All Things 2021 Gophers Basketball Recruiting Thread


GopherOhana

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He averaged 10+ as a sophomore in that conference, I don't think 15 is unreasonable to expect as a senior. It is possible he has gotten worse since leaving though so there is that.
Smith brought over two from Utah State plus Gabe Madsen from Cincy plus Smith has a full roster that is Jr and SR heavy. It will be interesting to see how much playing time Gach gets this coming season
 

Gopherfan84

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Some of the stuff on here just baffles me. People seem just 100% ok being absolutely terrible next year, like thats ok. Why? I am not saying we should be winning the B1G next year but in this day and age with transfers guys are out there, we should not be over the moon about 6th men from Lafayette or role players from William and Mary and New Hampshire. Might they be solid players, sure but thats what we are accepting now?

Is losing Both the difference between 4th in the B1G and 14th, obviously not, he wasnt great last year, thats not the point. We are having a tough time filling out a roster and we have a player who can at least function in the B1G and is from MN and he leaves. That to me is a red flag. If we had been bringing in guys left and right and had a guy ready to take Both's minutes then ok, but we are picking up walk ons who were just ok for their high school teams.

And to the people that say we were 13th last year, who cares if we are bad this year. Sure we werent good, I was all in on moving on from Pitino, but we at least had a glimmer of hope last year, this year is looking like an embarrassment. None of this means I think Johnson wont be the right guy, I sure hope he is, but if you think this start is anything other that awful then you are just wrong. Maybe Johnson is a great coach and we are "scrappy" and fun and the '22 class is a monster, but every day we get more bad news and less good news makes me more nervous.

Is it too much to ask to just have a good team year in and year out? I mean honestly I just want to have something good on the horizon most years, not just dread each game in the hopes we dont lose by too many.

I'm not ok being terrible. I am ok with seeing a culture and a system be set and put in place. If the requirement for that is that we finish 14th next year, then so be it. I personally don't think we will finish 14th anyways. I think we finish in the 9th-12th range. We are also waiting on some recruits to get their NBA feedback and the portal will grow again to add two more bigs I'm guessing.

Our Starting Line up right now

Stephon Mitchell- Played in the ACC
Ihnen- Tons of potential, played in the B1G. I also wouldn't be surprised if we pick up one more big here.
Battle- Played in the A10 and was all conference.
Lowe- All conference colonial which is very good low major league. Better than the MAC (Where we got Johnson) or Horizon (where we got Springs)
Willis- Played in the SEC and B1G.

Bench- A group that can defend at least.
Stevens- Was the 6th man, but he played 32 mpg and average 16 ppg. He's not a scrub.
Thompson- I don't think he'll be able to contribute much yet, but he's been playing at a high level with his prep school.
Sutherlin- Hard worker and defender which is all you need out of an 5-8 minute guy
Daniels- Same as Sutherlin.

I worry about shot creation with this group, but they will defend significantly better and our days of guys sitting and watching our PG dominate the ball will be over. My judgement and assessment for this group will be on that. The next year we are adding Fox and the '22 class recruiting class which we don't have any idea if that will be good or not, so it's way too early to know where we are going yet. To have a good team year in and year out though, we will need the culture and system to be set.
 

Gopherfan84

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He averaged 10+ as a sophomore in that conference, I don't think 15 is unreasonable to expect as a senior. It is possible he has gotten worse since leaving though so there is that.
They also added David Jenkins from UNLV. The wing room will be crowded and Smith will require that he defends. We will just have to see.
 

JimmyJamesMD

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I'm not ok being terrible. I am ok with seeing a culture and a system be set and put in place. If the requirement for that is that we finish 14th next year, then so be it. I personally don't think we will finish 14th anyways. I think we finish in the 9th-12th range. We are also waiting on some recruits to get their NBA feedback and the portal will grow again to add two more bigs I'm guessing.

Our Starting Line up right now

Stephon Mitchell- Played in the ACC
Ihnen- Tons of potential, played in the B1G. I also wouldn't be surprised if we pick up one more big here.
Battle- Played in the A10 and was all conference.
Lowe- All conference colonial which is very good low major league. Better than the MAC (Where we got Johnson) or Horizon (where we got Springs)
Willis- Played in the SEC and B1G.

Bench- A group that can defend at least.
Stevens- Was the 6th man, but he played 32 mpg and average 16 ppg. He's not a scrub.
Thompson- I don't think he'll be able to contribute much yet, but he's been playing at a high level with his prep school.
Sutherlin- Hard worker and defender which is all you need out of an 5-8 minute guy
Daniels- Same as Sutherlin.

I worry about shot creation with this group, but they will defend significantly better and our days of guys sitting and watching our PG dominate the ball will be over. My judgement and assessment for this group will be on that. The next year we are adding Fox and the '22 class recruiting class which we don't have any idea if that will be good or not, so it's way too early to know where we are going yet. To have a good team year in and year out though, we will need the culture and system to be set.
Mitchell? What did I miss?
 


restovich

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I do not think Both Gach will play very many minutes for Craig Smith. Everything I have seen about Craig Smith, he primarily expects his palyers to play defense. Is there any evidence that Both Gach buys into the need to play defense, much less has the capability to actually play it?
 

alchemy2u

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Gach had a bad foot last season. He's much better than what he was able to show.

I'm not in overreaction mode like some, but it's not a great sign when a player from MN who transferred back last season to be closer to friends and family, has decided to leave again and not play for a coach who was hired to keep MN talent home.
You are getting confused this "Minnesota" concept. The U is not going to play kids just because they are from Minnesota. They need to fit, be good enough and buy into the systems that the U will be playing. The "Minnesota" concept is to make it so the kids growing up in the state want to play for the U and thus give us a better chance at landing the top players coming out of high school.
 

alchemy2u

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As it stands today our current roster appears to be one of the worst in the B1G. That proves something? With the way the transfer portal is this year, it is far easier for a new coach to build a roster with experience that can compete next season. Next season should not have to be a complete rebuild.
An opinion based upon oversimplified appearances does not prove anything!
 

Gopherfan84

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Mitchell? What did I miss?
Prospective/Assuming. Nothing official. I think that's why the other big dropped us from his final 4 and you haven't heard of us pursuing many others in the portal. I think we either have him locked up or we are just waiting the NBA draft out.
 




MNMaroonMom

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I'm not ok being terrible. I am ok with seeing a culture and a system be set and put in place. If the requirement for that is that we finish 14th next year, then so be it. I personally don't think we will finish 14th anyways. I think we finish in the 9th-12th range. We are also waiting on some recruits to get their NBA feedback and the portal will grow again to add two more bigs I'm guessing.

Our Starting Line up right now

Stephon Mitchell- Played in the ACC
Ihnen- Tons of potential, played in the B1G. I also wouldn't be surprised if we pick up one more big here.
Battle- Played in the A10 and was all conference.
Lowe- All conference colonial which is very good low major league. Better than the MAC (Where we got Johnson) or Horizon (where we got Springs)
Willis- Played in the SEC and B1G.

Bench- A group that can defend at least.
Stevens- Was the 6th man, but he played 32 mpg and average 16 ppg. He's not a scrub.
Thompson- I don't think he'll be able to contribute much yet, but he's been playing at a high level with his prep school.
Sutherlin- Hard worker and defender which is all you need out of an 5-8 minute guy
Daniels- Same as Sutherlin.

I worry about shot creation with this group, but they will defend significantly better and our days of guys sitting and watching our PG dominate the ball will be over. My judgement and assessment for this group will be on that. The next year we are adding Fox and the '22 class recruiting class which we don't have any idea if that will be good or not, so it's way too early to know where we are going yet. To have a good team year in and year out though, we will need the culture and system to be set.
What about Abdoulaye Thiam? Wont he be playing this year?
 





GopherBlood666

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What about Abdoulaye Thiam? Wont he be playing this year?
Probably, is he expected to be a big part of the rotation? He is essentially an old freshman at this point, so I would expect him to play a bigger role beyond this coming season.
 

BarnBurner

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I'm not even sure what you have to base this statement off of. Gach barely played in the Big Ten and we have nearly an entire new team. So you've studied the film that deeply on all these incoming guys and know how their games will translate to the Big Ten?
He was injured a lot of the conference season, no?
 

umn99

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I'm not ok being terrible. I am ok with seeing a culture and a system be set and put in place. If the requirement for that is that we finish 14th next year, then so be it. I personally don't think we will finish 14th anyways. I think we finish in the 9th-12th range. We are also waiting on some recruits to get their NBA feedback and the portal will grow again to add two more bigs I'm guessing.

Our Starting Line up right now

Stephon Mitchell- Played in the ACC
Ihnen- Tons of potential, played in the B1G. I also wouldn't be surprised if we pick up one more big here.
Battle- Played in the A10 and was all conference.
Lowe- All conference colonial which is very good low major league. Better than the MAC (Where we got Johnson) or Horizon (where we got Springs)
Willis- Played in the SEC and B1G.

Bench- A group that can defend at least.
Stevens- Was the 6th man, but he played 32 mpg and average 16 ppg. He's not a scrub.
Thompson- I don't think he'll be able to contribute much yet, but he's been playing at a high level with his prep school.
Sutherlin- Hard worker and defender which is all you need out of an 5-8 minute guy
Daniels- Same as Sutherlin.

I worry about shot creation with this group, but they will defend significantly better and our days of guys sitting and watching our PG dominate the ball will be over. My judgement and assessment for this group will be on that. The next year we are adding Fox and the '22 class recruiting class which we don't have any idea if that will be good or not, so it's way too early to know where we are going yet. To have a good team year in and year out though, we will need the culture and system to be set.
A big yes to all of this.
 

Full Speed Ahead

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I'm actually looking forward to this coming season, not from a "we're gonna win it all" perspective but from an "I have no clue about this team" and I want to tune in to see what happens. It's a total mystery as to what type of team we'll be (other than we're not going to pound the ball low to our big men underneath). Full court press, man-to-man D, zone D, fast-break, half-court O, "Princeton O", jack-n-shoot, flop-n-fail, ...? I have no real idea. The assistant coaches BJ brought on board don't give much of a clue, the players he's got coming in are pretty much all over the board in terms of their style of play. It's a giant mystery that to me will be interesting to see. And ya never know, Cleveland State did pretty well last year with their "everyone's new to the team" roster.
 

builtbadgers

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I didn't say they didn't have to rebuild, I said it's easier for a 1st year head coach to have a competitive team in his first season with the state of this years transfer portal. He doesn't have to rebuild a roster with a bunch of freshman.

Last year's team was significantly better on paper than the roster that's currently assembled. I like some of the wings Johnson has brought in, but currently we have Payton Willis as our PG and virtually nothing in the front court. It's June, that's not good.
That would seem to be true as for more competitive but not as important as building a culture. Ben may feel he has guys that will fight for every inch. With the nature of this years portal he had no choice to fill a roster quickly with high character guys that can play.
 


GopherWeatherGuy

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That would seem to be true as for more competitive but not as important as building a culture. Ben may feel he has guys that will fight for every inch. With the nature of this years portal he had no choice to fill a roster quickly with high character guys that can play.
I agree that building a culture is important, but roster construction is equally important. I expected Ben to keep at least a few solid contributors from last years team. Not only did that not happen, this team doesn't have a legitimate PG, and very little in the front court.

Ben needs to show he knows how to build a roster and he's going to need to prove he can win some games to land higher rated in state kids. His biggest voids on this roster are at PG and PF/C, and he's done next to nothing to fill either so far.
 

alchemy2u

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I agree that building a culture is important, but roster construction is equally important. I expected Ben to keep at least a few solid contributors from last years team. Not only did that not happen, this team doesn't have a legitimate PG, and very little in the front court.

Ben needs to show he knows how to build a roster and he's going to need to prove he can win some games to land higher rated in state kids. His biggest voids on this roster are at PG and PF/C, and he's done next to nothing to fill either so far.
Well, I think you have conflicting and unrealistic expectations.

So which contributing players from last year did you expect to stay at the U?
Carr? Well he was never coming back…. NBA hopefull.
Liam? He came here for his uncle and was going to follow his uncle as he left. Was Coach Johnson supposed to keep his uncle as a coach just to keep a player one for more year?
Gabe? He was moving to new scenery no matter what happened.
Mashburn? He has always been a Pitino connection. He was gone with Pitino.
Johnson? Now this is one of the only starters from last year that had a chance of staying. He must of wanted a “bigger” send off in his senior year than to play on a totally new team with a new coach. Can’t blame him or the new coach on that.
Both? He didn’t bring the spark he was expected to show. Not really a fit for Ben team.
Tre? He could have been another that stayed.
Ihnen? He did stay…

none of the other players were solid contributors from last year.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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Well, I think you have conflicting and unrealistic expectations.

So which contributing players from last year did you expect to stay at the U?
Carr? Well he was never coming back…. NBA hopefull.
Liam? He came here for his uncle and was going to follow his uncle as he left. Was Coach Johnson supposed to keep his uncle as a coach just to keep a player one for more year?
Gabe? He was moving to new scenery no matter what happened.
Mashburn? He has always been a Pitino connection. He was gone with Pitino.
Johnson? Now this is one of the only starters from last year that had a chance of staying. He must of wanted a “bigger” send off in his senior year than to play on a totally new team with a new coach. Can’t blame him or the new coach on that.
Both? He didn’t bring the spark he was expected to show. Not really a fit for Ben team.
Tre? He could have been another that stayed.
Ihnen? He did stay…

none of the other players were solid contributors from last year.

Liam, Gabe, Gach, Tre, and Johnson were all candidates to stay. Ben Johnson even said Gach and Ihnen were staying, then a few weeks later he is in the transfer portal.

Tubby and Pitino both made the NIT in season one, with Pitino winning it. My expectations are for Johnson to make the NIT in season 1. That wasn't unrealistic heading into the offseason, but now it appears to be with how this roster is currently assembled. We'll see.
 

BarnBurner

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That would seem to be true as for more competitive but not as important as building a culture. Ben may feel he has guys that will fight for every inch. With the nature of this years portal he had no choice to fill a roster quickly with high character guys that can play.
We shall see.
 

cjbfbp

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I'm actually looking forward to this coming season, not from a "we're gonna win it all" perspective but from an "I have no clue about this team" and I want to tune in to see what happens.

Ditto here. I know nothing about this team or this coach so I'm far more curious than normal when anticipating a new season. Essentially this is a blank slate so, if nothing else, the novelty of that should provide some entertainment, at least for awhile.
 

cjbfbp

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Tubby and Pitino both made the NIT in season one, with Pitino winning it. My expectations are for Johnson to make the NIT in season 1.

A very simple minded view

Expectations aren't based on the season number. Expectations should be based on circumstances. There was no open transfer portal when Tubby and Pitino started their coaching tenures here. Pitino inherited a small but solid veteran core. He deserves credit for getting one of those players in playing shape and for bringing in some key newcomers. However, five of his eight seasons featured no postseason and berths in the Wednesday round of the Big Ten tournament. Four of his seasons resulted in overall losing records. In retrospect, as much as I enjoyed the NIT run, his good first season was a curse because it was undoubtedly a factor in getting him a contract extension that resulted in him being too expensive to fire for at least his first five seasons.

There are two important questions for the upcoming season:

1) Does Johnson have an eye for talent? The first three transfer guards recruited by Johnson were recruited quickly. We'll see whether or not they merited that quick decision.

2) How will his teams play?
 

oldrodent

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No question it will be tough to compete this coming year with the roster as it is. I will be watching with optimism every game as I have for the entirety of my life as a Gopher fan. I do expect to see them compete. I will be looking for defensive toughness from start to finish (attitude). Situational coaching decisions that show me Ben is a game time coach. At least 1 or 2 players to step up and play beyond everyone's expectations. Improvement from the beginning of the season to the end, both as a team and individually. My sense is that this bunch has something to prove, I am hopeful they are currently putting in the work to make it happen.
 
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UpAndUnder43

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Is there a reason to believe that Johnson is establishing this wonderful culture into gopher men’s basketball? Lots of posts about it, but I see no evidence. Then when someone says this roster looks weak, they get blasted because there is no evidence of how it will translate to the B1G. So can someone enlighten me on his culture? I’m all for it, if it exists. Fleck came in with his mantras and things but had proven they work by being successful as a head coach, recruiter, player developer (him or his staff) and culture instiller. What has Ben done culture wise that should have me excited? I asked an associate AD this same question and it was met with the blank stare of a kid who was asked a question by a teacher but didn’t read the book. Saying you want to build a culture, a program, etc is great but I want to build a skyscraper. No plans on how to do it, no idea what I’m doing...so saying it means nothing.

I like Ben, great guy. Known him for years. Is that enough to be a culture?
Still think it was the wrong hire and the overarching theme of Minnesota bred players is going to ruin him if he misses on the 2022 class, and it might either way.
 

cjbfbp

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Is there a reason to believe that Johnson is establishing this wonderful culture into gopher men’s basketball? Lots of posts about it, but I see no evidence.

Agreed. Crediting Johnson at this point with establishing a great culture is no less ridiculous than declaring his hiring at this point to be an unmitigated disaster. Apparently many people who post here don't understand that there's nothing wrong with not having a strong view one way or the other before a new team has played its first game. This is not the stock market or horse racing where there are rewards for correctly predicting the future.
 

Gopherfan84

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Agreed. Crediting Johnson at this point with establishing a great culture is no less ridiculous than declaring his hiring at this point to be an unmitigated disaster. Apparently many people who post here don't understand that there's nothing wrong with not having a strong view one way or the other before a new team has played its first game. This is not the stock market or horse racing where there are rewards for correctly predicting the future.
You’re right that we will ultimately know if the culture is being built when they hit the floor. I think the wait and see approach is the right one. That being said it is a message board and it’s the off-season so speculation is what we have lol.

What you can judge currently is what type of guys are being brought in character wise. So far all that Ben have brought in have clean records so far. There also has not been any grade or admittance issues either. We will ultimately see if that stays that way and if they can play later.
 

Gopherfan84

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Is there a reason to believe that Johnson is establishing this wonderful culture into gopher men’s basketball? Lots of posts about it, but I see no evidence. Then when someone says this roster looks weak, they get blasted because there is no evidence of how it will translate to the B1G. So can someone enlighten me on his culture? I’m all for it, if it exists. Fleck came in with his mantras and things but had proven they work by being successful as a head coach, recruiter, player developer (him or his staff) and culture instiller. What has Ben done culture wise that should have me excited? I asked an associate AD this same question and it was met with the blank stare of a kid who was asked a question by a teacher but didn’t read the book. Saying you want to build a culture, a program, etc is great but I want to build a skyscraper. No plans on how to do it, no idea what I’m doing...so saying it means nothing.

I like Ben, great guy. Known him for years. Is that enough to be a culture?
Still think it was the wrong hire and the overarching theme of Minnesota bred players is going to ruin him if he misses on the 2022 class, and it might either way.
I do believe the C2F hashtags we keep seeing on twitter will be the “mantra”. I have no idea what it is though.

I was pretty negative on the hire are first mainly because of how much of a Craig Smith fan I am, but it’s now growing on me. I will be excited to see if he can produce on the court.
 




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