Next Gopher Head Coach

Gopher Teeth

Fear the Teeth
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
650
Reaction score
103
Points
43
I have yet to find a preseason poll that has the Gophers above 10 or 11 in the Big Ten. Is there something that everyone is missing here? Maybe I just don't enough, but it seems like everyone has the same sentiment that this years team will not be good again.
It's lazy analysis. Just look at this from CBS:

Richard Pitino's third losing season since he took over the Golden Gophers was a tumultuous one. They went 15-16 and lost a whopping seven games by five or fewer points. Of course, there's a fine line between being competitive and winning, but Minnesota was right there all season. Now Pitino, who loses leading scorer Daniel Oturu, gets two of his top three players back in Marcus Carr and Gabe Kalscheur in an effort to get past that hump. This team'll be thin on the front line without Oturu, so look for sophomore Isaiah Ihnen to step into a more prominent role in his second season.

Thin front line? Not even sure if whoever wrote this knows who Robbins is, never mind the fact that he's a 7 footer who some think has NBA potential. We have 4 who can get solid minutes, and I would think Freeman should be able to step in in emergencies:

Robbins
Curry
Johnson
Omersa
Freeman
Mitchell

Then you have Ihnen who can go in as a 4 if you want to play a spread offense. We are far from thin up front.

Then no real thought on backcourt. We have two returning starters in the backcourt and then quite a bit of depth. Including a transfer that averaged 11 pts a game at a HM.

When I read stuff like that I don't give it any credibility. That looks like someone looked at last year's stats, saw who was returning and then slapped that on a piece of paper.
 

manderson1984

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
2,026
Reaction score
724
Points
113
I agree that this is a bit premature, but it's a conversation board. One thing struck me recently:

Eric is a homeboy.
I get that people like Musselman around here, but two major issues in getting him now.
1. It's been pretty well known his wife wants to live in the south
2. He already gets paid more at Arkansas than Pitino does here.
 

die hard gopher

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2013
Messages
8,845
Reaction score
293
Points
83
It's lazy analysis. Just look at this from CBS:

Richard Pitino's third losing season since he took over the Golden Gophers was a tumultuous one. They went 15-16 and lost a whopping seven games by five or fewer points. Of course, there's a fine line between being competitive and winning, but Minnesota was right there all season. Now Pitino, who loses leading scorer Daniel Oturu, gets two of his top three players back in Marcus Carr and Gabe Kalscheur in an effort to get past that hump. This team'll be thin on the front line without Oturu, so look for sophomore Isaiah Ihnen to step into a more prominent role in his second season.

Thin front line? Not even sure if whoever wrote this knows who Robbins is, never mind the fact that he's a 7 footer who some think has NBA potential. We have 4 who can get solid minutes, and I would think Freeman should be able to step in in emergencies:

Robbins
Curry
Johnson
Omersa
Freeman
Mitchell

Then you have Ihnen who can go in as a 4 if you want to play a spread offense. We are far from thin up front.

Then no real thought on backcourt. We have two returning starters in the backcourt and then quite a bit of depth. Including a transfer that averaged 11 pts a game at a HM.

When I read stuff like that I don't give it any credibility. That looks like someone looked at last year's stats, saw who was returning and then slapped that on a piece of paper.
Agreed, during the offseason, I never saw a single power ranking that projected us to have both Liam and Both eligible. Most of them had us starting Omersa at the PF which is very lazy.

I think if those guys had always been immediately eligible then people would have realized this is a pretty good team but since it took so long, not everybody realizes the pieces we have in place.

I did read on a Michigan forum when Gach became eligible, a few of them said they really liked our team and they are really the only outsiders to acknowledge our entire roster.
 

golf

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 11, 2015
Messages
1,286
Reaction score
551
Points
113
Just have my own opinion of what bad is, what average is, what good is and what great is. Literally go off historical data of how long it takes and what actually gets built and how it gets built. With all that said i still hope he wins now so we do not have to go through another search.
I am sure you do hope he wins now. Point is that your posts indicate you have little or no faith that will happen, which is fine. Like any fan who has given up on a coach, you would like to move on to something better. That is all i meant to say.
 
Last edited:

builtbadgers

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
5,954
Reaction score
1,654
Points
113
It's lazy analysis. Just look at this from CBS:

Richard Pitino's third losing season since he took over the Golden Gophers was a tumultuous one. They went 15-16 and lost a whopping seven games by five or fewer points. Of course, there's a fine line between being competitive and winning, but Minnesota was right there all season. Now Pitino, who loses leading scorer Daniel Oturu, gets two of his top three players back in Marcus Carr and Gabe Kalscheur in an effort to get past that hump. This team'll be thin on the front line without Oturu, so look for sophomore Isaiah Ihnen to step into a more prominent role in his second season.

Thin front line? Not even sure if whoever wrote this knows who Robbins is, never mind the fact that he's a 7 footer who some think has NBA potential. We have 4 who can get solid minutes, and I would think Freeman should be able to step in in emergencies:

Robbins
Curry
Johnson
Omersa
Freeman
Mitchell

Then you have Ihnen who can go in as a 4 if you want to play a spread offense. We are far from thin up front.

Then no real thought on backcourt. We have two returning starters in the backcourt and then quite a bit of depth. Including a transfer that averaged 11 pts a game at a HM.

When I read stuff like that I don't give it any credibility. That looks like someone looked at last year's stats, saw who was returning and then slapped that on a piece of paper.
Great post.
 

Bad Gopher

A Loner, A Rebel
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
18,867
Reaction score
2,863
Points
113
I get that people like Musselman around here, but two major issues in getting him now.
1. It's been pretty well known his wife wants to live in the south
2. He already gets paid more at Arkansas than Pitino does here.
Oh, I'm aware of what people have said, and I don't disbelieve them. Just thought I'd share his tweet.

The second point is more important than the first IMO. It would take more than a broke athletic department could afford to bring in a new coach with any kind of standing. I believe the reports that Coyle was on the verge of moving on from Pitino before the virus hit. I also believe that, under the current circumstances, they're sticking with Pitino for the foreseeable future.
 

manderson1984

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
2,026
Reaction score
724
Points
113
Oh, I'm aware of what people have said, and I don't disbelieve them. Just thought I'd share his tweet.

The second point is more important than the first IMO. It would take more than a broke athletic department could afford to bring in a new coach with any kind of standing. I believe the reports that Coyle was on the verge of moving on from Pitino before the virus hit. I also believe that, under the current circumstances, they're sticking with Pitino for the foreseeable future.
Yeah that part in bold is underrated by many fans wanting a move. It's the double edge sword where you don't have the donors cause we aren't winning, but we gotta pay to get rid of someone and get someone new. It's why I think we need to look into the lower levels (Smith or a Grant) to get our guy who could make us great if Pitino isn't that person.
 

cjbfbp

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
7,045
Reaction score
1,650
Points
113
My advice is that you take a realistic look at the program. I hope it turns around, however, I would not say its a solid program at the moment. And under the tutelage of Richard Pitino we have not exactly achieved greatness, nor even good seasons. Actually quite average seasons with under achieving seasons sprinkled in.

How can you argue against that? He loses double the amount of Big ten games than he wins.
I have been as critical of Pitino as anyone (well, almost anyone). Yes, I think he should have been fired in the past (and said so on this board many times) and, yes, I think he's still the head coach primarily because of the COVID environment. Pitino has led the most charmed life of any coach I've ever encountered.

Having said that, he is our coach for now. I think he deserves credit for the spring recruiting job he did. For a program of our stature, I think he did an outstanding job, as well as anyone could have expected.

If the team completely falls down this season, he probably should be fired, but I don't expect that to happen. Among my biggest complaints about Pitino is that he's never had two good seasons in a row. However, he hasn't had two "bad" seasons in a row either since the two year stretch comprising his second and third seasons. On paper he has his deepest roster and depth has been a perennial problem with his rosters. I expect this season to be reasonably satisfying given the circumstances and I think he has a fair chance to follow that with a decent season next year.

As long as he still has the job, I'm going to hope that things go well as possible over the next two years. If that happens, that still doesn't mean I support lifetime tenure for Pitino. In order to be here for more than 10 years, he needs to demonstrate that he can at least maintain a Fran McCaffrey level of consistency.
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
17,745
Reaction score
3,335
Points
113
I think he deserves credit for the spring recruiting job he did.

I could buy that he went out and convinced Brandon Johnson to transfer here. That is reasonable. I don't for a second believe he went out and got Robbins and Gach. Both of those are dumb luck. Unless you're going to suggest that Pitino hired Ed Conroy for the purpose of recruiting Robbins away from Drake? (I'm sure you're not) Robbins is still an unknown in the Big Ten. People are hoping and believing he's going to come in and be Garza. I hope so, but until it happens... And people believe Gach will be a great player. That one seems more certain.

Mashburn may contribute this season. That would be Pitino. But seems like Carr and Gabe are the starters and I assume will get most of the 1/2 minutes. Hey, if the kid can ball, put him in!
 

cjbfbp

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
7,045
Reaction score
1,650
Points
113
I think he deserves credit for the spring recruiting job he did.

I could buy that he went out and convinced Brandon Johnson to transfer here. That is reasonable. I don't for a second believe he went out and got Robbins and Gach. Both of those are dumb luck. Unless you're going to suggest that Pitino hired Ed Conroy for the purpose of recruiting Robbins away from Drake? (I'm sure you're not) Robbins is still an unknown in the Big Ten. People are hoping and believing he's going to come in and be Garza. I hope so, but until it happens... And people believe Gach will be a great player. That one seems more certain.

Mashburn may contribute this season. That would be Pitino. But seems like Carr and Gabe are the starters and I assume will get most of the 1/2 minutes. Hey, if the kid can ball, put him in!
"I don't for a second believe he went out and got Robbins and Gach. Both of those are dumb luck."

As Mickey Rourke stated about dumb luck in the film Barfly: "Yeah, but that counts too!"

I don't know why anyone would project Garza numbers to Robbins. Garza probably was the most productive offensive player in the league last year. I expect something more along the line of Maurice Walker numbers from Robbins this year (maybe 10 pts and 6 rebounds a game). I think that will be good enough.

I expect this team to be reasonably good because of numbers, not stars. Last year's team had two stars but the drop off after them was enormous. Last year's 3rd option was Gabe but he was, frankly, terrible (especially in conference!). Willis wasn't that much better. Our third most efficient starter was Alihan. Yikes! Finally, we had nothing off the bench until Ihnen came on late in the season. This year's team shouldn't have anything close to the number of dead spots as last year's team.
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
17,745
Reaction score
3,335
Points
113
Good post.

But with how competitive the Big Ten is, I'm not sure what "This year's team shouldn't have anything close to the number of dead spots as last year's team" is going to get us.

I don't think Gophers fans feel like winning this conference is a thing, but would be elated to make the tourny and win a meaningful game.
 

die hard gopher

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2013
Messages
8,845
Reaction score
293
Points
83
"I don't for a second believe he went out and got Robbins and Gach. Both of those are dumb luck."

As Mickey Rourke stated about dumb luck in the film Barfly: "Yeah, but that counts too!"

I don't know why anyone would project Garza numbers to Robbins. Garza probably was the most productive offensive player in the league last year. I expect something more along the line of Maurice Walker numbers from Robbins this year (maybe 10 pts and 6 rebounds a game). I think that will be good enough.

I expect this team to be reasonably good because of numbers, not stars. Last year's team had two stars but the drop off after them was enormous. Last year's 3rd option was Gabe but he was, frankly, terrible (especially in conference!). Willis wasn't that much better. Our third most efficient starter was Alihan. Yikes! Finally, we had nothing off the bench until Ihnen came on late in the season. This year's team shouldn't have anything close to the number of dead spots as last year's team.
I'd be very happy with John Teske level of play from Robbins. Or Haarms or Lynch level. An above average Big Ten starting center but not an All Big Ten player. But may have a chance to make the all defensive team with his shot blocking.
 

Bad Gopher

A Loner, A Rebel
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
18,867
Reaction score
2,863
Points
113
Yeah that part in bold is underrated by many fans wanting a move. It's the double edge sword where you don't have the donors cause we aren't winning, but we gotta pay to get rid of someone and get someone new. It's why I think we need to look into the lower levels (Smith or a Grant) to get our guy who could make us great if Pitino isn't that person.
It's always the "Door #3" risk you take moving on from a known commodity to someone who hasn't been tested at this level or in the Big Ten. That said, our drunken neighbors to the east have had orgasmic success grabbing accomplished coaches from lower levels (Division 1 mid-majors UW-Green Bay and UW-Milwaukee). If you can make the right hire, you can not only upgrade but get temporary salary relief. I haven't checked, but I'd guess that Bennett made less his first year than the guy he replaced (Van Gundy).

One way or another, I couldn't agree more with builtbadgers. We know what we have with Richard. The next several years are likely to be similar to the last several years, although we may see small incremental improvements as he gains experience and a better understanding of talent evaluation and the value of underrated local players.
 
Last edited:

tmvander

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 25, 2012
Messages
1,320
Reaction score
310
Points
83
I think a lot of the Pitino hate when it comes to recruiting is just because we tend to miss on the local 5* guys. The reality is that since 2014 he's had a top half of the Big Ten recruiting class 3 times. That includes 2020 where we were not but added Robbins and Gach who I'd argue is more valuable then 2 4* freshman.

I've always had my concerns with Pitino in certain areas. Recruiting isn't one of them as of right now. No, top half isn't blowing the doors off, but with the history of this program I'll take top half and hope that guys can also be coached up.
 

alaska

Active member
Joined
Oct 10, 2016
Messages
180
Reaction score
97
Points
28
Have you seen what the conference is returning? How does any analyst who doesn't really look that in depth not rank us lower. You have proven products vs a relatively new roster. Also PItino hasn't proven he can coach defense at a high level yet.
I agree with you! Bottom of the league is where we should be starting.
 

alaska

Active member
Joined
Oct 10, 2016
Messages
180
Reaction score
97
Points
28
I think a lot of the Pitino hate when it comes to recruiting is just because we tend to miss on the local 5* guys. The reality is that since 2014 he's had a top half of the Big Ten recruiting class 3 times. That includes 2020 where we were not but added Robbins and Gach who I'd argue is more valuable then 2 4* freshman.

I've always had my concerns with Pitino in certain areas. Recruiting isn't one of them as of right now. No, top half isn't blowing the doors off, but with the history of this program I'll take top half and hope that guys can also be coached up.
How can recruiting not be an issue? This year we have the #56 class in the nation and last year we had the #50 class in the nation. I am worried a lot.
 

tmvander

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 25, 2012
Messages
1,320
Reaction score
310
Points
83
How can recruiting not be an issue? This year we have the #56 class in the nation and last year we had the #50 class in the nation. I am worried a lot.
Well look at the amount of recruits we have. This year 2 recruits. We get one more guy we're up to like 40-45 range. Last year we had 3 recruits when teams well ahead of us had 5. We also added Robbins and Gach who don't count in that.

I'm not saying Pitino is the world's best recruiter, but those rankings have more between the lines then just the number. Pitino has plenty of other issues that I think are higher priority to fix than recruiting.
 

cjbfbp

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
7,045
Reaction score
1,650
Points
113
I'd be very happy with John Teske level of play from Robbins. Or Haarms or Lynch level. An above average Big Ten starting center but not an All Big Ten player. But may have a chance to make the all defensive team with his shot blocking.
Yes, Jon Teske is a good aspirational comparable. Reggie Lynch was a game changer on the defensive end so I'm not predicting that level of defensive prowess for Robbins.

Of course, Reggie had difficulty staying on the floor and out of foul trouble. We actually have a good comparable on that dimension for Reggie and Robbins because both players started as sophs for Missouri Valley Conference teams.

Last year in 34 games as a soph for Drake, Robbins appeared in 34 games and fouled out of 4 of them. He averaged 27.1 minutes per game that year.

As a soph at Illinois State, Reggie appeared in 33 games and fouled out of 10 of them. He averaged 22.2 minutes per game that year.

So, if Robbins can average 5 more minutes per game than Reggie, that alone would be helpful.

Robbins was a bigger scorer in that comparable year than Reggie but their shooting percentages were pretty similar.

Robbins Lynch
Points per game14.19.5
Free throw attempts per game3.93.6
Free throw %.694.683
True Shooting %.543.551
 

cjbfbp

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
7,045
Reaction score
1,650
Points
113
How can recruiting not be an issue? This year we have the #56 class in the nation and last year we had the #50 class in the nation. I am worried a lot.
Here's our recruiting class:

Mashburn Jr.
Mitchell
Mutaff
Robbins
Gach
Brandon Johnson

If those publications are not judging the FULL recruiting class, then they aren't worth a bucket of spit. To borrow an analogy from this election season: judging a recruiting class without considering transfers these days is like polling and publishing the results without considering that a significant percentage of the voting eligible population will not participate in your polls.

The last three individuals on that list have demonstrated that they can be productive college players and are pretty unlikely to be busts.

I don't know how good Mutaff will be. Perhaps he won't be very good at all, but a player doesn't gain the same exposure playing in Turkey that he would get playing here or even in Canada.
 

golf

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 11, 2015
Messages
1,286
Reaction score
551
Points
113
Here's our recruiting class:

Mashburn Jr.
Mitchell
Mutaff
Robbins
Gach
Brandon Johnson

If those publications are not judging the FULL recruiting class, then they aren't worth a bucket of spit. To borrow an analogy from this election season: judging a recruiting class without considering transfers these days is like polling and publishing the results without considering that a significant percentage of the voting eligible population will not participate in your polls.

The last three individuals on that list have demonstrated that they can be productive college players and are pretty unlikely to be busts.

I don't know how good Mutaff will be. Perhaps he won't be very good at all, but a player doesn't gain the same exposure playing in Turkey that he would get playing here or even in Canada.
Agree. While I feel good about Pitino's coaching acumen, recruiting has been a concern. Much improved in that regard this cycle.
 

die hard gopher

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2013
Messages
8,845
Reaction score
293
Points
83
Here's our recruiting class:

Mashburn Jr.
Mitchell
Mutaff
Robbins
Gach
Brandon Johnson

If those publications are not judging the FULL recruiting class, then they aren't worth a bucket of spit. To borrow an analogy from this election season: judging a recruiting class without considering transfers these days is like polling and publishing the results without considering that a significant percentage of the voting eligible population will not participate in your polls.

The last three individuals on that list have demonstrated that they can be productive college players and are pretty unlikely to be busts.

I don't know how good Mutaff will be. Perhaps he won't be very good at all, but a player doesn't gain the same exposure playing in Turkey that he would get playing here or even in Canada.
And Gach had a lot of other good schools on him, Maryland, ISU, Creoghton, Auburn. If Liam had hit the open market he would have had a ton of offers, maybe even from a blue blood like Kentucky who took Nate Sestina from Bucknell last year years ago. UNC took Justin Pierce two years ago and Liam is just as good if not better than those guys were before transferring.

They had or would have had the same level of interest from programs as most 4 stars.
 

tmvander

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 25, 2012
Messages
1,320
Reaction score
310
Points
83
The other problem with recruiting is there are only so many 5* and 4* guys. Take 2020 for example...9 5* and 9 4* guys are going to the top 3 schools in recruiting rankings. 18 total players...to 3 schools...

There are only 25 5* guys per class and more than 1/3 are going to 3 out of 350+ schools. Over 15% of ALL 5* and 4* guys are going to 3 schools. Factor in the other blue bloods and you're really looking at needing to find some quality 3* guys and ignore rankings.
 

cjbfbp

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
7,045
Reaction score
1,650
Points
113
And Gach had a lot of other good schools on him, Maryland, ISU, Creoghton, Auburn. If Liam had hit the open market he would have had a ton of offers, maybe even from a blue blood like Kentucky who took Nate Sestina from Bucknell last year years ago. UNC took Justin Pierce two years ago and Liam is just as good if not better than those guys were before transferring.

They had or would have had the same level of interest from programs as most 4 stars.
Yes, some people just don't seem to like transfers as part of a recurring recruiting strategy but including at least one or two transfers each year is almost essential for programs at our level. And, as you mention, even the blue bloods are in the transfer market.

I agree with you that Robbins would have attracted significant attention had he entered the open market. He put up very good numbers against a higher level of competition than the two examples you gave above. Nate Sestina is an interesting case. He went to a combo jr/sr high school with 400 students in grades 7 through 12 that is the only high school in the county that is located in an almost deserted area of northern Pennsylvania. Needless to say, it's not surprising that he wasn't swarming with offers coming from a place like that.
 

Parcival

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2019
Messages
623
Reaction score
451
Points
63
Here's our recruiting class:

Mashburn Jr.
Mitchell
Mutaff
Robbins
Gach
Brandon Johnson

If those publications are not judging the FULL recruiting class, then they aren't worth a bucket of spit. To borrow an analogy from this election season: judging a recruiting class without considering transfers these days is like polling and publishing the results without considering that a significant percentage of the voting eligible population will not participate in your polls.

The last three individuals on that list have demonstrated that they can be productive college players and are pretty unlikely to be busts.

I don't know how good Mutaff will be. Perhaps he won't be very good at all, but a player doesn't gain the same exposure playing in Turkey that he would get playing here or even in Canada.
Mutaf will be good. Kid works hard and has great fundamentals for an incoming freshman.
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
17,745
Reaction score
3,335
Points
113
The other problem with recruiting is there are only so many 5* and 4* guys. Take 2020 for example...9 5* and 9 4* guys are going to the top 3 schools in recruiting rankings. 18 total players...to 3 schools...

There are only 25 5* guys per class and more than 1/3 are going to 3 out of 350+ schools. Over 15% of ALL 5* and 4* guys are going to 3 schools. Factor in the other blue bloods and you're really looking at needing to find some quality 3* guys and ignore rankings.
Anecdote:

Georgia's 2019 class had a 5* guy and four 4* guys. I only know this because of looking up Edwards.

They were only predicted to finish 9th in the SEC with that class. They went on to finish 13th in the standings.
 
Top Bottom