Ben Johnson is NOT a disaster....

PMWinSTP

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I think Johnson didn't help himself as year 1 was essentially a waste in terms of developing for the future. Obviously he couldn't help the injuries of Fox and Ihnen but there is no one from that team that is still at MN. I know there wasn't much he could do with recruiting freshman at that point but it would have been nice to get a few more transfer that had more than one year of eligibility left.

From a rebuild standpoint, this is really Year 2.
True but I don't think he had a lot of time or great options as far as putting it together considering the task, and the outcome was basically another roster overhaul last year, but with better options and more time.
 
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stocker08

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Brandon Johnson would have helped. Tre and Booth? Hard pass.

Yes....Brandon Johnson would have been nice to have as a veteran leader. But he was down to one remaining season.....so his impact would have been minimal as far as long term success.

It's why I've been saying for the past couple of years that Ben Johnson cannot seriously be judged until his first high school class gets a couple years under their belt. The realistic players (to keep) from Pitino's last team weren't going help Johnson build a program because there was almost zero young talent to build around with the exception of Mashburn.....who wasn't staying regardless of hire.
 

Bobek

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It also seems like he didn't try very hard to convince anyone to stay. It's a bit weak to say "everyone left" when it didn't have to be that way. Sure Carr wasn't going to stay and neither was Mashburn. But the guy who went Oregon State and Both Gach both might have, etc.
we don’t know if Johnson was indifferent to the current roster when he became coach. The players just made a choice to find another team. FYI: Tre Williams transferred to Oregon State but played there less than at Minnesota. Next he went to Tulane where he averaged 1.9 ppg and 10.9 minutes over 14 games. Both Gach transferred back to Utah where he averaged 8.7 ppg and played in all 30 games, I’m guessing as a starter. Both players would have helped UMN had they stayed.
 

Bobek

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One could think that diversity hires are a bad idea yet still hope that a diversity hire does well and wins the job on merit once they are hired.
I question whether Johnson was just a diversity hire, as some have suggested. We can question whether it made sense to hire someone with no head coaching experience. But Johnson is “one of us”, which we just love in Minnesota. And he was a former Gopher guard with strong local recruiting connections. Also he came much cheaper than some other with more experience, which I think was a major factor for Coyle. The season is trending positive right now, so let’s see how that plays out in March before the pitchfork crowd gets too unhinged.
 

howeda7

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I question whether Johnson was just a diversity hire, as some have suggested. We can question whether it made sense to hire someone with no head coaching experience. But Johnson is “one of us”, which we just love in Minnesota. And he was a former Gopher guard with strong local recruiting connections. Also he came much cheaper than some other with more experience, which I think was a major factor for Coyle. The season is trending positive right now, so let’s see how that plays out in March before the pitchfork crowd gets too unhinged.
He came cheaper than Muss or Dutcher would have. But we're paying him the same as we would have Craig Smith or Medved.
 


GopherWeatherGuy

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Dude you gotta come off this one some. The portal does make it more possible to have a quick rebuild but it doesn't guarantee that a team can rebuild an entire roster in one year and win at a high level.

I know you don't want to hear it but the first time head coach thing plays into it as well. An established head coach is going to be much more likely to have a quick turn around than a first time guy who is learning on the job (that isn't Johnson's fault, if you want to blame someone for that it is Coyle).

But hey, if there are examples of first time (not first year at a new school) head coaches that have come in, rebuilt a roster and won at a high level right away I would love to see them. Especially at a major conference like the Big Ten. I mean if it is as easy as you think it is there should be lots of examples.

So now it has to be only first time head coaches, not just first year at a new school. And now it has to be only first year success? Completely moving the goalposts but Jerome Tang, Mike Woodson (I'm sure this doesn't count either because he was a NBA head coach), Tommy Lloyd all had first year success. Micah Shrewsberry was a first time head coach, took him two years to be good though. But there's many more multi-time head coaches that were better earlier than Ben, like Otzelberger, Gates, Smith, even our beloved Richard was good enough to make the NIT in year 2 at New Mexico, and he won it in year 1 here despite having way less experience than Ben at that time. There are more that I'm missing.

This has all be discussed over and over again. You guys will continue to make stuff up and say he inherited nothing when he actually inherited 10 guys, and they either didn't want to play for Ben or Ben didn't want them. Either way that's on him. But you keep lowering the bar for some reason.

If the Gophers don't make a postseason tournament this year, he'll hit another historically bad marker. As of today they have a chance to make one though, and I hope they do.
 
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bga1

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So now it has to be only first time head coaches, not just first year at a new school. And now it has to be only first year success? Completely moving the goalposts but Jerome Tang, Mike Woodson (I'm sure this doesn't count either because he was a NBA head coach), Tommy Lloyd all had first year success. Micah Shrewsberry was a first time head coach, took him two years to be good though. But there's many more multi-time head coaches that were better earlier than Ben, like Otzelberger, Gates, Smith, even our beloved Richard was good enough to make the NIT in year 2 at New Mexico, and he won it in year 1 here despite having way less experience than Ben at that time. There are more that I'm missing.

This has all be discussed over and over again. You guys will continue to make stuff up and say he inherited nothing when he actually inherited 10 guys, and they either didn't want to play for Ben or Ben didn't want them. Either way that's on him. But you keep lowering the bar for some reason.

If the Gophers don't make a postseason tournament this year, he'll hit another historically bad marker. As of today they have a chance to make one though, and I hope they do.
Bens first two years have been abysmal. In my view he was set up for failure and was a very poor hire.
That said, you have to admit, this squad so far, is better than what you expected and he has done a good job of assembling them and coaching them- so far. For me, if he gets to 7-8 conference wins, that's enough progress where I think he deserves a shot at a 4th year and to keep the guys he has.
 

GopherOhana

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noting that arkansas has just dropped below the gophers in kenpom. this one year, maybe musselman is a bit more of a disaster than CBJ?

When i was living in NW Arkansas, someone shot one of Nolan Richardson's horses, so watch your back Eric
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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Bens first two years have been abysmal. In my view he was set up for failure and was a very poor hire.
That said, you have to admit, this squad so far, is better than what you expected and he has done a good job of assembling them and coaching them- so far. For me, if he gets to 7-8 conference wins, that's enough progress where I think he deserves a shot at a 4th year and to keep the guys he has.

They are better than I thought so far in the B1G, but were as expected in the non-conference. It also happened to turn out that the beginning of their B1G schedule is the easiest stretch of that schedule.

The next month will be telling. Going 7-13 or 8-12 in a weak B1G conference and considering that 'progress' is ridiculous. That means they would go 4-12 or 5-11 the rest of the way and still may be playing on weakling Wednesday.
 
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Gophers7633

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Bens first two years have been abysmal. In my view he was set up for failure and was a very poor hire.
That said, you have to admit, this squad so far, is better than what you expected and he has done a good job of assembling them and coaching them- so far. For me, if he gets to 7-8 conference wins, that's enough progress where I think he deserves a shot at a 4th year and to keep the guys he has.

I'm sorry but 7 wins shouldn't be enough to keep him, especially in this watered down version of the B1G. I mean we already have 3. You think we should keep him if we sweep PSU and IU and lose to everyone else?
 


DarthGopher

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I'm sorry but 7 wins shouldn't be enough to keep him, especially in this watered down version of the B1G. I mean we already have 3. You think we should keep him if we sweep PSU and IU and lose to everyone else?
If you give me until the beginning of March, I'll be able to tell you exactly how the team did. Then we can make a decision, at least here. Because nobody with any power to do something gives two shits what you think. ;)
 

bga1

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I'm sorry but 7 wins shouldn't be enough to keep him, especially in this watered down version of the B1G. I mean we already have 3. You think we should keep him if we sweep PSU and IU and lose to everyone else?
Should? I don't know- that would be a tough call. Will? Yes I think that Ben will probably return if he gets to 7 and almost certainly will if he gets to 8. As a fan I want a whole lot more than 7 wins this year. From the AD and U of M admin perspective, I doubt they will want to start over again and pay millions out if he gets to 7 or 8 and they are convinced that the guys he has will return. I think that there is no doubt that returning the whole roster or nearly that for next year would have us projected as a top half of the conference/ NCAA bid team for next year.
 



Gophers7633

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If you give me until the beginning of March, I'll be able to tell you exactly how the team did. Then we can make a decision, at least here. Because nobody with any power to do something gives two shits what you think. ;)

Cool. I'm saying 7 wins shouldn't be enough. I do think we'll win more than that though.
 

Gophers7633

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Should? I don't know- that would be a tough call. Will? Yes I think that Ben will probably return if he gets to 7 and almost certainly will if he gets to 8. As a fan I want a whole lot more than 7 wins this year. From the AD and U of M admin perspective, I doubt they will want to start over again and pay millions out if he gets to 7 or 8 and they are convinced that the guys he has will return. I think that there is no doubt that returning the whole roster or nearly that for next year would have us projected as a top half of the conference/ NCAA bid team for next year.

If we only get to 7, that will be the 3rd year in a row of, objectively, fielding a bad team. If we only win 7, there isn't anyone who will project us to be a tournament team next year. Not saying we couldn't get there, but we certainly wouldn't project to be one.
 




Zeppelin Gopher

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I thought 9-11 coming into the year would be the minimum needed for Ben to deserve a year 4.

We are off to a 3-1 start and the team is playing better than most of us had hoped for...anything less than 10-10 now would be a giant disappointment.
 

MNVCGUY

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I thought 9-11 coming into the year would be the minimum needed for Ben to deserve a year 4.

We are off to a 3-1 start and the team is playing better than most of us had hoped for...anything less than 10-10 now would be a giant disappointment.
It is going to be interesting to see how it all plays out. If we stay healthy we should be able to compete with most of the teams in the conference based on how things have looked to this point.

Win most of the remaining home games and steal a few on the road (tonight would be a great opportunity for that) and the team should at minimum finish right around .500 in league play with the potential for more.
 

BarnBurner

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It is going to be interesting to see how it all plays out. If we stay healthy we should be able to compete with most of the teams in the conference based on how things have looked to this point.

Win most of the remaining home games and steal a few on the road (tonight would be a great opportunity for that) and the team should at minimum finish right around .500 in league play with the potential for more.
Deep response.
 


Bob_Loblaw

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I thought 9-11 coming into the year would be the minimum needed for Ben to deserve a year 4.

We are off to a 3-1 start and the team is playing better than most of us had hoped for...anything less than 10-10 now would be a giant disappointment.
I think this sounds right.

That said, barring injury, I think this team finishes over .500 in conference and this discussion is moot.
 


Dakota2

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If you give me until the beginning of March, I'll be able to tell you exactly how the team did. Then we can make a decision, at least here. Because nobody with any power to do something gives two shits what you think. ;)
Also, nobody with a brain is going to fire a coach whose team is improving, playing fundamentally decent basketball, and having a chance to win most games.
 




Spaulding!No!

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The progress of this team under Coach Johnson is undeniable. Unless everything collapses, I believe he will continue to build on his successes and get extended. My crystal ball is seldom wrong.
Raise and extension is the only way to keep him around. He has dreamed of the NW job since high school
 





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