STrib: Richard Pitino and the Gophers. What went wrong? The short answer: Missteps in recruiting and a lack of player development.

bigyetti18

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I officiate HS basketball. I have never seen RP in a gym and I have never heard anyone else seeing him or other members of his staff ever. It might be a coincidence but I'm not sure at this point.

A guy that I officiate with works with Dawson Garcia's mom. He told me that WOJO came to see his mom about 5 times at her work and that the entire MU staff even flew out to a small town in SD to meet Dawsons grandparents. Dawson wanted to be a Gopher. Wojo simply out-worked RP.

I think RP just did not have the will and the work ethic it takes to have a successful B1G program.
 

Roland Brooks

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His staff was at games. Ben Johnson was a lot of games before he left. Conroy was at a lot of games. Saw Jeter at games. Pitino not so much.
 

Ozzy&Ray

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Kentucky is not a good example of your theory. Calipari has a .786 winning percentage in his 12 years there. He's had one losing season (this year) and another where the team did not make the NCAA tournament but still finished 21-12 and 12-6 in the SEC. They've been to the tournament 10 times in 12 years and he has 4 final fours and one national championship to show for those trips. If that's an example of an unsustainable program, then my guess is that 98% of the fan bases would be pleased with that level of instability.
I think what he’s getting at is even Kentucky in their best years typically have a couple junior/senior contributors that stabilize the lineup. Much more inconsistent, typically, when just freshman.
 

BarnBurner

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Those are the type of guys that get you a play in game at the B10 tournament.
Nope. I firmly believe with the proper level of coaching each of them would be much better than they are today. These are the types of player that round out good teams.
 

DanvilleGopher

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I officiate HS basketball. I have never seen RP in a gym and I have never heard anyone else seeing him or other members of his staff ever. It might be a coincidence but I'm not sure at this point.

A guy that I officiate with works with Dawson Garcia's mom. He told me that WOJO came to see his mom about 5 times at her work and that the entire MU staff even flew out to a small town in SD to meet Dawsons grandparents. Dawson wanted to be a Gopher. Wojo simply out-worked RP.

I think RP just did not have the will and the work ethic it takes to have a successful B1G program.
Very very astute observation IMHO!! I agree with this 100%.

I remember thinking in the past, when Bleed and/or others would post Pitino Twitter comments and sarcasm, it was nearly always about his kids or everything else BUT basketball. I get that as a parent myself, you want and need to spend time with your kids... but... his job kind of dictates that he NOT be there like a normal parent.

Unfortunately recruiting should be his life and accepting this job, he should have known that! He really didn't seem to be working as hard as is necessary and to me, this shows my impression might have been accurate. To me his personality and his air about himself, made me think he felt entitled.

I've been trying to stop the negative posts as the guy is toast at this point no matter what happens going forward, but this comment struck home as to my feelings about him - really his whole tenure with the team.
 
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cjbfbp

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I think what he’s getting at is even Kentucky in their best years typically have a couple junior/senior contributors that stabilize the lineup. Much more inconsistent, typically, when just freshman.

Well, yeah, his national championship team did involve a key senior and a couple of key sophs, but the point remains. You don't use KY as an example of how a team relying heavily on short-term players isn't going to be successful. As the old saying goes "There's more than one way to skin a cat." Calipari has found a way to be very successful that obviously won't work for most programs but can work very well for a select few.

By the way, KY always has some contributors who are not freshmen and even has some upperclassmen. He has recruited so many 5 star recruits in a season that not all of them get a chance to play a lot in their freshmen years so some of them remain longer and some of his recruits aren't five star players.
 

Bad Gopher

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Very very astute observation IMHO!! I agree with this 100%.

I remember thinking in the past, when Bleed and/or others would post Pitino Twitter comments and sarcasm, it was nearly always about his kids or everything else BUT basketball. I get that as a parent myself, you want and need to spend time with your kids... but... his job kind of dictates that he NOT be there like a normal parent.

Unfortunately recruiting should be his life and accepting this job, he should have known that! He really didn't seem to be working as hard as is necessary and to me, this shows my impression might have been true. To me his personality and his air about himself, made me think he felt entitled.

I've been trying to stop the negative posts as the guy is toast at this point no matter what happens going forward, but this comment struck home as to my feelings about him - really his whole tenure with the team.
This gets into borderline politically incorrect territory, but to me it's the flip side of the coin of whether Brian Dutcher is too old to be considered for this job. Both Monson and Pitino were young parents when they came to work here, and both have been criticized for their work/life balance. I'm not going to badmouth any guy's work/life balance decisions, but those kinds of things do have consequences when it comes to an all-consuming career like high-level coaching.

In short, don't rule out the possibility that someone like Dutcher has MORE energy and time to devote to this enterprise than young parents like Dan and Richard.
 

cjbfbp

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Very very astute observation IMHO!! I agree with this 100%.

I remember thinking in the past, when Bleed and/or others would post Pitino Twitter comments and sarcasm, it was nearly always about his kids or everything else BUT basketball. I get that as a parent myself, you want and need to spend time with your kids... but... his job kind of dictates that he NOT be there like a normal parent.

Unfortunately recruiting should be his life and accepting this job, he should have known that! He really didn't seem to be working as hard as is necessary and to me, this shows my impression might have been true. To me his personality and his air about himself, made me think he felt entitled.

I've been trying to stop the negative posts as the guy is toast at this point no matter what happens going forward, but this comment struck home as to my feelings about him - really his whole tenure with the team.

When it comes to high pressure, high paying jobs you seldom can have it all. Most jobs that pay over $2 million a year are not like other jobs. These jobs are the life blood of nannies and au pairs.
 

cjbfbp

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This gets into borderline politically incorrect territory, but to me it's the flip side of the coin of whether Brian Dutcher is too old to be considered for this job. Both Monson and Pitino were young parents when they came to work here, and both have been criticized for their work/life balance. I'm not going to badmouth any guy's work/life balance decisions, but those kinds of things do have consequences when it comes to an all-consuming career like high-level coaching.

In short, don't rule out the possibility that someone like Dutcher has MORE energy and time to devote to this enterprise than young parents like Dan and Richard.

That certainly could be the case with Dutcher. On the other hand, it seems to me that most people start wearing down a bit in their sixties. Dutcher certainly could be an exception. I'd say the ideal age is someone who is old enough to have kids who are in college or are independent young adults - so from late forties to early sixties.
 

bigyetti18

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This gets into borderline politically incorrect territory, but to me it's the flip side of the coin of whether Brian Dutcher is too old to be considered for this job. Both Monson and Pitino were young parents when they came to work here, and both have been criticized for their work/life balance. I'm not going to badmouth any guy's work/life balance decisions, but those kinds of things do have consequences when it comes to an all-consuming career like high-level coaching.

In short, don't rule out the possibility that someone like Dutcher has MORE energy and time to devote to this enterprise than young parents like Dan and Richard.

Interesting take on this that I have not thought about. Dutch's age does not bother me one bit and I'm sure that he'd assemble a staff that would blow our current out of the water. He didn't win national coach of the year on a whim last year.
 

TurfGopher

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I am around Pitino's age and have two young boys (3 & 5.) I wouldn't have the time or energy to recruit well after a full day or even half days work. Tough line of work. My wife gets mad enough at me for group texting with my bros on the couch in the evening. I cant imagine constantly texting teenage boys around the clock to win their favor. But I suppose that's why the job pays so much.
 

tmvander

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I am around Pitino's age and have two young boys (3 & 5.) I wouldn't have the time or energy to recruit well after a full day or even half days work. Tough line of work. My wife gets mad enough at me for group texting with my bros on the couch in the evening. I cant imagine constantly texting teenage boys around the clock to win their favor. But I suppose that's why the job pays so much.
Your wife and my wife would get along really well.
 

WilliamsArenaGuy

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I don't even necessarily have a huge problem with Pitino's recruits. I think if a lot of these guys played for Michigan St, Wisconsin, Illinois, Purdue, etc. they'd be fine players. Heck, a lot are fine players here.

The issue with Pitino is he either develops a very poor game plan or he has ZERO ability to change a plan when it isn't working. The team would just keep trying the same exact thing over and over again and work right into what the other coach and team were trying to make us do. This is why we not only lost so many games but got destroyed.

Our players aren't all 5* NBA recruits...I'm not saying that, but they are serviceable to good Big Ten caliber guys (at least the ones that see valuable minutes). With a very good game plan, good execution, and the ability to change what isn't working during the game this team that is currently so terrible could be a top 5 or 6 team in the Big Ten this year.
I couldn't agree with this post any more.
 

MplsGopher

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That certainly could be the case with Dutcher. On the other hand, it seems to me that most people start wearing down a bit in their sixties. Dutcher certainly could be an exception. I'd say the ideal age is someone who is old enough to have kids who are in college or are independent young adults - so from late forties to early sixties.
Another factor is: it takes much more energy, long nights, and frustration to build up a program from scratch or that needs to be bulldozed and started over from scratch, than to inherit a well-oiled machine and keep it running in peak form.
 

dlnavra

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Gopher athletics has some of the worst luck when it comes to hiring coaches.

The turnover in my lifetime is way too high for a solid D-1 institution, imo. No longevity with any individual HC... outside of hockey, leads to fan indifference, which leads to problems recruiting in State, and it snowballs.
New to the forum, but long time observer, and big Texas-based Gophers fan. This coaching turnover-related is one reason I'm surprised there are still folks who aren't sold on Fleck. He has a strong rep even down here, and he's building a solid program (and by the way has given Gopher football a brand/identity they haven't had in a long time). I like his two deep roster going into next season, and fans should feel that program is in good hands (referring to this past season is short-sighted). Now, bringing it back to basketball. . .I've seen several posts questioning whether a guy like Dutcher is a program builder. Man you all are a tough crowd. Muss and Dutcher, if Coyle landed either one of them, it would be impressive. Next on the list is Smith and yes, maybe Niko Medved (good staff, good coach). Also like Leon Rice at Boise State, but not sure he's a fit. No matter the head coach, either he must be the draw for recruits, or he needs a great recruiting assistant. This is the package that Nebraska has (laugh all you want), in Hoiberg and Matt Abdelmassih and it is just now starting to gel, with more help coming. In Pitino's case, he's been lacking that, though he cobbled together a decent roster initially this year. Depth and player development the issue, and obvious in-game tactics/adjustments. Every team has injuries.
 

Bad Gopher

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New to the forum, but long time observer, and big Texas-based Gophers fan. This coaching turnover-related is one reason I'm surprised there are still folks who aren't sold on Fleck. He has a strong rep even down here, and he's building a solid program (and by the way has given Gopher football a brand/identity they haven't had in a long time). I like his two deep roster going into next season, and fans should feel that program is in good hands (referring to this past season is short-sighted). Now, bringing it back to basketball. . .I've seen several posts questioning whether a guy like Dutcher is a program builder. Man you all are a tough crowd. Muss and Dutcher, if Coyle landed either one of them, it would be impressive. Next on the list is Smith and yes, maybe Niko Medved (good staff, good coach). Also like Leon Rice at Boise State, but not sure he's a fit. No matter the head coach, either he must be the draw for recruits, or he needs a great recruiting assistant. This is the package that Nebraska has (laugh all you want), in Hoiberg and Matt Abdelmassih and it is just now starting to gel, with more help coming. In Pitino's case, he's been lacking that, though he cobbled together a decent roster initially this year. Depth and player development the issue, and obvious in-game tactics/adjustments. Every team has injuries.
Word. We shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. Dutcher has a clause in his contact greasing his path to Minnesota, which means he badly wants to be here. Desire and motivation is half of anything. He'd work like hell to get this thing on track, and there's no question whether he knows what he's doing.

If we can't get Muss, he's my guy. If we can't get him, Smith. All those three guys are top shelf. We're sitting pretty.
 
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