Pitino

benlaur

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Nice job this year. At the start of the season, I found it kind of hard to watch this team. Now I find it hard to not watch them. Credit for giving Carr room to grow and pushing him. Credit for a team that plays together and stays together. Credit for roster management. Credit for sticking with Demir. Credit for building a team that has shown resolve and a consistent effort. Keep it up.
 

MinnGopher

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At the same time...I worry that the bench isn't deep enough. Omersa and Williams are pretty much it lately.
Unfortunately I have to agree with this. I would love to see Ihnen, Hurt, Freeman, or Greenlee show some spark but haven't saw it yet. Not saying they won't eventually but as of now.
 

WriterGoph

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At the same time...I worry that the bench isn't deep enough. Omersa and Williams are pretty much it lately.
His point to this concern in the press conference last night was that "Hey, there are some guys who are playing extremely well right now. Why would I take them out?" Basically referring to Daniel and Marcus playing heavy minutes. Sure, if we get a big lead, give them a breather, but A. it doesn't sound like they want a breather (let's remember, this is not the NBA, these are 19-20 year old kids playing 2x week and with a LOT of TV timeouts) B. the Big Ten is nasty this year and our games have been tight and due to the early struggles with tough non-con, we aren't in a position to experiment or take our best scorers off the floor to get #8-10 on the bench a few minutes.

Carr and Oturu are playing out of their heads right now. On levels we haven't really seen for a very long time around here. I think you have to keep riding the hot hands.
 

brucekaupa

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I'm less worried about people being winded and more worried about the panic mode that will set in if someone goes down and the people who need to replace them haven't seen any court time.
 

DanvilleGopher

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At the same time...I worry that the bench isn't deep enough. Omersa and Williams are pretty much it lately.
This has been my concern the whole season to this point; yes, we had a very difficult non-conference schedule, but it's NC and the time to play Ihnen, Greenlee and others to get them ready to give breathers to the guys you need. We saw what happened when Carr ran into foul trouble (Mich St.). The fact we didn't give these guys enough time earlier in the year I feel is going to come back and haunt us at a very inopportune time and might cost us a tourney bid. I hope not, just my gut feeling. I know Pitino complained in a strib article earlier in the year about his inability (due to the difficult teams on the schedule...) to get playing time for the freshman to get them ready for conference play, but to me there should have been a plan, regardless of how those games were playing out, to get them prepared.
 

Keyser Söze

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This has been my concern the whole season to this point; yes, we had a very difficult non-conference schedule, but it's NC and the time to play Ihnen, Greenlee and others to get them ready to give breathers to the guys you need. We saw what happened when Carr ran into foul trouble (Mich St.). The fact we didn't give these guys enough time earlier in the year I feel is going to come back and haunt us at a very inopportune time and might cost us a tourney bid. I hope not, just my gut feeling. I know Pitino complained in a strib article earlier in the year about his inability (due to the difficult teams on the schedule...) to get playing time for the freshman to get them ready for conference play, but to me there should have been a plan, regardless of how those games were playing out, to get them prepared.
Gotta prioritize winning the game you're playing over preparing bench players who may or may not be needed.
 

WriterGoph

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Gotta prioritize winning the game you're playing over preparing bench players who may or may not be needed.
Agreed. It sounds like it's a lose- lose for Pitino with some of our fans. If we didn't make the tourney this year and had a "rebuilding year" getting all the young guys experience, many of these folks would have no doubt been calling for Pitino's head. Now we have this roster (with mind you, a HUGE influx of new players) starting to gel and the team is building great momentum, yet surely some of those same people are complaining that his bench is too short.

You can't make this stuff up.
 

ltf

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Been reading some of the PSU fan responses after last night. Brutal toward Chambers. Depth is a concern for us but that takes nothing away from how the team has been brought along again this season. Super job.
 

gopherskynet

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Pitino's most impressive season so far. Here's hoping that the players stay healthy and that Gabe and Willis can find their shooting touch because this team has the feeling of one that could get hot and go on a good run. Gotta say as an aside I know Gabe has been off and didnt have a great first half but was impressed by his defense in the 2nd half even when things weren't going his way offensively, he created two turnovers that really sparked a solid collective 2nd half defensive performance. The recruiting class trio of Oturu, Omersa, and Kalscheur have really anchored the identity of this team and work ethic of this team and I hope people don't take them for granted.
 

short ornery norwegian

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I think the OP liked the roster management.

With all due respect, this is still far from an ideal roster. No real backup post, unless you count a very raw Freeman who doesn't look ready to play major-conf hoops. No real backup PG. We hear that Willis can run point, but they're still playing Carr virtually 40 minutes a game.

Thin on front line (Curry injury really impacted this.)

Like others, I would have liked to see the bench get a lot more minutes in non-conf play. It seems to me like a Catch-22. the company line is "can't play the kids because they're not ready for major conf competition." So, how do you get them ready when you can't play them in games?

I'm not saying Pitino has to bring in a bunch of 5* kids like Duke or Kentucky. But I would like to see recruits who are closer to being ready to play in games that matter. You can't have half of your roster made up of projects.
 

benlaur

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I think the OP liked the roster management.

With all due respect, this is still far from an ideal roster. No real backup post, unless you count a very raw Freeman who doesn't look ready to play major-conf hoops. No real backup PG. We hear that Willis can run point, but they're still playing Carr virtually 40 minutes a game.

Thin on front line (Curry injury really impacted this.)

Like others, I would have liked to see the bench get a lot more minutes in non-conf play. It seems to me like a Catch-22. the company line is "can't play the kids because they're not ready for major conf competition." So, how do you get them ready when you can't play them in games?

I'm not saying Pitino has to bring in a bunch of 5* kids like Duke or Kentucky. But I would like to see recruits who are closer to being ready to play in games that matter. You can't have half of your roster made up of projects.
Depth is a concern and hopefully Pitino has made it clear on what it takes to see the floor. Other than that, depth is something that is addressed in the off season.
 

Otis

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You can play whoever you want if your non-conference schedule is Little Sisters of the Poor, but then you have a bad resume for getting to the tournament. So it is a catch-22.

The team is responding well to the B1G due to the tough schedule which made it tough to get PT for the younger players! Seems like a good approach we should keep going forward IMO.

The one thing I'd like to see is Pitino reach out to Trent Tucker (works for the U, right?) to come down and work with our shooters on catching the ball ready to release and how to mentally approach taking those big shots. Willis and Gabe are struggling and it would be nice to have a stone cold killer 3pt shooter impart his wisdom on these guys.

Let's hope those two can get straight and we can steal a few on the road and continue to win at home!
 

DanvilleGopher

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Agreed. It sounds like it's a lose- lose for Pitino with some of our fans. If we didn't make the tourney this year and had a "rebuilding year" getting all the young guys experience, many of these folks would have no doubt been calling for Pitino's head. Now we have this roster (with mind you, a HUGE influx of new players) starting to gel and the team is building great momentum, yet surely some of those same people are complaining that his bench is too short.

You can't make this stuff up.
Don't get me wrong here; I love the guys we have on the floor when they're on the floor - BUT when those guys are having nights where things just aren't working in their favor, sometimes you need to give them a rest. Bench time can work wonders for players at times. Can also work wonders for the guys already on the bench by giving them valuable game experience (Example - Gabe 0-10 vs Iowa; Oturu... how many traveling calls... again versus Iowa and Willis 0-8 I think - also versus Iowa). Wouldn't it have been nice to get the bench out there (hopefully a fairly seasoned bench from earlier playing time) to see if it was their time to make a difference or to see IF they could contribute? We didn't do that and in fact stuck with the guys who didn't have their mojo that night.

You can always make the argument that we wouldn't have won the games we won IF we were forcing the guys who were hot to sit. We'll never know as that hasn't happened due to lack of trust by Pitino in his bench.

Again, don't take me wrong here. I love where this team currently sits record wise and overall how the guys playing look. I had (and still have) really high hopes for this team and truly though we could go 10 deep... wow, what a weapon, to have a STRONG bench!

My concern here is when these guys (Gabe is still cold and could use a sub here or there..) get cold or run into foul trouble, or wow, get hurt, where do we stand? More than likely with someone with little to zero experience. We've seen how that looks in the past.

Ok, light me up!!
 

DanvilleGopher

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Yeah, I typed 10 which was a thought when we had Curry. I agree, 10 deep nobody does these days BUT 7 to me is walking on very thin ice. Certainly as one poster pointed out, we have only 1 center and one PG that play those minutes, and literally every one of those minutes.

Here's to hoping since these guys are 19-20 years old, they don't wear down - OR... well, I won't go there.
 

tmvander

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The other thing with playing the bench is NET ranking. People can argue all they want about how dumb it is, but if you win games by 9 instead of 15 by playing your bench more your NET will suffer at the end of the year. For a team like the gophers who are possibly a bubble team I'm ok with them playing their starters the whole game.
 

golfing18now

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With all the new players this year, he probably needed to play the starters more than usual in the non-conference season for cohesion and repetition. Throw in a much tougher non-conference and an emphasize on NET metrics (as pointed out by others) and the bench will get squeezed. Ironically, many of us complain about the scheduling but then Pitino schedules fewer directional games and then the bench doesn't see the floor. Should we go back to the prior approach?
 

WriterGoph

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Funny side thought here. For those who were following the team in the Tubby years, remember how much people on here used to bitch when Tubby did his regular full hockey-style line changes? He would literally switch 5 out at a time. Everyone said "There's no continuity!" and "Leave the hot hand in."
 

Bordergopher

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The problem I had was in non conference play. Yes, our schedule was tough. However, their were several games in which it screamed for playing time for the backups yet they continued to sit. I can’t argue much with the conference games (with maybe a few exceptions). They are so tough and stinking close that you have to play your best to win. It still seems like a minute or two here or there for Ihnen wouldn’t hurt us too much. In fact, he shoots the three quite well. And perhaps Freeman when we need a big body on defense. I’m having a real hard time envisioning Freeman starting at the five next year. And, in addition, who will start at the four? Scary weak at those spots for a team that will be great at the 1-3 spots, especially if we sign Walton.
 

brucekaupa

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Funny side thought here. For those who were following the team in the Tubby years, remember how much people on here used to bitch when Tubby did his regular full hockey-style line changes? He would literally switch 5 out at a time. Everyone said "There's no continuity!" and "Leave the hot hand in."
The timed hockey substitution was dumb. No question.
 

golfing18now

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Also....I just looked at the Iowa State/Baylor box score last night. The #2 team in the country got five points from their bench last night. I'm sure we could find examples on both sides, but I do believe most teams aren't getting much of anything from their 10th/11th/12th/13th scholarships on a year to year basis. I said this in another thread too but if Greenlee and Freeman are getting any significant run this year, the season is already off the rails. They will get their chances down the road.
 

Keyser Söze

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The problem I had was in non conference play. Yes, our schedule was tough. However, their were several games in which it screamed for playing time for the backups yet they continued to sit. I can’t argue much with the conference games (with maybe a few exceptions). They are so tough and stinking close that you have to play your best to win. It still seems like a minute or two here or there for Ihnen wouldn’t hurt us too much. In fact, he shoots the three quite well. And perhaps Freeman when we need a big body on defense. I’m having a real hard time envisioning Freeman starting at the five next year. And, in addition, who will start at the four? Scary weak at those spots for a team that will be great at the 1-3 spots, especially if we sign Walton.
Pitino mentioned last year how he doesn't feel as much freedom to play bench players late in the game due to the way the NET rankings work.

If Oturu isn't back, we will almost for sure get a grad transfer center. The odds of Freeman starting next year are probably less than 1%.
 

tmvander

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The problem I had was in non conference play. Yes, our schedule was tough. However, their were several games in which it screamed for playing time for the backups yet they continued to sit. I can’t argue much with the conference games (with maybe a few exceptions). They are so tough and stinking close that you have to play your best to win. It still seems like a minute or two here or there for Ihnen wouldn’t hurt us too much. In fact, he shoots the three quite well. And perhaps Freeman when we need a big body on defense. I’m having a real hard time envisioning Freeman starting at the five next year. And, in addition, who will start at the four? Scary weak at those spots for a team that will be great at the 1-3 spots, especially if we sign Walton.
Yeah no doubt something that could be a problem however we found a way to be competitive this year with most of our players never playing a minute for us. Oturu and Gabe are the only two players (omersa barely) who logged minutes with the gophers last year.

i'm confident we can get a few spots sorted out next year, but at the moment its sure a concern.
 

brucekaupa

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Example: Purdue.

Carr had an excellent game (obviously) but also had a couple key turnovers at the end which appeared, at least from how it looked to me, to be due to exhaustion.

Quote from the ESPN summary of the game: "Marcus Carr gave the Boilermakers fits with his quickness most of the game, but wore down late."

So, could he/we have benefitted from someone taking over for just a few minutes?
 
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