Lunardi currently has Gophers as part of Next Four out group

Otis

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Gophers have some good name brand company in Lunardi's latest NCAA 68 team prediction.

Syracuse and UCLA join us and Alabama(?) as the 5-8 teams out of the dance.

I'm pretty encouraged he sees that much out of such a young squad with 7 new players in the mix!

Let's hope he is on to something and not on something!

Go Gophers!
 

alchemy2u

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Gophers have some good name brand company in Lunardi's latest NCAA 68 team prediction.

Syracuse and UCLA join us and Alabama(?) as the 5-8 teams out of the dance.

I'm pretty encouraged he sees that much out of such a young squad with 7 new players in the mix!

Let's hope he is on to something and not on something!

Go Gophers!
He is obviously a greater basketball mind than Selection Sunday who had us much farther down the list..... lol
 

builtbadgers

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I have the Gophers much higher than that. I like this roster a great deal and with the coaching staff together longer, i see a 7 seed.
 

SelectionSunday

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He is obviously a greater basketball mind than Selection Sunday who had us much farther down the list..... lol
My latest projection had Gophers in roughly the same ballpark. Lunardi has Gophers in the #73-76 range (next 4 out), I have them in the #73-80 range (next 8 out).
 

manderson1984

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I have the Gophers much higher than that. I like this roster a great deal and with the coaching staff together longer, i see a 7 seed.
I think that's a pretty fair read on our seeding. I think our offense will be significantly more open than in previous years as we've added better shooting. I think defensively we will playing a lot more pack line and will be improved with the staff longevity and additional depth. Defensive rebounding is a huge question mark for me with Murph gone, but think Oturo and Thomas can fill in a lot of the void.
 

Bordergopher

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I’m excited about the expected improved shooting on this team, and hope that leads to more consistency on offense. I’m just not sure who (if anyone) will be that go-to guy during crunch time. We had two of those guys last year (Coffey and Murphy), and that was a luxury. Who on this roster can consistently create their own shot (and score at a high rate)? I hope I’m pleasantly surprised by the answer to this question. Will we have multiple guys who can do this? Carr, Willis, Oturu? Any of the freshmen? Can Gabe create off the dribble? Should be fun to watch.


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builtbadgers

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I think that's a pretty fair read on our seeding. I think our offense will be significantly more open than in previous years as we've added better shooting. I think defensively we will playing a lot more pack line and will be improved with the staff longevity and additional depth. Defensive rebounding is a huge question mark for me with Murph gone, but think Oturo and Thomas can fill in a lot of the void.
Agree. If these guys are a top 20 defense then they are no worse than a 7 seed.
 

bleedsmaroonandgold

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Missing the tourney would be pretty disappointing. We need to start stringing some good seasons together at some point. I think we are in.
 

tikited

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I have the Gophers much higher than that. I like this roster a great deal and with the coaching staff together longer, i see a 7 seed.
I'll have a double of what you are having. I just don't see how this roster accomplishes a 7 seed.
 

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Put me into the group that's optimistic about this team. I think Carr is going to be a beast, and all the reports we've heard about Willis have been great. If (and that's a big if) Curry can stay healthy and contribute, I absolutely see this as an NCAA tournament team. Without Curry, I still think they are a bubble team at worst.
 

JimmyJamesMD

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Shouldnt be that hard to make it every year given there is 68 teams. That bubble is always huge
 

stocker08

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Ughhh. Lunardi. Always trying to make the Gophers out to be the bad boys.....the outsiders of the college basketball world. Someone needs to dunk on his face.
 

die hard gopher

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I have the Gophers much higher than that. I like this roster a great deal and with the coaching staff together longer, i see a 7 seed.
I don't see how this team will be better than last years after losing two All Big Ten players. I wouldn't expect Oturu to be as good as Murphy or Gabe or Marcus to be as good as Coffey next year.

I think Demir will be a huge defensive liability and on the glass. I'm still very glad we have him because I think he is better than Curry or Omersa but IMO he is a below average Big Ten starter. That would have been completely fine with me if we still had Coffey, a first team All Big Ten guy and Demir as our 5th best starter. But now we will likely have another below average Big Ten starter on the wing in either Willis, Williams or Ihnen.


I think this team will definitely compete for a tourney bid and be in the conversation for much of the year but ultimately I don't see them getting a bid. While Oturu, Gabe or Carr will all be quality starters, I don't see any of them becoming absolute studs yet and IMO we will have two below average starters as SF and PF in Demir/Curry and Willis/Williams/Ihnen.
 

Keyser Söze

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I don't see how this team will be better than last years after losing two All Big Ten players. I wouldn't expect Oturu to be as good as Murphy or Gabe or Marcus to be as good as Coffey next year.

I think Demir will be a huge defensive liability and on the glass. I'm still very glad we have him because I think he is better than Curry or Omersa but IMO he is a below average Big Ten starter. That would have been completely fine with me if we still had Coffey, a first team All Big Ten guy and Demir as our 5th best starter. But now we will likely have another below average Big Ten starter on the wing in either Willis, Williams or Ihnen.


I think this team will definitely compete for a tourney bid and be in the conversation for much of the year but ultimately I don't see them getting a bid. While Oturu, Gabe or Carr will all be quality starters, I don't see any of them becoming absolute studs yet and IMO we will have two below average starters as SF and PF in Demir/Curry and Willis/Williams/Ihnen.
Agree that us being better than last year is unlikely, but I think some people might be underrating the addition of an actual point guard. Even if Carr isn't quite as talented as Coffey, I think it's possible the offense will function better with him. Murphy is an enormous loss, but we will also have better spacing without him. Not saying that we are better off without Murphy, but having better spacing and more shooters could help offset the loss of talent to some degree. I also expect Oturu to make a jump and be better than simply a "quality starter". I am confident that he will be on one of the all-conference teams. I have no idea what to expect from Willis, Williams, or Ihnen so projecting how good this team will be is extremely difficult.
 

GopherBlood666

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Payton Willis will not be below average, he could be the best all around starter this year on offense and defense for the Gophers. He has worked extremely hard on his game while having to sit out like carr, and will provide a good presence in terms of experience and leadership. I don't understand why no one (basically) is giving him really any pre-season love. Demir will be our "worst" starter, due to athleticism only. He is a smart player and will contribute.
 
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Keyser Söze

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Payton Willis will not be below average, he could be the best all around starter this year on offense and defense for the Gophers. He has worked extremely hard on his game while having to sit out like carr, and will provide a good presence in terms of experience and leadership. I don't understand why no one (basically) is giving him really any pre-season love. Demir will be our "worst" starter, due to athleticism only. He is a smart player and will contribute.
That's quite the hot take.
 

Holy Man

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Payton Willis will not be below average, he could be the best all around starter this year on offense and defense for the Gophers. He has worked extremely hard on his game while having to sit out like carr, and will provide a good presence in terms of experience and leadership. I don't understand why no one (basically) is giving him really any pre-season love. Demir will be our "worst" starter, due to athleticism only. He is a smart player and will contribute.
I hope you're right. Way too many question marks on the roster to be predicting a 7 seed. This sounds scarily like making unrealistic predictions so the coach can be bashed at the end of the season for not meeting expectations. If this team makes the NCAA tournament at all, I think we should all be ecstatic and very hopeful about the future. If they are a 7 seed, Coach Pitino might be up for conference coach of the year again, and it may be proof that the coaching adjustments last year were truly upgrades.

The pessimism on Willis is due primarily to previous performance at Vandy. I hope he's as good as you say, and by all accounts, he seems to be a great locker room guy. That will help a lot. Hopefully it shows on the court as well.
 
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SelectionSunday

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I hope you're right. Way too many question marks on the roster to be predicting a 7 seed. This sounds scarily like making unrealistic predictions so the coach can be bashed at the end of the season for not meeting expectations. If this team makes the NCAA tournament at all, I think we should all be ecstatic and very hopeful about the future. If they are a 7 seed, Coach Pitino might be up for conference coach of the year again, and it may be proof that the coaching adjustments last year were truly upgrades.
Agree.

This year has all the makings of a "transitional" season. I think the NCAA is a possibility, but there are way too many unknowns for me to expect that. What I don't want to see is another implosion-type season where we're hanging out with Nebraska and Northwestern at the very bottom of the standings. I think the NIT is a reasonable expectation this season, anything more than that and I'll be pleasantly surprised.
 

Holy Man

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Agree.

This year has all the makings of a "transitional" season. I think the NCAA is a possibility, but there are way too many unknowns for me to expect that. What I don't want to see is another implosion-type season where we're hanging out with Nebraska and Northwestern at the very bottom of the standings. I think the NIT is a reasonable expectation this season, anything more than that and I'll be pleasantly surprised.
Avoid Weakling Wednesday so I can enjoy a nice dinner with friends in Indy on the first night instead going to a Gophers game with 2500 people!
 

SelectionSunday

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Avoid Weakling Wednesday so I can enjoy a nice dinner with friends in Indy on the first night instead going to a Gophers game with 2500 people!
That would be a good start. Weakling Wednesday, a.k.a. the Rutgers Invitational, is never a good thing.
 

WriterGoph

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Texas Tech had a ton of unknowns going into last year - a grad transfer, a sit-out transfer, a couple freshmen. Not saying we will make the finals at all, but basketball is one sport where new/unknown players can come in and make a huge impact quickly. A team can be vastly different than the year before with the addition of a couple players. We have 7! Who knows what the F is going to happen? But we have two known quantities in Gabe and Daniel, two guys (Carr and Willis) who have been sitting out and busting their butts for this opportunity (and reports have been stellar on both) and some well thought of freshmen and a solid grad transfer. I can't wait to see what happens, but to write us off as 11th just because we are unfamiliar is short-sighted by anyone.
 

die hard gopher

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Texas Tech had a ton of unknowns going into last year - a grad transfer, a sit-out transfer, a couple freshmen. Not saying we will make the finals at all, but basketball is one sport where new/unknown players can come in and make a huge impact quickly. A team can be vastly different than the year before with the addition of a couple players. We have 7! Who knows what the F is going to happen? But we have two known quantities in Gabe and Daniel, two guys (Carr and Willis) who have been sitting out and busting their butts for this opportunity (and reports have been stellar on both) and some well thought of freshmen and a solid grad transfer. I can't wait to see what happens, but to write us off as 11th just because we are unfamiliar is short-sighted by anyone.
Guys like Owens and Mooney were high profile transfers.

I actually don't consider Demir, Carr and Willis to be "unknowns." I think we have a decent idea of what to expect from them. I just think they won't be good enough to replace what Murphy and Coffey gave us and get us back to the tournament.
 

ltf

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Guys like Owens and Mooney were high profile transfers.

I actually don't consider Demir, Carr and Willis to be "unknowns." I think we have a decent idea of what to expect from them. I just think they won't be good enough to replace what Murphy and Coffey gave us and get us back to the tournament.
I feel the potential exists to replace Coffeys production, given our new backcourt additions. Am nervous about the rebounding situation without Murphy.
 

builtbadgers

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I hope you're right. Way too many question marks on the roster to be predicting a 7 seed. This sounds scarily like making unrealistic predictions so the coach can be bashed at the end of the season for not meeting expectations. If this team makes the NCAA tournament at all, I think we should all be ecstatic and very hopeful about the future. If they are a 7 seed, Coach Pitino might be up for conference coach of the year again, and it may be proof that the coaching adjustments last year were truly upgrades.

The pessimism on Willis is due primarily to previous performance at Vandy. I hope he's as good as you say, and by all accounts, he seems to be a great locker room guy. That will help a lot. Hopefully it shows on the court as well.
Not saying a 7 seed to set up a Pitino bashing. The record always speaks for itself for coaches. I posted what i expect period. Hell, you can not win on this board no matter if you cite actual win loss records or if i post a optimistic prediction. I like the idea of this roster having better spacing and better movement. I also think the defense will be better with the continuity of Jeter and playing more pack line.
 

bga1

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Not saying a 7 seed to set up a Pitino bashing. The record always speaks for itself for coaches. I posted what i expect period. Hell, you can not win on this board no matter if you cite actual win loss records or if i post a optimistic prediction. I like the idea of this roster having better spacing and better movement. I also think the defense will be better with the continuity of Jeter and playing more pack line.
I am with you here. We should be better at three positions for sure. I have to believe Oturu is going to have a breakout year, this is big for him and his career- so he's going to be better. Kalscheur will have done the work to improve. Willis will be an upgrade to McBrayer because of the shooting aspect. The big question is how close can Carr come to producing at Coffey level and how well can the team replace Murphy by committee. If they can get decent rebounding out of the 4 position and Oturu becomes a beast then we should be fine. Murph as great as he played here, was a tough guy to build offense around. Then the bench is better for sure. They need Ihnen and Williams to show a lot of ability and we are off and running. A healthy Curry would be huge.

Overall I see this as perhaps a quicker roster that may also get more steals on defense. Last year we had only 175 steals. In Pitino's first year we had 287 steals.
 
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theczar

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The gophs closed out the 2018 season with 2 very productive Big Ten players Mason and Murphy...and they were awful...do not see that much more talent on this years roster
 

bc2211

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I am with you here. We should be better at three positions for sure. I have to believe Oturu is going to have a breakout year, this is big for him and his career- so he's going to be better. Kalscheur will have done the work to improve. Willis will be an upgrade to McBrayer because of the shooting aspect. The big question is how close can Carr come to producing at Coffey level and how well can the team replace Murphy by committee. If they can get decent rebounding out of the 4 position and Oturu becomes a beast then we should be fine. Murph as great as he played here, was a tough guy to build offense around. Then the bench is better for sure. They need Ihnen and Williams to show a lot of ability and we are off and running. A healthy Curry would be huge.

Overall I see this as perhaps a quicker roster that may also get more steals on defense. Last year we had only 175 steals. In Pitino's first year we had 287 steals.
Last year the offense was dependent on coffee. While he figured it out and carried the load offensively late last year, I don’t think he created well for others. I also don’t remember him being the beneficiary of anyone else’s movement either (anyone know what fraction of his points came unassisted?). Same with Murph. Both guys had to just bang. I mean, the defensive game plan for every team should have been easy: clog the lane and dare Coffee/Murphy to shoot. Loved those guys, but I don’t think they presented a whole lot of strategic challenges for the opposing coaches.

When opposing teams started hitting consecutive shots on us last year, the run was almost always compounded by our inability to score from our half court sets. If the newcomers can shoot effectively, I think we improve as a whole offensively. Two upperclassman point/combos on the floor, shooters at the 1-4, and a stronger Oturo (who might stretch the floor). In theory, that’s a lot more difficult to defend. What we lose in Coffee/Murphy, I am hopeful can be offset by a more balanced offense.

Time will tell if those guys step up.


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bemidjigopher

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The gophs closed out the 2018 season with 2 very productive Big Ten players Mason and Murphy...and they were awful...do not see that much more talent on this years roster
This team has much more depth than that team did. Even when healthy.

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bleedsmaroonandgold

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I hope you're right. Way too many question marks on the roster to be predicting a 7 seed. This sounds scarily like making unrealistic predictions so the coach can be bashed at the end of the season for not meeting expectations. If this team makes the NCAA tournament at all, I think we should all be ecstatic and very hopeful about the future. If they are a 7 seed, Coach Pitino might be up for conference coach of the year again, and it may be proof that the coaching adjustments last year were truly upgrades.

The pessimism on Willis is due primarily to previous performance at Vandy. I hope he's as good as you say, and by all accounts, he seems to be a great locker room guy. That will help a lot. Hopefully it shows on the court as well.
If, in year 7, predicting a 7 seed is such an uneasonably unattainable goal that it could only be predicted for the purpose of setting up Pitino bashing, that's a problem.
 

Otis

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We lost two great players but you guys are smoking something if you don't recognize their flaws.

Murphy was extremely limited on offense and defensively was below average against taller players. His ineffective jumper and limited mobility often caused stagnation on offensive end. His inability to effectively guard the perimeter and tendency to concentrate on rebounding left us with poor perimeter defense often.

Coffey was so 1 on 5 when he drove it was nearly ridiculous! Yes, most of his drives were successful but there was also a great many that resulted in a horrible forced shot. Many of his makes down the stretch would be considered "bad" shots. Defensively he struggled to maintain good perimeter defense because his drives on offense required 100% effort. Would of loved to see what he could of done this year next to a true PG! I loved Coffey but he was not perfect.

Good things this year:

1. Oturu 20 lbs heavier! I saw this and hope it is true. 20 lbs of muscle will help him immensely. He looked like a boy against Fernando last year and 20lbs would have made a world of difference both offensively and defensively. Having Freeman to bang against in practice should help both players. #1 pick of mine to be the blow-up player for the Gophers this year!

2. Carr looks to be a pass first guard who can hit the open man when he drives. Last year Coffey had 2 or 3 open guys the defense didn't care about when he drove. This year Carr should have open shooters the defense will have to respect in Gabe, Willis, Ihnen, Williams and hopefully Hurt. Defensively we won't have to watch a short quick guard like Cowan blow by Coffey whenever they want as Carr will be better suited to pick them up.

3. Gabe the Gym Rat. Pitino says he has lived in the gym, look for a quicker release and better conditioning. I'm thinking he will get more attention but will have made improvements to counter it because he is so dedicated!

4. Willis the gym rat. Sounds like he works hard as well. Hopefully he and Gabe are competing against each other in every aspect! He can't shoot worse than McBricks last season and gives us a kick and shoot on the perimeter.

5. The Freshmen and Curry. Need 2 of these guys to step up and be contributors. Hopefully it is Curry and Ihnen to help with our rebounding and height after Oturu.

Freeman and Omersa provide minutes, beef and fouls off the bench. Team is much deeper.

Last Point:

Less star players and more integrated parts give this team potential to be good! Pitino is going to need to teach them how to be more than individuals and maximize each others talents. I see a team that could be coached up and play together which could beat last year's team. Pitino is going to need to make that happen.
 
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