto at the position. Going further, you could certainly argue that Martice Mitchell is a center or more of a center than a forward, that Jarvis Omersa is ideally a small ball center and certainly can't give you minutes on the wing given his lack of a perimeter shot or ball handling skills, and that Isaiah Ihnen is a 4 who cannot play the 3 until we see way more from as a ball handler than we've seen to date. That's now 7 of the 13 scholarships to guys you frequently only want one of on the court (non ball handler and/or non shooter). Obviously there is expected player movement here, but this roster needs more skilled players in the 6'4-6'8 range.

From what I've read on Pohto and the very little I've seen of him, his skill set is oddly similar to that of Treyton Thompson. They are both pick and pop bigs with average to below average athleticism who seem to play the right way but have questions about their physicality. Two of the biggest reasons I gave Pitino a pass on Tschetter were that Holmgren was still out there and that I saw Will as a really bad fit in a front court with Treyton as I didn't see that pairing as being athletic enough to play together. Will Tschetter had better offers than Pohto and at least plays a different position than Treyton Thompson, even if he would not be an ideal fit (obviously you take a talent like Chet Holmgren no matter what your roster looks like).

We're not opening any sort of "pipeline" with Pohto internationally, he's been at Sunrise Christian for a number of years. That's concerning because he's played with two top 20 kids in this 2021 class (including Minnesota's own Kendall Brown) so everyone has had a lot of chances to see him play and his only other high major offer (that we know of) is Nebraska. When Lindsted came to become our top recruiting assistant, I am sure this is not the type of player profile Pitino was expecting to land from Sunrise Christian where Lindsted's roots run deep. The Rivals site states that Pohto has grown from 6'9 and sub 200 to 6'11 and 235 since arriving at Sunrise Christian. Maybe (hopefully) a lot of that growth occurred during the pandemic and he's made a significant leap over a period of time where schools have been unable to view him?

Thompson (or Pohto) would be absolutely fine pieces for almost any school in the nation, as would a guy like Mashburn Jr last year. The issue arises when you're not bringing in the lead pieces ahead of these guys who are ranked in the top 30, 50 or even 75 in their class. If you look at the 247 composite you will see recruits from so many schools before you get to Treyton Thompson to Minnesota at 127. Auburn, Alabama, Stanford, Baylor, Tennessee all landed kids in the top 15, not a Blue Blood in the bunch. Texas A&M, Purdue, Ole Miss, UNLV, Western Kentucky, and Iowa State landed kids ranked between 25-50 (as did LSU but I will keep them out of this discussion for Will Wade reasons). Wake Forest who made a really late coaching change has the 63rd ranked player and another kid at 106. Colorado has two kids ranked from 75-100 and DePaul has 3. Northwestern and Nebraska both landed a higher ranked recruit than the Gophers did in this cycle. If you are a great X's and O's guy or a great developer of talent or great at picking out under rated recruits than these rankings don't really matter to your program.
This commitment has no impact on whether Chet Holmgren is a Gopher or not. He has a spot anytime he wants it and knows that.
Pohto is ranked 142 by 24/7 Tschetter is 154.

We have 7 4/5s this season. We lose Johnson and who knows on Curry. Thompson is a 4/5. Freeman who knows how much of an impact he will have or if he is here next year. Hopefully Robbins is back next year but we've also heard how he is a potential NBA prospect. Mitchell can probably guard other centers if needed but he is definitely much more of a 4 than a 5. I would probably aim for 6 guys that can play the 4/5 instead of the 7 we currently have but we are a little more unproven there than we are in the backcourt and a guy like Mitchell might be similar to Ihnen last year where it takes him a while to acclimate but the potential is off the charts.

Pohto and Thompson do have a lot of similarities. Both run the floor incredibly well showing some good athleticism, both are very good screeners, both are solid position defenders and willing to put a body on somebody, and both can step out and hit the 3.

Pohto is a guy who has put on a lot of muscle in the past 6 months and added a couple inches. He has played mostly as a reserve at Sunrise and combine that with the very limited AAU experience this spring/summer and no coaches in attendance he was very under the radar. Most analyst feel he would've blown up this spring/summer in a normal AAU season.
 
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leib0039

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At some point you just take talent, so Richard must think he is talented and can make the roster work. Also I think its unlikely that everyone on this roster stays. We haven't seen anything from Freeman and with Robbins in that is unlikely to change so it wouldn't be a shocker to see him go.

With that said, it drives me bananas how Pitino recruits, never seems to be any rhyme or reason for anything. One year its 5 guards, next year we have no one in the fall and have to get 3 guys late. Its year 8, time to have a damn plan!
 

60's Guy

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I have very much been a critic of Richard’s roster construction. However, without actually seeing them play and not knowing if Gach will be eligible....in a convoluted, confusing, process it appears Pitino has his best roster since he has been here.
I don’t care how he did it.
Next spring could be just as wacky. We don’t know who will be here. Guys make questionable decisions to leave early. Some are politely encouraged to take their talents elsewhere. Neither of the two commits are here yet. Lots of possibilities what next year could look like.
If we finish bottom four he’s not the coach anyway without ridiculous circumstances or Chet Holmgren excited to be a Gopher.
Can’t argue we don’t have too many untalented marginal people in the pipeline who are best suited to be a 5. But I doubt they are all on the roster together next year.

And maybe it all is for Chet Holmgren. Proving to him he won’t have to play the 5.
 
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GopherWeatherGuy

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Recall this reporting - David said Chet’s college destination will be impacted by at least one factor involving complementary players. “They gotta have some bigs so that Chet doesn’t get thrown into the middle. The middle is not his game. I don’t want him anywhere where one guy gets hurt, now he’s gotta be the big. It won’t make sense.”

This. Chet is not a center.
 

cjbfbp

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I have very much been a critic of Richard’s roster construction. However, without actually seeing them play and not knowing if Gach will be eligible....in a convoluted, confusing, process it appears Pitino has his best roster since he has been here.
I don’t care how he did it.
Next spring could be just as wacky. We don’t know who will be here.

Agreed. On the whole, this looks like his best roster in terms of depth even if there isn't a Daniel Oturu or Reggie Lynch on it.

It rarely pays to get all worked up about this kind of stuff. Right now there are 5 guards on the roster without Gach and 6 with him. I agree with the expectation of Carr being gone after this season and that leaves another roster spot. The way things have been going lately, we probably can expect at least one more. While Pitino hasn't always done great with spring recruiting, he's had a few years where he has picked up very important pieces and the recruiting this past spring was nothing short of terrific.
 

bga1

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Welcome aboard Kenny Pohto!

I am excited to see him here next year. To me this fits with where Pitino is going with recruiting. He is going to land a few top 50/ top 100 local guys but he is realizing that he has to land mostly diamond in the rough guys that he thinks have high potential. Mitchell, Ihnen, Mutaf and Pohto. The job is to develop them. We saw a lot of in season development with Ihnen last year.
 

tmvander

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Agreed. On the whole, this looks like his best roster in terms of depth even if there isn't a Daniel Oturu or Reggie Lynch on it.

It rarely pays to get all worked up about this kind of stuff. Right now there are 5 guards on the roster without Gach and 6 with him. I agree with the expectation of Carr being gone after this season and that leaves another roster spot. The way things have been going lately, we probably can expect at least one more. While Pitino hasn't always done great with spring recruiting, he's had a few years where he has picked up very important pieces and the recruiting this past spring was nothing short of terrific.
Yeah, in all honesty I haven't really hated on Pitino for the recruiting piece. It's been in game management and some player development issues. I think he's put together some really good teams but injuries and off the court problems have kind of messed with his "plan or vision."

I think the depth we have this year will help.

As far as the big men on roster...I feel like it wasn't long ago we were whining about needing more depth there no? Now we have too many? I'm ok with having some extra big bodies.
 

cjbfbp

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Yeah, in all honesty I haven't really hated on Pitino for the recruiting piece. It's been in game management and some player development issues.

Player development has been one of my biggest gripes and I believe you have to look at the weaker links to gauge that because good players, like good students, will do the things they need to do to get better regardless of who is leading the group. The fact that players like Bakary and Hurt were still as bad as they were after four years was a disgrace.
 

tmvander

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Player development has been one of my biggest gripes and I believe you have to look at the weaker links to gauge that because good players, like good students, will do the things they need to do to get better regardless of who is leading the group. The fact that players like Bakary and Hurt were still as bad as they were after four years was a disgrace.
Oh there were obvious recruiting misses, but Pitino has also landed a few big fish. Oturu, Coffey, Murphy, Mason, Carr, etc. have all been very very good.

There will be a lot on here that take digs at all the locals he has missed on but I would be surprised if they would have stayed and played at the U for any coach.
 

Spaulding!No!

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He is doing his contractual minimum and planning his exit. Picking kids that no one is after allows you to step on no toes. This will be lower than monson.
 

manderson1984

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Oh there were obvious recruiting misses, but Pitino has also landed a few big fish. Oturu, Coffey, Murphy, Mason, Carr, etc. have all been very very good.

There will be a lot on here that take digs at all the locals he has missed on but I would be surprised if they would have stayed and played at the U for any coach.

Exactly plenty of misses and there will be more just like every coach in the country. It happens. My only issue with his earlier recruiting is I didn't see a profile or a plan. I do see a type of player we go after now. Player development has been fine I think too. Most players improve here and grow. Our issue in winning games has been mainly defense. It's been terrible in the early years especially and I blame that on the recruiting and just plain coaching. I think we have better coaching in place and we are recruiting guys who take pride in that area.

I'm excited to see us get on the ground floor with some up and comers. Rankings matter after the class has graduated. Then you can see if the rankings were correct or not.
 

abrams

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Some guys are questioning this commitment. I like it. We're thin at the 4/5 spot. Curry is a RS Senior, Robbins is a Junior who could jump to the NBA this year. Johnson is also a senior. That leaves you with Mitchell and Freeman. Ihnen is a small forward, so is Omersa.
 

WriterGoph

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A few thoughts from those higlights:

1. This is not just standard HS basketball. The teams that Sunrise Christian plays are pretty high-level across the country.
2. Pohto has a pretty nice offensive game already; definitely not a stiff.
3. He appears to have a better outside shot at this point than any of the following did when they ARRIVED to the Gophers: Oturu, Mitchell, Freeman, Ihnen
 

WriterGoph

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After that nonsensical comment, added to the ignored list...

Me? If so, thank you very much! My apologies for expecting good results this year with the talent we have accumulated.

Have fun living in the darkness, I guess.
 

WriterGoph

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Didnt Pitino say he wanted to be more like Belien's teams at Michigan...............bigs that can shoot, spread the floor. This appears to be Pitino going all in on that idea

was thinking this as well. This is also the model many of the NBA teams have been moving towards. Everyone can shoot
 

skiumah1

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Hopefully this Euro pipeline pays off. Not like we were gonna get him but this pretty much closes the door on Chet I’m thinking.
I don't think it necessarily closes the door on Chet, Chet and his father have made it clear they don't want him playing C in college. I think if anything this helps prove that you're willing to fill that spot with other guys while he can play on the perimeter a little bit.

I'm not saying he's coming here, but I actually think this helps more than hurts.

Or are we out of scholarships now?

EDIT
And now after reading through the whole board I see this point has been made
 

60's Guy

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A few thoughts from those higlights:

1. This is not just standard HS basketball. The teams that Sunrise Christian plays are pretty high-level across the country.
2. Pohto has a pretty nice offensive game already; definitely not a stiff.
3. He appears to have a better outside shot at this point than any of the following did when they ARRIVED to the Gophers: Oturu, Mitchell, Freeman, Ihnen
Agreed, with the huge exception of Ihnen. Ihnen could shoot better than Pohto can before he got here and is presently a better shooter than Pohto is too...based on old tape.
 
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