***OFFICIAL NORTHWESTERN AT MINNESOTA IN-GAME THREAD!!!!***

scools12

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There isn’t one thing.

To say this program is great because they went 25-8 and this coach is bad because they are 18-15 misses 99% of the things a program is about.



I’m not concerned with our record this year at all.
I’m concerned:
We don’t box out
We commit stupid fouls
We take bad shots
We have no player leadership
We whine to officials
We have had a lot of players come in who either leave quickly or are horrible at basketball

I’m willing to give the coach 1 more year.
But if next year we are 25-8 with 3 players transferring out and 2 of the 3 freshmen being awful and another off court scandal....would you call that a positive season or a negative one?
I’d say negative.
Likewise, if next year we are 18-15 but the team is getting better throughout, the three freshmen and Washington look like they can play at a high level in the future...should we move on? I’d say no.


There is a point where record can be a deal breaker. I’m not sure 14-18 is a deal breaker for me this year.
This sounds more like the attitude towards a coach in year 3. This coach will be going into year 6.


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sorry i'm late to the gripe session and it is too late to go read the whole thread but----- that was the worst half-time show ever. Followed by the worst under 12 in arena bit ever- 3 minutes of annoying bongo drums.
 

Bad Gopher

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The bongo drums were the deal breaker for me. When that came on, I seriously started questioning whether I was in a dream. Not kidding at all.
 

bga1

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I can't say enough how bad the refs were and how badly they impacted the game. That aside:
Great game by Mason who was robbed of even more points by the zebras.
IW was very impressive on defense and I am disappointed that Pitino didn't give him minutes in the second half.
I like the smaller lineup- even though we got beat on the boards. There's no choice.
I like Pitino and hope he is here to stay but he got out coached.
This is just one of those seasons where things are not going to go right. I'd play IW 20 + minutes from here on in and let him grow.
 

builtbadgers

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I can't say enough how bad the refs were and how badly they impacted the game. That aside:
Great game by Mason who was robbed of even more points by the zebras.
IW was very impressive on defense and I am disappointed that Pitino didn't give him minutes in the second half.
I like the smaller lineup- even though we got beat on the boards. There's no choice.
I like Pitino and hope he is here to stay but he got out coached.
This is just one of those seasons where things are not going to go right. I'd play IW 20 + minutes from here on in and let him grow.
Just curious, what is it about Pitino that you like ? In my business we like to know where coaches fit and how that matches fan expectations and culture. Please name 3 things you like and 2 that you do not.
 

bga1

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Just curious, what is it about Pitino that you like ? In my business we like to know where coaches fit and how that matches fan expectations and culture. Please name 3 things you like and 2 that you do not.
Likes: Recruits well- this is still a work in progress after early errors but looking good
Plays exciting up tempo basketball which builds on talent #1
Builds up his players and has a pretty decent track record of players getting better (certainly not a 100% but good)
Dislikes: His system requires talent and depth and he has had trouble accumulating enough of both- this needs to be resolved by like #1
Defense- he really has not put a really good defensive team on the floor save for the second half of last year. Lynch helped immensely but there are repeated breakdowns leaving opponents wide open. There is either a breakdown in fundamentals or the players lack the talent and basketball IQ to pull it off

Despite his flaws, lets face it, if we were not talking about the most unlucky team perhaps in college basketball this year, we might be sitting on another top 4 or better finish in the Big Ten. Have we done that since Musselman? I think he is going to get better and better as a coach and more talent will certainly make him look that way.

Start of the year we were looking at:

Lynch/Coffey/Murphy/McBrayer/Mason and a decent bench with Curry/Washington (highly touted)/Fitzgerald possibly some instant offense
Konate, Diedhou and Hurt did not figure for prominent minutes unless Hurt made a jump (which he hasn't)

Now we have Lynch out/ Coffey at 75%/ McBrayer at 75%/ Murphy now alone in the front court(basically) and Mason Curry is replaced by Konate minutes and Fitz and Washington have not been able to get any confidence. The falloff from Lynch and Curry is so steep that it hurts the production of every player on the team at both ends. Tonight Fitz plays instead of Lynch- that's a 15 -20 point loss in combined offensive and defensive effect on the score. Konate has been worse, try as he might.

This is a defense of Pitino. The criticism is that he has not adapted- plus it is his roster.
 

builtbadgers

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Would add that there is very little proof that up tempo brings talent. The top talent goes to the blue bloods. The gophers have not a single recruit that had offers from a top 20 program. The goal is to recruit players of high character that win. Are there still fans that would rather lose 78-76 than win 64-49 ? What if it came with conference titles ? I still support him but have stated from day one that no one moves from mediocre to the top by going up tempo, they contend at the top with blood letting defense and a offense that generates quality looks.
 

EG#9

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I wanted to take a little time after this game to fully think it over, but I am ready to say it: I want to move on from Richard Pitino. This was the second time the Gophers have been favored in a game at home during conference play that they have lost. This was yet another game where the Gophers had a lead that they failed to maintain which has been a theme in 3 of their 4 home games. Through today, Pitino is now 19-21 in HOME conference games. That's just completely unacceptable.

What else is unacceptable? Amir's completely unnecessary push in the back which resulted in a turnover and a number of points for Northwestern. Jordan Murphy turning the ball over right in front of Richard Pitino and his first two step are WALKING back down the court where Northwestern eventually gets a transition layup. Nate Mason turning to complain to the referee after he missed a shot (he was fouled) when if he didn't turn around to argue he would have gotten his own rebound. This isn't just a one game thing, it occurs in almost every game. The best players on this team are not held accountable for their out of control actions, but Pitino has no trouble yanking others for a mistake that has nothing to do with effort or behavior.

How about the X's and O's? Every out of bounds play is a chuck to the backcourt, and we still have a turnover doing that? Compare that to Northwestern. Compare the number of communication issues the Gophers have essentially always playing man to our opponents who often play mulitple defenses.

Coaches in the B1G who I'd rather have purely from an X's and O's standpoint: Izzo, Beilein, Painter, Gard, McCaffery, Pikiell, Collins
Coach I'd certainly rather have when combining X's and O's and recruiting: Turgeon
Coaches who are in their first year and it's unfair to give them credit for being "better" even though evidence certainly points that way: Miller, Holtmann
Coach in his first year who is struggling, but it's too early to make a call on: Underwood
Coach who I honestly don't know if I would prefer to Pitino: Miles
Coach who I clearly rank Pitino ahead of: Chambers

I don't think the U will move on from Pitino after this year, and I certainly hope he proves me wrong by putting his team back in the NCAA tournament next year. I still like the guy even though I've become disappointed in him as a coach. That said, I fear this is another Monson/Tubby type situation where it's clear a year (or more) in advance of a move that we should move on. That means a crappy 2019 class (important class as we're replacing Dupree and Jordan with those scholarships) and a slow start to 2020 recruiting under a new coach.
 

WorkingMyTailOff

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A lot of good thoughts after that frustrating loss.
I too am tired of the Team’s lack of discipline on and off the court. Like someone said earlier about teams learning how to win by playing good defense. NW played good defense in the second half and had quality possessions, and the Gophers failed on both. Collins is 4-0 at the barn? That is unacceptable to me.
I also look at recruiting and he has failed to land some of the biggest local recruits. The two freshman on this team are both so undersized that they struggle with getting shots off and guarding larger guards.
I think the time to make the change is at the end of this year if this season continues in this way.
 

Bad Gopher

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Just a couple things in response to others' things:

19-21 at home in conference play is staggering. I had no clue it was that bad.

"Up-tempo" has always seemed to me more of a recruiting pitch than a style or pace of play. In any case,
Marlene came in here year one and had the ladies running more than Pitino has ever been able to implement.
 

cjbfbp

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Would add that there is very little proof that up tempo brings talent. The top talent goes to the blue bloods.

I would also add that uptempo is a bit of a pipe dream in the Big Ten. It's a tough half court defensive league.
 
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Every coach says they are going to be up-tempo. Michigan and Michigan State are the only ones that stick with it through the turnovers and missed shots that come with it. Most other coaches seem to need more control of every possession.

On the out of bounds plays- heard the story from a former Badger about Wisconsin's out of bounds plays-- or play. They had one, never ran it unless it was less than 5 seconds on the shot clock. They just chucked it to half court and ran their offense. Of course, their offensive execution was pretty good and worth running.

Something positive from last night. I saw Davonte have at least 3 good defensive plays. Surrounded by plays where he still got beat or made a bad play, but the 3 is more than I remember from the rest of the year.

Discipline and consistency. Coffey needed to come out before his flagrant foul. It wasn't going his way and he was starting to lose it and then he didn't even sit after it, meanwhile everyone else makes any mistake and they get screamed at and subbed for. I would guess this is the first time Amir has ever been on a non-winning team. He doesn't know how to handle it.
 

fmlizard

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It’s becoming pretty clear that Pitino’s success largely hinged on Lynch’s interior defense. The results without him in the middle are terrible and have been since year 2. There’s no experienced rim protector on the horizon and only further decline in the next year looking at the roster. Pitino seems to have no depth, no flexibility, and no real “program” built up behind a few veteran guys. That’s a problem and reason to think about firing.

Other teams lose guys. A large number of teams including many ranked ones have lost a starter for one reason or another without totally folding.
 

cjbfbp

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Builds up his players and has a pretty decent track record of players getting better (certainly not a 100% but good)
Yes, certainly not 100%. Your memory appears to be different than mind. I'd say his track record there is much worse than you are stating.

Players who declined with time under Pitino:

Andre Hollins, Elliot Eliason, Deandre Mathieu, Carlos Morris

Players with development over time lagging behind reasonable expectations:

Gas, Konate, Hurt, Fitzgerald, Buggs, Gilbert

Players who have clearly improved more than initial expectations:

McBrayer

Players with developmental improvement about as expected:

Mason, Murphy, Lynch, Coffey, King

Recall that Murphy was well above expectations as a freshman so the fact that he is an impact player in the league is not surprising. Mason was also a significant contributor on a veteran team as a freshman (started 9 games over Mathieu). Lynch was the 5th leading career shot blocker in the MVC after only two seasons.

Most players progressing from age 18 or 19 through age 22 and playing at a high level of basketball should get better regardless of the coach. Gaston and Bakary must be about 24 by now and they are playing against players who are mostly 2 to 5 years younger than them. How are they not better than this?
 

HOOP DREAMS

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RJ Tweet: If Minnesota loses this the guys getting the big minutes can blame themselves because lazy footwork, some relaxed efforts, and bad communication late has resulted in NW scores. Vets need to toughen up on D

Not sure who he was referring to, but Amir fits the bill IMO. All the energy in the world when the ball is in his hands.
 

NWMetroGopherFan

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There isn't a coach in college basketball who would win a lot of games with the circumstances Pitino is facing right now, other head coaches have said as much in their post game after beating Minnesota. The Gophers were struggling on both ends of the floor in the last 10 minutes because they were gassed. The only starter who didn't play over 30 minutes was Fitzgerald. Those were tired legs taking shots, and getting beat to the basket consistently. That said, Coffey can't commit that flagrant one, just can't. Game went in the toilet from there, if it hadn't already.

If you're going to play 4 of your 5 starters at least 32 minutes, gotta consider switch up the defense at some point and try to conserve energy. And Pitino can't do much prep in practice with no McBrayer, no Coffey and probably no Lynch. They had one day off after 4 games in 7 days. Now they get a week off, so let's see how they look next week.

I missed the first half (was in the car driving home from work) but watched the last 20 minutes. McBrayer is hiding his pain, at best he's playing at 70 percent and gutted out that game after being helped off the floor late in the first half. Wouldn't be shocked if he had to have surgery after the season. I'd wager about the same for Coffey's shoulder. I was curious if it was affecting his shot because I don't think he took a single 3 against Ohio State, but was 1-for-2 last night. Yes it's his non-shooting shoulder, but he's not looking for his shot as much as he used to.

The guys are clearly frustrated at getting mugged in the lane with no whistle, I would be too. But you have to keep attacking. Hurt and IW need more minutes, if nothing else to give the starters a breather. Any expectations for this year are out the window with all the injuries and Lynch. I'm looking forward to when we actually have depth next year, assuming there are no major injuries between now and November. And as we've learned, that's a very dangerous assumption.
 

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There is no way McBraver should have played as much in the second half as he did. He was more than half a step slow and was noticeably limping and hurt us defensively. Actually thought Washington came out with a lot of energy in his minutes the first half. On the postgame Pitino kept repeating how tired the guys were and how they ran out of gas…. Thought he could have bought more minutes for mcbraver by playing Washington a couple 2-3 minute spurts in the second half.
 

GophersInIowa

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There is no way McBraver should have played as much in the second half as he did. He was more than half a step slow and was noticeably limping and hurt us defensively. Actually thought Washington came out with a lot of energy in his minutes the first half. On the postgame Pitino kept repeating how tired the guys were and how they ran out of gas…. Thought he could have bought more minutes for mcbraver by playing Washington a couple 2-3 minute spurts in the second half.
There's no reason for Mason to be playing 40 minutes a game either. I know Washington has struggled, but giving him a few minutes rest each half could help in my opinion. Take him out at the 10 minute mark and put him in after the under 8 timeout.
 

GophersInIowa

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The team just looks unorganized. Last year when they got down, they would respond. This year it seems like they don't recover. Pitino is screaming at them constantly, the players are bitching at the refs (I'm not saying they didn't have a reason to last night but that should be Pitino's job). It just seems like there is no leadership at all including the head coach.

I don't think Pitino should be fired this year but this is unacceptable even with the suspension and injuries. I don't think it is just a case of being outmanned. Lack of discipline and basketball IQ is a direct reflection on the coach.
 

Bad Gopher

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What you all said. For Richard to talk about how tired everyone is and still not play Washington much feels like cognitive dissonance. IW has gone up two solid levels in defensive effort and intensity and should be rewarded. He's the future, and Mason can't/shouldn't keep playing these minutes.
 

MennoSota

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What you all said. For Richard to talk about how tired everyone is and still not play Washington much feels like cognitive dissonance. IW has gone up two solid levels in defensive effort and intensity and should be rewarded. He's the future, and Mason can't/shouldn't keep playing these minutes.
I sort of agree. However, with all the TV timeouts and team timeouts, players get a lot more rest than they used to.
Where Mason gets tired is on defense. We are so abysmal in the zone that man is our only option. Playing man is harder than zone. I am hoping that the longer break gives Pitino time to work on a semi-decent match-up zone. I'm not holding my breath.
 
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