Ben Johnson at State Fair with KFAN

short ornery norwegian

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So, Ben Johnson was at the State Fair this week - I believe on Monday - and did a fairly lengthy interview with Dan Barreiro. The entire interview is available as a podcast on Barreiro's show page on the KFAN website.

A few bullet points:
---a lot of talk about coaching philosophy. Johnson said especially with today's players, he approaches coaching as a teacher first. Said today's players need to know the "why" about things before they buy in. Asked about his coaching style, Johnson said the team takes its cues from the coach. if the coach is freaking out on the sideline, yelling and screaming, then the team will freak out, too. Said the coach has to be a calming presence to help players through tense situations.

---talked about AAU basketball. Johnson said he sees a lot of benefits in AAU for getting players exposure, but said it's important for players to work on their games, too.

---long discussion on social media. Johnson said he tells players "you don't have to tell people everything you do." encourages them to be careful about what they post. Barreiro referenced the WI players recording a meeting with their coach, and Johnson admitted that there is a potential for situations like that with social media, smart phones, etc, and it's vital to have open relationships with the players.

---talked about recruiting. Johnson said you have to be able to sell your school - sell recruits that you have a vision and a plan, and show how they fit into that vision. Johnson laughed that he is coaching 24/7 and really doesn't have anything else in his life right now. Told Coyle in job interview that he would be 100% committed to the program.

--Barreiro asked about some of the players. Curry - shows great leadership and experience. Loewe - a team leader. Stephens - one of best athletes on team. Good shooter. Battle - Johnson challenging him to be 'the best shooter in the B1G.' Daniels - blue-collar guy. need to get productive minutes. Thompson - doesn't have the bulk, but can shoot and create matchup issues for other team.

-- on style of play. Johnson - ideally wants 5 guys on floor who can make 3's. admits roster is a work in progress. Talked about what he learned coaching in Big East where a lot of teams play small ball. Likes up-tempo style (then laughed and said, 'everyone says that.') But stressed importance of shooting. force other teams to match up with you out on the perimeter.

---coaches he admires. Says he talks to Juwan Howard. Said he has pictures in his office of Mike Tomlin and Eric Spoelstra. Has never met them, but admires the way they create a culture and their teams have an identity. Wants MN to be a program that has an identity.

---Barreiro said this season could be rough. Johnson talked about competing. Said in the B1G, you will always get the other team's best effort and have to be able to match that effort.

those are some of the highlights. as I said, a fairly long interview but interesting.
 

JimmyJamesMD

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So, Ben Johnson was at the State Fair this week - I believe on Monday - and did a fairly lengthy interview with Dan Barreiro. The entire interview is available as a podcast on Barreiro's show page on the KFAN website.

A few bullet points:
---a lot of talk about coaching philosophy. Johnson said especially with today's players, he approaches coaching as a teacher first. Said today's players need to know the "why" about things before they buy in. Asked about his coaching style, Johnson said the team takes its cues from the coach. if the coach is freaking out on the sideline, yelling and screaming, then the team will freak out, too. Said the coach has to be a calming presence to help players through tense situations.

---talked about AAU basketball. Johnson said he sees a lot of benefits in AAU for getting players exposure, but said it's important for players to work on their games, too.

---long discussion on social media. Johnson said he tells players "you don't have to tell people everything you do." encourages them to be careful about what they post. Barreiro referenced the WI players recording a meeting with their coach, and Johnson admitted that there is a potential for situations like that with social media, smart phones, etc, and it's vital to have open relationships with the players.

---talked about recruiting. Johnson said you have to be able to sell your school - sell recruits that you have a vision and a plan, and show how they fit into that vision. Johnson laughed that he is coaching 24/7 and really doesn't have anything else in his life right now. Told Coyle in job interview that he would be 100% committed to the program.

--Barreiro asked about some of the players. Curry - shows great leadership and experience. Loewe - a team leader. Stephens - one of best athletes on team. Good shooter. Battle - Johnson challenging him to be 'the best shooter in the B1G.' Daniels - blue-collar guy. need to get productive minutes. Thompson - doesn't have the bulk, but can shoot and create matchup issues for other team.

-- on style of play. Johnson - ideally wants 5 guys on floor who can make 3's. admits roster is a work in progress. Talked about what he learned coaching in Big East where a lot of teams play small ball. Likes up-tempo style (then laughed and said, 'everyone says that.') But stressed importance of shooting. force other teams to match up with you out on the perimeter.

---coaches he admires. Says he talks to Juwan Howard. Said he has pictures in his office of Mike Tomlin and Eric Spoelstra. Has never met them, but admires the way they create a culture and their teams have an identity. Wants MN to be a program that has an identity.

---Barreiro said this season could be rough. Johnson talked about competing. Said in the B1G, you will always get the other team's best effort and have to be able to match that effort.

those are some of the highlights. as I said, a fairly long interview but interesting.
Thank you
 

Gopherfan12

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Really sounds like Ben is all about making good relationships with players. I think that’s what’s going to help Ben be able to recruit here well. Already starting to see some of that pay off with the three Minnesota kids committed already.
 

CoMn

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So, Ben Johnson was at the State Fair this week - I believe on Monday - and did a fairly lengthy interview with Dan Barreiro. The entire interview is available as a podcast on Barreiro's show page on the KFAN website.

A few bullet points:
---a lot of talk about coaching philosophy. Johnson said especially with today's players, he approaches coaching as a teacher first. Said today's players need to know the "why" about things before they buy in. Asked about his coaching style, Johnson said the team takes its cues from the coach. if the coach is freaking out on the sideline, yelling and screaming, then the team will freak out, too. Said the coach has to be a calming presence to help players through tense situations.

---talked about AAU basketball. Johnson said he sees a lot of benefits in AAU for getting players exposure, but said it's important for players to work on their games, too.

---long discussion on social media. Johnson said he tells players "you don't have to tell people everything you do." encourages them to be careful about what they post. Barreiro referenced the WI players recording a meeting with their coach, and Johnson admitted that there is a potential for situations like that with social media, smart phones, etc, and it's vital to have open relationships with the players.

---talked about recruiting. Johnson said you have to be able to sell your school - sell recruits that you have a vision and a plan, and show how they fit into that vision. Johnson laughed that he is coaching 24/7 and really doesn't have anything else in his life right now. Told Coyle in job interview that he would be 100% committed to the program.

--Barreiro asked about some of the players. Curry - shows great leadership and experience. Loewe - a team leader. Stephens - one of best athletes on team. Good shooter. Battle - Johnson challenging him to be 'the best shooter in the B1G.' Daniels - blue-collar guy. need to get productive minutes. Thompson - doesn't have the bulk, but can shoot and create matchup issues for other team.

-- on style of play. Johnson - ideally wants 5 guys on floor who can make 3's. admits roster is a work in progress. Talked about what he learned coaching in Big East where a lot of teams play small ball. Likes up-tempo style (then laughed and said, 'everyone says that.') But stressed importance of shooting. force other teams to match up with you out on the perimeter.

---coaches he admires. Says he talks to Juwan Howard. Said he has pictures in his office of Mike Tomlin and Eric Spoelstra. Has never met them, but admires the way they create a culture and their teams have an identity. Wants MN to be a program that has an identity.

---Barreiro said this season could be rough. Johnson talked about competing. Said in the B1G, you will always get the other team's best effort and have to be able to match that effort.

those are some of the highlights. as I said, a fairly long interview but interesting.
thanks for posting
 

SelectionSunday

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So, Ben Johnson was at the State Fair this week - I believe on Monday - and did a fairly lengthy interview with Dan Barreiro. The entire interview is available as a podcast on Barreiro's show page on the KFAN website.

A few bullet points:
---a lot of talk about coaching philosophy. Johnson said especially with today's players, he approaches coaching as a teacher first. Said today's players need to know the "why" about things before they buy in. Asked about his coaching style, Johnson said the team takes its cues from the coach. if the coach is freaking out on the sideline, yelling and screaming, then the team will freak out, too. Said the coach has to be a calming presence to help players through tense situations.

---talked about AAU basketball. Johnson said he sees a lot of benefits in AAU for getting players exposure, but said it's important for players to work on their games, too.

---long discussion on social media. Johnson said he tells players "you don't have to tell people everything you do." encourages them to be careful about what they post. Barreiro referenced the WI players recording a meeting with their coach, and Johnson admitted that there is a potential for situations like that with social media, smart phones, etc, and it's vital to have open relationships with the players.

---talked about recruiting. Johnson said you have to be able to sell your school - sell recruits that you have a vision and a plan, and show how they fit into that vision. Johnson laughed that he is coaching 24/7 and really doesn't have anything else in his life right now. Told Coyle in job interview that he would be 100% committed to the program.

--Barreiro asked about some of the players. Curry - shows great leadership and experience. Loewe - a team leader. Stephens - one of best athletes on team. Good shooter. Battle - Johnson challenging him to be 'the best shooter in the B1G.' Daniels - blue-collar guy. need to get productive minutes. Thompson - doesn't have the bulk, but can shoot and create matchup issues for other team.

-- on style of play. Johnson - ideally wants 5 guys on floor who can make 3's. admits roster is a work in progress. Talked about what he learned coaching in Big East where a lot of teams play small ball. Likes up-tempo style (then laughed and said, 'everyone says that.') But stressed importance of shooting. force other teams to match up with you out on the perimeter.

---coaches he admires. Says he talks to Juwan Howard. Said he has pictures in his office of Mike Tomlin and Eric Spoelstra. Has never met them, but admires the way they create a culture and their teams have an identity. Wants MN to be a program that has an identity.

---Barreiro said this season could be rough. Johnson talked about competing. Said in the B1G, you will always get the other team's best effort and have to be able to match that effort.

those are some of the highlights. as I said, a fairly long interview but interesting.
Good stuff. Thanks.

Competitive players. That’s what I want to see this season. … guys who keep competing through the rough stretches, of which there are going to be plenty.
 



Bob_Loblaw

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I really loved his answers. I love the discussion about forcing other teams to match up with us on the perimeter and that he likes Erik Spoelstra and Juwan Howard. Those are guys who really understand the importance of spacing and movement with modern offenses. I'm not using this as an excuse to bash RP, but I don't believe RP ever understood how to implement a modern offense. There was way too much dribbling and he seemed to think shooting more threes was really all it was about (very little movement, cuts, spacing, etc.).

This was Ben's best interview as a HC.
 

kg21

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I really loved his answers. I love the discussion about forcing other teams to match up with us on the perimeter and that he likes Erik Spoelstra and Juwan Howard. Those are guys who really understand the importance of spacing and movement with modern offenses. I'm not using this as an excuse to bash RP, but I don't believe RP ever understood how to implement a modern offense. There was way too much dribbling and he seemed to think shooting more threes was really all it was about (very little movement, cuts, spacing, etc.).

This was Ben's best interview as a HC.
Spoelstra?

He made his name by putting the ball in Lebron's hands. Spacing and movement?
 






Bob_Loblaw

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I think he did the same with Wade and Butler too. Lots of iso. Lots.
The NBA actually tracks these stats. It's not true.

2020: 5% of their offensive sets were iso. That is the 4th fewest isos in the NBA, that is especially remarkable considering they have such a good iso player (Jimmy Butler).

2019: 4.6% of their offensive sets were iso. Again, this is really low. It's like 7th fewest in the isos in the league. Considering they have such a good iso player (Jimmy Butler), again, almost remarkably low.

2018: 4.6% (third fewest)

2017: 5.0% (third fewest)

The teams known for running a lot of iso sets (Houston w/Harden, Brooklyn now, Portland, LA) run between 9-15% of their plays as isos. Almost every year in the last 10 years, he has ran less isos than Golden State or Boston (widely accepted as running "modern offenses based on spacing and movement").

When he had Lebron and Wade, of course he ran some ISO. The reason he is widely considered one of the best coaches in the NBA is that he was able to run a purely modern offense when he didn't have superstars and adjust it to incorporate dominant players. Spoelestra's offense is really all about spacing and movement.
 

UpAndUnder43

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The NBA actually tracks these stats. It's not true.

2020: 5% of their offensive sets were iso. That is the 4th fewest isos in the NBA, that is especially remarkable considering they have such a good iso player (Jimmy Butler).

2019: 4.6% of their offensive sets were iso. Again, this is really low. It's like 7th fewest in the isos in the league. Considering they have such a good iso player (Jimmy Butler), again, almost remarkably low.

2018: 4.6% (third fewest)

2017: 5.0% (third fewest)

The teams known for running a lot of iso sets (Houston w/Harden, Brooklyn now, Portland, LA) run between 9-15% of their plays as isos. Almost every year in the last 10 years, he has ran less isos than Golden State or Boston (widely accepted as running "modern offenses based on spacing and movement").

When he had Lebron and Wade, of course he ran some ISO. The reason he is widely considered one of the best coaches in the NBA is that he was able to run a purely modern offense when he didn't have superstars and adjust it to incorporate dominant players. Spoelestra's offense is really all about spacing and movement.
Thanks for the stats. Interesting to see it broken down.
They also track average passes per possession, but I can’t find those numbers. Would be curious to see it.
 




Gophers1992

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Spoelstra?

He made his name by putting the ball in Lebron's hands. Spacing and movement?
This is downplaying Spoelstra's coaching ability. He has done well post-Lebron as well.
 


underground629

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Thank you! The recap is much appreciated. Liked what Ben had to say. I'm glad he understands this: "Said today's players need to know the "why" about things before they buy in."

So, Ben Johnson was at the State Fair this week - I believe on Monday - and did a fairly lengthy interview with Dan Barreiro. The entire interview is available as a podcast on Barreiro's show page on the KFAN website.

A few bullet points:
---a lot of talk about coaching philosophy. Johnson said especially with today's players, he approaches coaching as a teacher first. Said today's players need to know the "why" about things before they buy in. Asked about his coaching style, Johnson said the team takes its cues from the coach. if the coach is freaking out on the sideline, yelling and screaming, then the team will freak out, too. Said the coach has to be a calming presence to help players through tense situations.

---talked about AAU basketball. Johnson said he sees a lot of benefits in AAU for getting players exposure, but said it's important for players to work on their games, too.

---long discussion on social media. Johnson said he tells players "you don't have to tell people everything you do." encourages them to be careful about what they post. Barreiro referenced the WI players recording a meeting with their coach, and Johnson admitted that there is a potential for situations like that with social media, smart phones, etc, and it's vital to have open relationships with the players.

---talked about recruiting. Johnson said you have to be able to sell your school - sell recruits that you have a vision and a plan, and show how they fit into that vision. Johnson laughed that he is coaching 24/7 and really doesn't have anything else in his life right now. Told Coyle in job interview that he would be 100% committed to the program.

--Barreiro asked about some of the players. Curry - shows great leadership and experience. Loewe - a team leader. Stephens - one of best athletes on team. Good shooter. Battle - Johnson challenging him to be 'the best shooter in the B1G.' Daniels - blue-collar guy. need to get productive minutes. Thompson - doesn't have the bulk, but can shoot and create matchup issues for other team.

-- on style of play. Johnson - ideally wants 5 guys on floor who can make 3's. admits roster is a work in progress. Talked about what he learned coaching in Big East where a lot of teams play small ball. Likes up-tempo style (then laughed and said, 'everyone says that.') But stressed importance of shooting. force other teams to match up with you out on the perimeter.

---coaches he admires. Says he talks to Juwan Howard. Said he has pictures in his office of Mike Tomlin and Eric Spoelstra. Has never met them, but admires the way they create a culture and their teams have an identity. Wants MN to be a program that has an identity.

---Barreiro said this season could be rough. Johnson talked about competing. Said in the B1G, you will always get the other team's best effort and have to be able to match that effort.

those are some of the highlights. as I said, a fairly long interview but interesting.
 

GopherJake

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I’m slightly concerned by the “ideally wants 5 guys on floor who can make 3's” comment. I hated watching RP’s teams throwing up 30 three pointers every game. As I think it’s likely we play from behind the majority of this coming season, I’m hoping we don’t see more of that. Certainly shooting the three is important in today’s game, so hopefully that is the root of the comment. But “small ball” is not what I want to see. I want shooters, yes, for sure, but I also want rebounding, penetrating guards and easy baskets inside the paint. If we lead the league in three point attempts every year, I don’t think it works.
 

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Excellent recap Son! You clearly have a knack for this.
 

short ornery norwegian

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I’m slightly concerned by the “ideally wants 5 guys on floor who can make 3's” comment. I hated watching RP’s teams throwing up 30 three pointers every game. As I think it’s likely we play from behind the majority of this coming season, I’m hoping we don’t see more of that. Certainly shooting the three is important in today’s game, so hopefully that is the root of the comment. But “small ball” is not what I want to see. I want shooters, yes, for sure, but I also want rebounding, penetrating guards and easy baskets inside the paint. If we lead the league in three point attempts every year, I don’t think it works.

Shooting 3's is not necessarily 'small ball.' Lots of big men can shoot the 3. In the interview, Johnson talked about Treyton Thompson as a mobile big who can shoot from the perimeter, which helps to create matchup problems for the defense.

That's how I took Ben's comment - that he ideally wants everyone on the floor to be a potential 3-point threat. doesn't mean they have to be small. Look at the Wolves - KAT is one of the best 3-point shooters on the team - but he can also play inside.
 


bga1

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Shooting 3's is not necessarily 'small ball.' Lots of big men can shoot the 3. In the interview, Johnson talked about Treyton Thompson as a mobile big who can shoot from the perimeter, which helps to create matchup problems for the defense.

That's how I took Ben's comment - that he ideally wants everyone on the floor to be a potential 3-point threat. doesn't mean they have to be small. Look at the Wolves - KAT is one of the best 3-point shooters on the team - but he can also play inside.
The Wolves might not be exhibit A of what we are trying to build, but otherwise this is reasonable.
 

builtbadgers

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Shooting 3's is not necessarily 'small ball.' Lots of big men can shoot the 3. In the interview, Johnson talked about Treyton Thompson as a mobile big who can shoot from the perimeter, which helps to create matchup problems for the defense.

That's how I took Ben's comment - that he ideally wants everyone on the floor to be a potential 3-point threat. doesn't mean they have to be small. Look at the Wolves - KAT is one of the best 3-point shooters on the team - but he can also play inside.
Exactly. And the idea of the everyone a shooting threat is about spacing the floor.
 



hungan1

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I really loved his answers. I love the discussion about forcing other teams to match up with us on the perimeter and that he likes Erik Spoelstra and Juwan Howard. Those are guys who really understand the importance of spacing and movement with modern offenses. I'm not using this as an excuse to bash RP, but I don't believe RP ever understood how to implement a modern offense. There was way too much dribbling and he seemed to think shooting more threes was really all it was about (very little movement, cuts, spacing, etc.).
Part of Ben Johnson's high school HS resume includes championship teams at DeLaSalle High School. He garnered a lot of rich experience as an assistant coach and recruiter at several different college stops. That included the U. He recruited and coached at the AAU level.

We were so flustered about his hire when announced. It is time to realize that there was something there that led to his unequivocal hiring.

Richard Pitino was a manager for the Providence Friars. Richard is around basketball all his life. I don't know if he had played basketball at any level. I think his uniques experience tempered his coaching style and understanding of the game.

 

Bob_Loblaw

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I’m slightly concerned by the “ideally wants 5 guys on floor who can make 3's” comment. I hated watching RP’s teams throwing up 30 three pointers every game. As I think it’s likely we play from behind the majority of this coming season, I’m hoping we don’t see more of that. Certainly shooting the three is important in today’s game, so hopefully that is the root of the comment. But “small ball” is not what I want to see. I want shooters, yes, for sure, but I also want rebounding, penetrating guards and easy baskets inside the paint. If we lead the league in three point attempts every year, I don’t think it works.
RP conflated spacing and a modern offense with chucking. An offense with a large number of 3's and FTAs, IMO, is a good thing. But it really does matter how you get here.

Generally, I agree with your point. If the offensive philosophy is to shoot as many 3s as possible, we won't be successful. If we shoot a ton of threes because we are killing people with cuts, player movement, ball movement (see: swing passes), our offense will be difficult to defend.
 




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