Who is your "Home Run" hire?

Go Gophs

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Throw Purdue in the mix.



But coaching changes made the difference at many of those places.

Wisconsin was no good for decades until they got a coach that started building things (Dick Bennett) and then lucked into a second coach (Bo Ryan) who took it to the next level.

Michigan was terrible throughout the 2000s, firing a couple of coaches (Tommy Amaker, Brian Ellerbe) until they got it right with Beilein and he turned it around.

Purdue was fading fast under the legendary, but aging Gene Keady. They hired Matt Painter and they've been a contender nearly every year since.

Indiana was a national power under Knight, then faded under Davis and sanctions imposed under Sampson. Crean got em a couple of Big Ten titles.

Illinois went through Jon Groce, but found Brad Underwood.

Coaching matters.
Coaching is all that matters at the college level. There is one constant to any college program. It ain't the players...
 

Face The Facts

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Usually the high flying coaches are the ones who make a March Madness Run.

Andy Enfield
Gregg Marshall, etc.


Maybe it's time for Steve Alford to come back to the Big Ten.
Aren't middle-parts in-style again?


Dream hire is Coach K.
He spends enough time up here recruiting and he can land the top Minnesota kids.
Save Coach K a lot of travel in his older years.
 

GameDay

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Haven't seen anyone mention Leon Rice. Musselman, Beilein, Matta, Medved will probably get the first look, but I'd like the see Rice in the mix as well.

Also, what are the odds Coyle would give a look to Ryan Saunders and how would people feel about that?
 

howeda7

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Huggins takes in some tough kids, but he's clean and doesn't cheat. He had one assistant that got put on admin leave. There also was some evidence that the man hired to do the internal investigation was shadier and made the allegations worse. That being said, "A" is the part that matters. He ain't leaving.
It's always the assistant's fault.
 

manderson1984

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It's always the assistant's fault.
I get it, but Huggie's a good dude who's pretty clean. Specially since leaving Cincinnati. There is a reason he's so well liked by his peers. Either way, he's not the hire for MN.
 

GameDay

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Curious what you like about Leon Rice? He has two NCAA bids in ten seasons at Boise State.
I should clarify as a 2nd tier option behind the main ones we've discussed. For one, he has always recruited shooters. Always has had top 100 3PT shooting teams nationally with 3-4 really strong seasons mixed in there. It irritates me how poor our perimeter shooting has been in the Pitino era. He also did fantastic work building Gonzaga's program in the 2000s and he's developed a few NBA players in the past handful of years. Also brought a level of competitiveness to Boise State which hadn't been seen before (NIT and NCAA appearances). Regarded in the industry as a real solid coach.
 

builtbadgers

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Haven't seen anyone mention Leon Rice. Musselman, Beilein, Matta, Medved will probably get the first look, but I'd like the see Rice in the mix as well.

Also, what are the odds Coyle would give a look to Ryan Saunders and how would people feel about that?
Why would he look at Saunders ? Or Rice ?
 

skiumah1

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I had heard it mentioned that Mussleman is nothing but a pipe dream. That surprises me. He's got the buyout dropping this year and maybe the Minnesota connection doesn't mean much to him, but I'm hoping it does. He is the home run.

I still think both Craig Smith and Niko are rock solid choices though. They seem most likely IMO.
 
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GameDay

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I had heard it mentioned that Mussleman is nothing but a pipe dream. That surprises me. He's got the buyout dropping this year and maybe the Minnesota connection doesn't mean much to him, but I'm hoping it does. He is the home run.
Well I'd rather live anywhere else than Arkansas, but yes, there are much better jobs he could land at this point than Minnesota should he choose to hop ship.
 

skiumah1

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Well I'd rather live anywhere else than Arkansas, but yes, there are much better jobs he could land at this point than Minnesota should he choose to hop ship.
I agree there are better jobs. The amount of talent coming out of Minnesota high school basketball is absolutely ridiculous right now though.
 

Bad Gopher

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I agree there are better jobs. The amount of talent coming out of Minnesota high school basketball is absolutely ridiculous right now though.
Fleck came here because he sees the potential of this situation. An astute basketball coach would see that, too.
 

builtbadgers

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Fleck came here because he sees the potential of this situation. An astute basketball coach would see that, too.
That talent supply ebbs and flows and other states far surpass what comes out of here. No doubt it is a piece of possible success.
 

manderson1984

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Well I'd rather live anywhere else than Arkansas, but yes, there are much better jobs he could land at this point than Minnesota should he choose to hop ship.
Most would rate his current job as one that is better than the here.
 

Bad Gopher

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That talent supply ebbs and flows and other states far surpass what comes out of here. No doubt it is a piece of possible success.
Obviously, local playing talent isn't the potential Fleck saw in the U, and that's not what I'm talking about either. BUT, whereas local talent might have seemed like a big disadvantage in the past, it's not in the present day. I presume it beats that of Utah, for instance, and they compete well. Indeed, which other city in the country can claim they had the top freshman in both men's and women's BB in the same year?
 

TNGophfan

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Well I'd rather live anywhere else than Arkansas, but yes, there are much better jobs he could land at this point than Minnesota should he choose to hop ship.
I'm going to trust Built that Musselman is not coming here and that he and family (wife especially) are happy in Fayetteville. To counter your point, the area in and around Fayetteville is beautiful country. Much nicer place to live than a lot of SEC college towns like Starkville, Oxford, Auburn, Tuscaloosa or Gainesville. Or, for that matter, Champaign, West Lafayette or Ames in my opinion.
 

MplsGopher

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Agree, I don't think I will react with a "wow we actually got HIM?" like i was with PJ. PJ was all over the place in the months leading up to us hiring him. Anyone connected to college football knew he was going somewhere bigger and better right away. I couldn't believe we had a shot.

I just don't have the same feeling basketball wise. I'm sure a lot of the names mentioned will be fine but they don't scream home run at all.
In all honesty, please:

had you even heard of PJ Fleck prior to W Michigan almost upsetting Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl after the 2016 season?

I don't think there's any shame in admitting you hadn't. I certainly hadn't.

His 2016 year was awesome. 13-1 with the almost major upset. Prior to that, he went 8-5 in 2015 and 2014. No conf championship games. Very respectable records, but not anything that would make most Big Ten fans take notice.

He coached in the MAC. Just just had that one awesome year, and really most people still didn't know about him until he blew up because of the Cotton Bowl.



Anyway, what is my point? Point is: how many people outside of us hardcore fans likely know of Smith or Medved, right now? Probably not. But what if they go on a Sweet Sixteen run this March Madness?

I think that would be equivalent-ish of what PJ did to cap the 2016 season, and people would instantly know who they are.

Then suddenly one of them is hired here, and people would be like "wow, we got that guy who just went to the sweet sixteen with a small program! Nice!"

Amiright?
 

MplsGopher

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But coaching changes made the difference at many of those places.

Wisconsin was no good for decades until they got a coach that started building things (Dick Bennett) and then lucked into a second coach (Bo Ryan) who took it to the next level.

Michigan was terrible throughout the 2000s, firing a couple of coaches (Tommy Amaker, Brian Ellerbe) until they got it right with Beilein and he turned it around.

Purdue was fading fast under the legendary, but aging Gene Keady. They hired Matt Painter and they've been a contender nearly every year since.

Indiana was a national power under Knight, then faded under Davis and sanctions imposed under Sampson. Crean got em a couple of Big Ten titles.

Illinois went through Jon Groce, but found Brad Underwood.

Coaching matters.
Agree 100% with this.
 

tmvander

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In all honesty, please:

had you even heard of PJ Fleck prior to W Michigan almost upsetting Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl after the 2016 season?

I don't think there's any shame in admitting you hadn't. I certainly hadn't.

His 2016 year was awesome. 13-1 with the almost major upset. Prior to that, he went 8-5 in 2015 and 2014. No conf championship games. Very respectable records, but not anything that would make most Big Ten fans take notice.

He coached in the MAC. Just just had that one awesome year, and really most people still didn't know about him until he blew up because of the Cotton Bowl.



Anyway, what is my point? Point is: how many people outside of us hardcore fans likely know of Smith or Medved, right now? Probably not. But what if they go on a Sweet Sixteen run this March Madness?

I think that would be equivalent-ish of what PJ did to cap the 2016 season, and people would instantly know who they are.

Then suddenly one of them is hired here, and people would be like "wow, we got that guy who just went to the sweet sixteen with a small program! Nice!"

Amiright?
Good point...plus I think with college football there are so many less teams. In basketball unless you're a smaller school who becomes ranked its harder to put a footprint in the college basketball world.

I'm not saying the guys won't be good coaches I just won't feel as wow'd as I did when we hired Fleck due to the chatter going on about the guy in the year leading up to us landing him.
 

MplsGopher

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I should clarify as a 2nd tier option behind the main ones we've discussed. For one, he has always recruited shooters. Always has had top 100 3PT shooting teams nationally with 3-4 really strong seasons mixed in there. It irritates me how poor our perimeter shooting has been in the Pitino era. He also did fantastic work building Gonzaga's program in the 2000s and he's developed a few NBA players in the past handful of years. Also brought a level of competitiveness to Boise State which hadn't been seen before (NIT and NCAA appearances). Regarded in the industry as a real solid coach.
He's 57 years old, from Washington state, spent 12 seasons as a Gonzaga assistant, and has been HC at Boise for 11 seasons (including this one).

He has a great team this year.


Just doesn't seem like a guy who would be interested in taking over a new project like Minnesota? But I could be wrong.
 
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MplsGopher

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due to the chatter going on about the guy in the year leading up to us landing him.
Was there a lot of chatter about Fleck during the 2016 regular season? Maybe as they started to build up momentum and stay undefeated, putting them in contention for the G5 autobid to the New Year's Six, but that wouldn't be until fairly late in the season.

He just hadn't really done anything, prior to that. That's my opinion.

Your points are valid of course.
 

tmvander

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Was there a lot of chatter about Fleck during the 2016 regular season? Maybe as they started to build up momentum and stay undefeated, putting them in contention for the G5 autobid to the New Year's Six, but that wouldn't be until fairly late in the season.

He just hadn't really done anything, prior to that. That's my opinion.

Your points are valid of course.
I don't remember the timing and of course we were having our own decent enough season that year so I may be thinking I was paying attention to things more than I was...Did Kill step down about mid season that year? I remember right around that time was when I really started to hear Fleck's name and in some cases tied to MN...I was not one of the guys who thought Claeys would take things over long term.
 

MplsGopher

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I don't remember the timing and of course we were having our own decent enough season that year so I may be thinking I was paying attention to things more than I was...Did Kill step down about mid season that year? I remember right around that time was when I really started to hear Fleck's name and in some cases tied to MN...I was not one of the guys who thought Claeys would take things over long term.
Kill stepped down in 2015. Claeys took over as interim and they limped into a bowl game with a 5-7 record as a special qualifier due to good APR. I believe they went to that bowl game in Detroit that used to be against a MAC team, and beat Central Michigan. Then they made Claeys permanent head coach for 2016.

Fleck was only 8-5 in 2015, no MAC champ game, but won their (low level) bowl game.

2016 is when he blew up.
 

MplsGopher

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Anyway, it seems that most people have various former successful P5 head coaches in mind when they think "home run".

That just feels like Tubby, all over.


My question is: why would a former successful P5 head coach want to come to a program like Minnesota, particularly in the shape it is now? I guess if they're looking for a challenge?


I'd just rather go with a younger guy, who has had success at a lower level, and let him try to build up from scratch doing things his way, and see if that can work here.
 
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