PP: Gophers basketball coach Richard Pitino says rebuilt team can ‘compete at a high level’

BleedGopher

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per Greder:

Minnesota added two non-graduate transfers in 7-foot center Liam Robbins and 6-foot-6 swingman Both Gach, but both will need waivers from the NCAA in the next few months in order to play immediately.

“I thought our program got a lot better this spring,” Pitino said, including graduate transfer forward Brandon Johnson. “I’m really really excited whenever we do get to resume just to be able to get with these guys because I think we have some versatility, some talent and some depth.”


The big question is if Liam and Both are able to get waivers. You’ve expressed optimism about that; what is the source of that optimism?

Without going into great specifics, we feel really, really confident with both. Both situations are different, with Liam’s and Both’s. (It’s pronounced Booth Gatch.) Both wanted to come back home and be with his family during a pandemic. I think that makes a lot of sense for the NCAA to see that. One of the benefits, I guess, is for a kid from Minnesota, we are the only school close to home. … It makes complete sense for the NCAA to give both of those kids waivers.

(Robbins is from Davenport, Iowa, which is 170 miles from his previous school, Drake in Des Moines, while the U is 330 miles away from home, but Robbins’ uncle, Ed Conroy is a U assistant coach, and his cousin, Hunt, is a backup guard.)

Obviously if we do get them, we feel like we have a really, really talented team.


Go Gophers!!
 

60's Guy

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Absolutely we can compete at a high level with two waivers and Carr returning. Probably every night is not peaceful for Richard wondering about those three answers, the pandemic, George Floyd, and the normal pre season concerns and anxiousness.
I doubt he dwells on job security but if he does...100% he ain't sleeping with all the other concerns.
 

BarnBall

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If all players are eligible to play right away and the coaches do their job and the players buy in to the system I feel we can be very good and compete with some of the best in the country. Wishing Pitino the best as it seems he fighting to keep his job.
 

Bad Gopher

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Absolutely we can compete at a high level with two waivers and Carr returning. Probably every night is not peaceful for Richard wondering about those three answers, the pandemic, George Floyd, and the normal pre season concerns and anxiousness.
I doubt he dwells on job security but if he does...100% he ain't sleeping with all the other concerns.
You're right: the other revenue sport coach is managing these strange times a lot better and is probably sleeping better at night.
 

MplsGopher

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Robbins doesn't have a leg to stand on, if you go by the spirit and intent of the rule.

But I honestly won't be surprised either way.

Gach should get it, no doubt.
 
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theczar

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Robbins has a solid shot....playing for uncle and with cousin/family looks good
 

MplsGopher

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Indeed, looks good ... like he was recruited by his uncle from a lower school, and wants to be treated as a free agent with no penalty.
 

alchemy2u

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Absolutely we can compete at a high level with two waivers and Carr returning. Probably every night is not peaceful for Richard wondering about those three answers, the pandemic, George Floyd, and the normal pre season concerns and anxiousness.
I doubt he dwells on job security but if he does...100% he ain't sleeping with all the other concerns.
I am sure Pitino is sleeping just fine. All you can do is give it your best, and his best has improved as he learns better how to manage a B1G roster and ways to acquire talent. Most coaches at this point in his career are just in the middle of a nice run coaching a MAC school. They do not look like they are shying away from offering some very talented players across the country for the coming years. Hopefully this year's team will make a nice run and help attract those kids.
 

builtbadgers

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Which coaches are you referring to that were in the middle of a nice run at a MAC school. Just curious, is that by age or by years of experience ? What is a nice run to you ? His 1st 3 years was 16-38, then his best year right in the middle at 11-7 and then 3 years of 21-35. To his credit he outrecruited several programs who have out performed us by miles. Just wondering, are you thinking that in the next 5 years that he will win the conference ? 12 years would be long enough to get that done just once. Will he be over .500 after 12 years because if he is not there is no way to say it was successful. What is good enough by your standards. Literally just asking.
 

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This is a huge if, but if Robbins does get a waiver (I'm going to proceed with caution but also assume Gach does get one given Juzang got one for UCLA), this would be the deepest team Pitino has had.

Not the most talented at the top, but there's an actual 8.5 man rotation of (presumably) playable guys.

Carr is one of the best guards in the Big 10 and could be an All-League guy. Kalscheur, even when broke, is a competent wing and if he gets back to shooting 36-40 percent from deep, he's a weapon. Gach will be motivated as I'd bet he's treating this as a one-year thing, and has shown that when he's going good, he's good enough to make a big difference. Throw in Mashburn and Williams off the bench in complementary roles and you've got a legitimate perimeter rotation.

Johnson should be a capable garbage man type at the PF spot with Ihnen platooning with the potential to break out with consistent minutes. Robbins would likely endure his share of struggles transitioning to the Big 10, but he's talented enough to be a difference-maker with Omersa/Curry/Freeman fighting for scrap minutes if foul trouble should occur.

That's a team that might be good enough to buy Pitino more time.
 

Parcival

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I am sure Pitino is sleeping just fine. All you can do is give it your best, and his best has improved as he learns better how to manage a B1G roster and ways to acquire talent. Most coaches at this point in his career are just in the middle of a nice run coaching a MAC school. They do not look like they are shying away from offering some very talented players across the country for the coming years. Hopefully this year's team will make a nice run and help attract those kids.
You hit the nail on the head. Posters on here (Built in particular) love pointing out Pitino's overall B1G record as one of the main reasons he should be fired. His poor performance in the B1G is moreover due to his roster management rather than coaching ability. Recruiting guys with questionable intangibles such as Konate and Diedhou were honest roster management mistakes made by a young head coach. We're just now starting to see the results of Pitino stringing multiple solid recruiting classes together which is evident in how much depth we will have this season.
 

Biggsohnasty

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You hit the nail on the head. Posters on here (Built in particular) love pointing out Pitino's overall B1G record as one of the main reasons he should be fired. His poor performance in the B1G is moreover due to his roster management rather than coaching ability. Recruiting guys with questionable intangibles such as Konate and Diedhou were honest roster management mistakes made by a young head coach. We're just now starting to see the results of Pitino stringing multiple solid recruiting classes together which is evident in how much depth we will have this season.
I like the work Pitino has done in this spring recruiting period. That doesn't mean he's done a good job managing the roster to this point. It's more of a feeling that he's flying by the seat of his pants and won some big recruiting battles this spring.

He still signed Greenlee and Freeman a year ago - freshmen that gave you absolutely nothing in year one and didn't show any sort of ability to be contributors. Had he not gotten Gach, we'd be looking at a horrendous perimeter group and could be looking at a 2021 season in which more than half the allocated scholarships are devoted to guys who can't play on the perimeter.

Some of that is the nature of college hoops now - it's not program-building, rather it's roster construction year-to-year, but I still think Pitino needs a good year to keep his job. And I think he's been given plenty of time to do it. If he has a good year and this is the start of a lengthy run of competitive hoops, sign me up. But I'm still skeptical of his ability to build a sustainably successful program.
 

builtbadgers

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You hit the nail on the head. Posters on here (Built in particular) love pointing out Pitino's overall B1G record as one of the main reasons he should be fired. His poor performance in the B1G is moreover due to his roster management rather than coaching ability. Recruiting guys with questionable intangibles such as Konate and Diedhou were honest roster management mistakes made by a young head coach. We're just now starting to see the results of Pitino stringing multiple solid recruiting classes together which is evident in how much depth we will have this season.
Did not ask for his firing, also not my favorite thing to point out what a poor job he has done, not afraid off posting his record. No one that is close to the game nationally is impressed.
 

Parcival

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Did not ask for his firing, also not my favorite thing to point out what a poor job he has done, not afraid off posting his record. No one that is close to the game nationally is impressed.
I didn't mean to insinuate that you wanted Pitino fired; rather, you bring up his record as the main way to evaluate his talent as a coach. I just think it's a lazy way to assess Pitino's coaching ability - the early recruiting mistakes, injuries, and Coffey leaving early last year are the primary reasons why he's struggled in the B1G as a whole.

We're starting to see the product of multiple good recruiting classes strung together ontop of landing multiple highly-coveted Spring Transfers. I think Pitino and this program are trending upwards, the question is if it's too little too late to save his job.
 

builtbadgers

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I didn't mean to insinuate that you wanted Pitino fired; rather, you bring up his record as the main way to evaluate his talent as a coach. I just think it's a lazy way to assess Pitino's coaching ability - the early recruiting mistakes, injuries, and Coffey leaving early last year are the primary reasons why he's struggled in the B1G as a whole.

We're starting to see the product of multiple good recruiting classes strung together ontop of landing multiple highly-coveted Spring Transfers. I think Pitino and this program are trending upwards, the question is if it's too little too late to save his job.
Actually my criticism is mostly two things, one he failed to build a foundation and a identity. Great coaches do that day one no matter how young they are or what job they take. Two, we are consistently 8th or worse on defense with is a fatal flaw if trying to build a great program in a power 6 conference. Those result in a poor record. As mentioned numerous times, he has out recruited by rankings both UW and UVA several times but been slaughtered in development and results in building a team. What will you say in 3 more years if he has only one winning conference season and a single top 4 finish ?
 

KoolAid

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Without going into great specifics, we feel really, really confident with both. Both situations are different, with Liam’s and Both’s. (It’s pronounced Booth Gatch.) Both wanted to come back home and be with his family during a pandemic. I think that makes a lot of sense for the NCAA to see that. One of the benefits, I guess, is for a kid from Minnesota, we are the only school close to home. … It makes complete sense for the NCAA to give both of those kids waivers.
I know that I'm smart enough to figure this out, but the word "both" was used 5 times...in 5 sentences.
 

MplsGopher

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Or that he wants to be closer to family during a global pandemic... I think Robbins ends up getting the waiver thanks to Covid.
Yes indeed, who wouldn't want to be closer to uncles and cousins that you didn't grow up with and maybe saw once a year?

Rings pretty hollow to me.

Again, I hope he gets it. Because frankly I don't care if college athletes are free agents. Coaches get to do it, so players should too. But just looking at the actual rule, and the spirit of it, Robbins shouldn't get it. I hope he does anyway.
 

short ornery norwegian

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Or that he wants to be closer to family during a global pandemic... I think Robbins ends up getting the waiver thanks to Covid.
Again -
Robbins' Home town (where his parents live) Davenport, IA
Previous school Drake (Des Moines, IA)
new school MN (Mpls)

Distance from Home town to previous school 170 miles
distance from home town to new school 330 miles.

by transferring to MN, Robbins is moving farther away from home.

It's hard to argue you need to be closer to family if you are moving farther away.
 

MennoSota

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I didn't mean to insinuate that you wanted Pitino fired; rather, you bring up his record as the main way to evaluate his talent as a coach. I just think it's a lazy way to assess Pitino's coaching ability - the early recruiting mistakes, injuries, and Coffey leaving early last year are the primary reasons why he's struggled in the B1G as a whole.

We're starting to see the product of multiple good recruiting classes strung together ontop of landing multiple highly-coveted Spring Transfers. I think Pitino and this program are trending upwards, the question is if it's too little too late to save his job.
Did you hurt East Minnesota's feelings? :eek:
 

BarnBall

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You hit the nail on the head. Posters on here (Built in particular) love pointing out Pitino's overall B1G record as one of the main reasons he should be fired. His poor performance in the B1G is moreover due to his roster management rather than coaching ability. Recruiting guys with questionable intangibles such as Konate and Diedhou were honest roster management mistakes made by a young head coach. We're just now starting to see the results of Pitino stringing multiple solid recruiting classes together which is evident in how much depth we will have this season.
You hit it on the head about a Built! / I also like your take in the rest of your post
 

Parcival

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Actually my criticism is mostly two things, one he failed to build a foundation and a identity. Great coaches do that day one no matter how young they are or what job they take. Two, we are consistently 8th or worse on defense with is a fatal flaw if trying to build a great program in a power 6 conference. Those result in a poor record. As mentioned numerous times, he has out recruited by rankings both UW and UVA several times but been slaughtered in development and results in building a team. What will you say in 3 more years if he has only one winning conference season and a single top 4 finish ?
He will be gone if he finishes poorly this season so why worry about 3 years from now? And you say he has out-recruited UVA and UW... so you think Tony Bennett would make the mistake of offering guys like Konate, Diedhou, and Gilbert? I also don't think Pitino's player development has been bad at all, but I agree that if the defense doesn't improve this season then it's over. Thankfully, we should have the players to make those defensive improvements if Robbins gets a waiver and Carr foregoes the draft.
 

builtbadgers

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He will be gone if he finishes poorly this season so why worry about 3 years from now? And you say he has out-recruited UVA and UW... so you think Tony Bennett would make the mistake of offering guys like Konate, Diedhou, and Gilbert? I also don't think Pitino's player development has been bad at all, but I agree that if the defense doesn't improve this season then it's over. Thankfully, we should have the players to make those defensive improvements if Robbins gets a waiver and Carr foregoes the draft.
Everybody has recruiting misses, including Tony Bennett. He has had guys that played less than Konate, Diedhou, Gilbert. Plus he had two recent classes that are now empty. Player development is relative, especially if it does not fit into team. Plus some fans will think a C PLUS is good, i do not. It is simply a matter of what people think is good,bad, mediocre, terrible or great. For what these guys are compensated i think they should be a top 4 coach in their conference with programs that have a foundation and a identity , with winning records, huge crowds. It is merit based. That is just me. I do not think it makes my opinion better than anyone else. Sharing my opinion of what i see and adding in research and data and a huge base of history on how coaches built winners in the power conferences. This is tracked for professional reasons so my aim is always without a bias. I want him to win, just like i wanted Flip to win with the Wolves but that want never exceeds my pursuit of truth. That will include criticism of coaches i like and praise for ones i do not like. Bo Ryan is a good example, could not stand him but by god he knew how to put together winning teams.
 

skiumah1

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Again -
Robbins' Home town (where his parents live) Davenport, IA
Previous school Drake (Des Moines, IA)
new school MN (Mpls)

Distance from Home town to previous school 170 miles
distance from home town to new school 330 miles.

by transferring to MN, Robbins is moving farther away from home.

It's hard to argue you need to be closer to family if you are moving farther away.
It's not as if 170 miles is right down the road either though. I'm thinking the Uncle and cousin outweigh the 160 mile difference. I expect a waiver for Robbins and Gach.
 

skiumah1

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I didn't mean to insinuate that you wanted Pitino fired; rather, you bring up his record as the main way to evaluate his talent as a coach. I just think it's a lazy way to assess Pitino's coaching ability - the early recruiting mistakes, injuries, and Coffey leaving early last year are the primary reasons why he's struggled in the B1G as a whole.

We're starting to see the product of multiple good recruiting classes strung together ontop of landing multiple highly-coveted Spring Transfers. I think Pitino and this program are trending upwards, the question is if it's too little too late to save his job.
This will naturally work itself out this year. If Pitino can't win with this team this year, IMO it's been made pretty clear he won't be amongst the top half of the league very often and most likely will be gone.

I agree that he's had things go against him with guys going to the draft, injuries, suspension, etc. but at some point those excuses dry up, and I think this year will be a good one to make that judgment.

If he makes the tournament, I think that will be enough for him to keep his job. I do think he'll be able to do at least that with this team. However, I believe this lineup does have the potential to do more than that and it would be nice to see a S16 birth to ease the fanbase and build confidence in him being here long-term.
 
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Parcival

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This will naturally work itself out this year. If Pitino can't win with this team this year, IMO it's been made pretty clear he won't be amongst the top half of the league very often and most likely will be gone.

I agree that he's had things go against him with guys going to the draft, injuries, suspension, etc. but at some point those excuses dry up, and I think this year will be a good one to make that judgment.

If he makes the tournament, I think that will be enough for him to keep his job. I do think he'll be able to do at least that with this team. However, I believe this lineup does have the potential to do more than that and it would be nice to see a S16 birth to ease the fanbase and build confidence in him being here long-term.
I like where your head is at. I also think this team has a lot of potential and a Sweet Sixteen birth would be awesome to witness. I think it all hinges on the NCAA random wheel of waiver decisions and if Carr decides to play one more year but it could be a very special season.
 

Parcival

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Everybody has recruiting misses, including Tony Bennett. He has had guys that played less than Konate, Diedhou, Gilbert. Plus he had two recent classes that are now empty. Player development is relative, especially if it does not fit into team. Plus some fans will think a C PLUS is good, i do not. It is simply a matter of what people think is good,bad, mediocre, terrible or great. For what these guys are compensated i think they should be a top 4 coach in their conference with programs that have a foundation and a identity , with winning records, huge crowds. It is merit based. That is just me. I do not think it makes my opinion better than anyone else. Sharing my opinion of what i see and adding in research and data and a huge base of history on how coaches built winners in the power conferences. This is tracked for professional reasons so my aim is always without a bias. I want him to win, just like i wanted Flip to win with the Wolves but that want never exceeds my pursuit of truth. That will include criticism of coaches i like and praise for ones i do not like. Bo Ryan is a good example, could not stand him but by god he knew how to put together winning teams.
My point was less about Pitino's recruiting misses and more about how they all happened when he was in his first 3-4 seasons as a B1G head coach in his first real job. I've been happy with the recruiting he's done recently and think he's learned from his mistakes - the way he developed Mo Walker, Nate Mason, Jordan Murphy, Dupree McBrayer etc. wasn't subpar. Player development is not a concern I have with Pitino.
 

builtbadgers

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My point was less about Pitino's recruiting misses and more about how they all happened when he was in his first 3-4 seasons as a B1G head coach in his first real job. I've been happy with the recruiting he's done recently and think he's learned from his mistakes - the way he developed Mo Walker, Nate Mason, Jordan Murphy, Dupree McBrayer etc. wasn't subpar. Player development is not a concern I have with Pitino.
Like i said, respect your opinion but disagree. No big deal.
 
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