Amir: Great hire Minnesota; Gopher ball is in good hands! Oturu: Best thing I’ve read in a while. Major reason why i put that maroon and gold on

SanDiegoGopherFan

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He hasn't been under any impressive coaches.

I would rather have had a first year assistant from Gonzaga, Duke or any blue blood.

Coyle went off the farm for this one
 

TruthSeeker

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Ben has a great chance to change perceptions right away this spring. If he really has the support of local basketball people in a big way, maybe some Minnesota kids at other schools come back home. Convince Mashburn to stay. Bring in some really good transfers. Find a spring HS recruit or two. Convince Mitchell, Freeman and Ihnen that they can be good players here. Robbins?

Any Minnesotans want to come back?Garcia? Walton? Would Wright be able to get a free year? Battle?
Getting Wright would be a phenomenal coup. Keep Robbins. That'd be a start.
 


BarnBurner

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I don’t love the hire. Think it’s risky but with potential high reward. Don’t like that he’s had no head coaching experience. Feel like there were safer options. Who he hires as assistants will be huge. I do like that it sounds like he is well respected in AAU which Pitino wasn’t. Like it or not, AAU can have a big influence over where some guys go.
What, specifically, makes this hire have a high reward?
 



StCroix

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Dude, he has been a successful high school coach in the Cities for a few years now. Would not be a bad guy to have on the staff.
He was at North St Paul a few years ago. Not sure if he’s still there or not.
 



MRJ

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Guys that had played for Pitino were gushing about him?
No, but hoops "insiders" certainly were. Some went as far as to call him a "genius" when it came to x's and o's.

None of these guys have played for Ben Johnson either. They couldn't because he's never been a head coach until now. They did play for Pitino however.
 



Full Speed Ahead

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I'll be honest. Assistants don't mean much at all.

Unless they are ACE recruiters. When is the last time you even knew who the assistants were at the top programs?
Not true. As one example Painter has/had a "defensive" and "offensive" coordinator for Purdue. A HC can totally be a recruiter and motivator with the assistants being the X and O's for the team.
 

WriterGoph

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No, but hoops "insiders" certainly were. Some went as far as to call him a "genius" when it came to x's and o's.

None of these guys have played for Ben Johnson either. They couldn't because he's never been a head coach until now. They did play for Pitino however.

So I guess you give no value to the personal relationship they developed while being coached by him?
 

60's Guy

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It’s almost like Richard was never here listening to all Ben’s recruiting accomplishments.
Ben did all the heavy lifting and Richard just got in the way.
Regarding Xavier’s Top 25 classes the previous two years...when you recruit 12 guys in two years the ratings are going to be higher but I digress.
It will be interesting to see if Richard just retires this week since word is now out Ben got ALL the Minnesota HS guys to the UofM and everybody else too. What a secret to finally unleash.
Shackles are off! Here we go!
 

GophersInIowa

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What, specifically, makes this hire have a high reward?
He’s well respected and well liked in the local HS and AAU ranks. The high reward would be he’s able to keep a lot more top talent home. Will it happen? We’ll see. That’s why it’s also high risk.
 



MRJ

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So I guess you give no value to the personal relationship they developed while being coached by him?
They were coached by him to play Pitino's system, not his. That's what assistant coaches do. We don't have any clue about his system. They therefore didn't play "for" him. And as a result, they can't know what kind of head coach he'll be. Nobody can because he's never been a head coach until this afternoon.

They can talk about his relationships in AAU and keeping Minnesotans home. But commenting on him as a head coach? Not possible. Only guess work from now until next season.
 

WriterGoph

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They were coached by him to play Pitino's system, not his. That's what assistant coaches do. We don't have any clue about his system. They therefore didn't play "for" him. As a result, they can't know what kind of head coach he'll be. Nobody can because he's never been a head coach until this afternoon.

They can talk about his relationships in AAU and keeping Minnesotans home. But commenting on him as a head coach? Not possible. Only guess work from now until next season.

I guess I'll trust a human being's opinion who has regularly interacted with said person as opposed a human being who has not and is speculating.

I guess that is why employers speak with references before making a hire?
 

bfriedrichs10

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When you go out on a limb like this, you can lose your fanbase pretty quickly. Most reasonable people will give him a couple years before truly jumping ship. The problem with hiring a guy with no track record is that your average fan will only give him so much benefit of the doubt. If you hire a guy like Craig Smith, who SHOULD be successful here, and has won everywhere else, you may give him more time to turn it around before giving up. Ben better start signing good local kids, and fast, if that's what he was brought here to do. If his first two recruiting classes are underwhelming, watch out.
I don't think it's accurate to say Smith SHOULD be successful here. I'd agree with COULD. Johnson COULD be too. It depends on who he can get to play here. And for us on GopherHole, we might prefer Smith, but I wonder if the "average" fan knows who Craig Smith is, and Ben Johnson MIGHT be a name they recognize.

It's a lot of ifs right now. The tough part is that we'll never know how things might have been different if we hired someone else. I don't know what to think at this point. None of us should, really.
 

MRJ

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I guess I'll trust a human being's opinion who has regularly interacted with said person as opposed a human being who has not and is speculating.

I guess that is why employers speak with references before making a hire?
I prefer both references and a resume to go a long with it. But Coyle apparently doesn't.
 

MennoSota

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My big concern is that Richards coaches, while Ben Johnson was an assistant, seemed to poorly scout B1G opponents. We were getting consistently out-scouted. I really hope Johnson keeps gets some great x&o coaches who can scout opponents and exploit weaknesses. The B1G, more than any other league is extremely well scouted by opposing B1G schools. Any weakness will be exploited.
 


WindyCityGopher

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Ironic thing about the Ben Johnson as great Minnesota recruiter narrative is that not even he chose the Gophers out of high school, instead signing with the worst program in the Big Ten rather than stay home.
 

UpAndUnder43

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My guess is you were a shitty junior high athlete. Your analysis is moronic.
I was a super good jr high athlete. Peaked around sophomore year of college, now I’m a moron apparently.
I apologize that I want a big ten team to hire coaches with college coaching and recruiting experience.
Also, LOVE the guys that have to bring up other people’s athleticism as if that is the key to good analysis
 

gopherdudepart2

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Ironic thing about the Ben Johnson as great Minnesota recruiter narrative is that not even he chose the Gophers out of high school, instead signing with the worst program in the Big Ten rather than stay
Northwestern is a great academic Institution, and Dan Monson was coach of the Gophers at the time. That probabably was as good a reason as any to leave Minnesota at the time. Program was really in the blahs after the handcuff sanctions and Munson as head coach.
 


ecoperson

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Ironic thing about the Ben Johnson as great Minnesota recruiter narrative is that not even he chose the Gophers out of high school, instead signing with the worst program in the Big Ten rather than stay home.
I'm not certain what you are saying... Johnson will be a poor recruiter in MN because Dan Monson wasn't able to recruit him from MN to MN?
 




WindyCityGopher

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I'm not certain what you are saying... Johnson will be a poor recruiter in MN because Dan Monson wasn't able to recruit him from MN to MN?
He's asking high school kids to stay home to play basketball at the University of Minnesota when he wouldn't do that himself. Do as I say, not as I do, apparently.
 

ecoperson

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He's asking high school kids to stay home to play basketball at the University of Minnesota when he wouldn't do that himself. Do as I say, not as I do, apparently.
I think Johnson's decision to leave proves the point... the head coach matters. Johnson said no to Monson because he and his local coaches didn't like him. MN ballers said no to Pitino for the same reason. The hope is that players will say yes to Johnson because of who he is and the reputation he has with their coaches. Time will tell if he can build some hometown pride and establish a defense-first game plan.
 

Face The Facts

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I think the way we need to view this hire is that....

1. This is a hire to keep many more of the Minnesota kids playing in Minnesota. I'm even surprised as how many kids have left Minnesota to play elsewhere, either because they weren't offered, or not recruited hard enough.

2. It sounds like Pitino was not good at winning over those influencers who might help suggest a kid go to Minnesota. If Ben has those influencers pushing for kids to stay in Minnesota, that could provide a pretty solid recruiting base, year in and year out.

3. I don't know how much Ben can coach. I want a coach who can coach fundamentals with teams who can play disciplined with sound defense and team offense. Whether Ben can coach this or not, and that's probably the biggest uncertainty. But if you have better talent, you will still win more often than not. (Just not in the NCAA's)
 




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