Ben Johnson is NOT a disaster....




PMWinSTP

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Smith, Medved, possibly Brian Dutcher, likely many others. There will be plenty of good options whenever this job opens up again. Do good coaches typically recruit good players or bad players?
I brought up Dutcher when Richard was fired. I was told then he's too old, among other things.
 




Dakota2

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Real fans are interested in the future, wingnut. Not stubbornly refusing to come off your position.
Comrade Claudine, your schooling at the hands of the People's Commissariat of Education has left you stupid, illiterate, but a hopeful useful idiot. Carry on.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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I brought up Dutcher when Richard was fired. I was told then he's too old, among other things.

I was one of those people who thought that. But this program is so down right now that I’ll take 5 years of an old coach who has proven he can get it done just to get us back to respectability.
 

MNVCGUY

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At this point I will be shocked if Johnson is not brought back for year 4 There is a ton of potential on this roster but the only way that potential is realized is if the group stays together.

Christie, Payne and JOJ could all develop into star players in the Big Ten. Keep the bulk of the roster, add Asuma and fill in with the portal.....24-25 team could be really good.

If Johnson gets fired.....Christie, Payne and JOJ almost certainly hit the portal and once again we are starting over.

As bad as the first 2 years were....to me....we are seeing enough in year 3 to justify a year 4 and I will be surprised it that isn't what ends up happening.
 



Gophers7633

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At this point I will be shocked if Johnson is not brought back for year 4 There is a ton of potential on this roster but the only way that potential is realized is if the group stays together.

Christie, Payne and JOJ could all develop into star players in the Big Ten. Keep the bulk of the roster, add Asuma and fill in with the portal.....24-25 team could be really good.

If Johnson gets fired.....Christie, Payne and JOJ almost certainly hit the portal and once again we are starting over.

As bad as the first 2 years were....to me....we are seeing enough in year 3 to justify a year 4 and I will be surprised it that isn't what ends up happening.

If we can go at 2-2 in the next 4, I'd be okay bringing him back.
 

GFBfan

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As the season continues, if they can just find a way to turn those 8 to 12 minute stretches of bad basketball into less than 4, they’re going to win a lot more games the second half of the season.
I do like that they continually fight to get back into all the games.
 


Go4POV

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Lest you forget (I know some of you are not old enough to have actually experienced this), Clem Haskins first 2 seasons as Gopher coach: 9th of the then 10 teams. 2-16, then 4-14.
 
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LongLiveMilesTarver

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At this point I will be shocked if Johnson is not brought back for year 4 There is a ton of potential on this roster but the only way that potential is realized is if the group stays together.

Christie, Payne and JOJ could all develop into star players in the Big Ten. Keep the bulk of the roster, add Asuma and fill in with the portal.....24-25 team could be really good.

If Johnson gets fired.....Christie, Payne and JOJ almost certainly hit the portal and once again we are starting over.

As bad as the first 2 years were....to me....we are seeing enough in year 3 to justify a year 4 and I will be surprised it that isn't what ends up happening.
Chances are some number of them are going to hit the portal regardless of who is coaching.
 


Rex

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Lest you forget (I know some of you are not old enough to have actually experienced this), Clem Haskis first 2 seasons as Gopher coach: 9th of the then 10 teams. 2-16, then 4-14.
I'm old enough to remember that Clem had coached 6 years at Western Kentucky before coming to Minnesota. Two NCAA tourney bids and a NIT appearance, 2 OVC regular season titles and 1 OVC tourney title, Coach of the year in OVC (81) & Sun Belt (86). I'm old enough to remember "Madison" and how Clem's 1st year was (IMO) a total rebuild.
But you're right, Clem's 1st 2 seasons were dismal.

 

MplsGopher

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As the season continues, if they can just find a way to turn those 8 to 12 minute stretches of bad basketball into less than 4, they’re going to win a lot more games the second half of the season.
I do like that they continually fight to get back into all the games.
I suggest people do like I do, as a non-ardent fan/follower of basketball:

forget the game is even on, and don't tune in until half-way or more through the 2nd half.


That's what I did yesterday, and I was like "Alright! Up 70-68! Nice job men!"


Completely oblivious to how terrible, apparently, the first half was.
 


Go4POV

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I'm old enough to remember that Clem had coached 6 years at Western Kentucky before coming to Minnesota. Two NCAA tourney bids and a NIT appearance, 2 OVC regular season titles and 1 OVC tourney title, Coach of the year in OVC (81) & Sun Belt (86). I'm old enough to remember "Madison" and how Clem's 1st year was (IMO) a total rebuild.
But you're right, Clem's 1st 2 seasons were dismal.

Excellent point! Even with that head coaching experience and success, he struggled initially. It is not as though Ben has zero experience, just none as head coach. in addition to be a Pitino assistant, he was an assistant at Nebraska, Northern Iowa, and Xavier. Actually, more experience in college basketball than Pitino, not that Pitino was ready — he wasn’t.
 


TNGophfan

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Excellent point! Even with that head coaching experience and success, he struggled initially. It is not as though Ben has zero experience, just none as head coach. in addition to be a Pitino assistant, he was an assistant at Nebraska, Northern Iowa, and Xavier. Actually, more experience in college basketball than Pitino, not that Pitino was ready — he wasn’t.
I'm not ardently on either side of this argument. Want to wait until season plays out. However, the Clem/Ben comparison is complete apple's and oranges. Totally different times and the recruiting and building of teams were different. Clem did not have the transfer portal to build teams quicker and/or fill in gaps to the roster. The closest thing he had to that was to recruit JC talent, i.e. Bobby Jackson, but there weren't that many quality JC's around. Clem had no choice but to do a slow build.
 

Go4POV

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I'm not ardently on either side of this argument. Want to wait until season plays out. However, the Clem/Ben comparison is complete apple's and oranges. Totally different times and the recruiting and building of teams were different. Clem did not have the transfer portal to build teams quicker and/or fill in gaps to the roster. The closest thing he had to that was to recruit JC talent, i.e. Bobby Jackson, but there weren't that many quality JC's around. Clem had no choice but to do a slow build.
I absolutely agree, and just to be clear, I am in no way suggesting a comparison between Johnson and Haskins. In fact, I have made very much the same comment you just did about the differences in eras and was mocked for doing so by the Ben haters, some of whom I suspect were not around when Clem or Dutcher coached.

Not trying to draw you into the debate. Appreciate your comments.
 

GFBfan

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I suggest people do like I do, as a non-ardent fan/follower of basketball:

forget the game is even on, and don't tune in until half-way or more through the 2nd half.


That's what I did yesterday, and I was like "Alright! Up 70-68! Nice job men!"


Completely oblivious to how terrible, apparently, the first half was.
I watched the first 5 minutes and thought we were looking good. I had to drive for awhile and decided to record the rest of the game and not listen to it on the radio. Got home and started watching just as we were going into that first half funk and couldn't believe it was the same game and players playing.
The second half was more like the first 5 minutes, even better.
Very nice win on the road .
 

MNVCGUY

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Chances are some number of them are going to hit the portal regardless of who is coaching.
True, can't take anything for granted in this current portal era where guys jump around at an insane rate.

All you can do is hope the guys see potential for something special and want to stay together as opposed to chasing something different.

The local angle plays in our favor as well with guys like Payne, JOJ, and Carrington. Christie will be the key though. He has a chance to be special and would seem like the kind of player poachers would go after. Hopefully he sticks around at Minnesota for his entire career. Sad that we have hit a point where you can't count on guys sticking around at the same college for multiple years anymore.
 

Gopher_In_NYC

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True, can't take anything for granted in this current portal era where guys jump around at an insane rate.

All you can do is hope the guys see potential for something special and want to stay together as opposed to chasing something different.

The local angle plays in our favor as well with guys like Payne, JOJ, and Carrington. Christie will be the key though. He has a chance to be special and would seem like the kind of player poachers would go after. Hopefully he sticks around at Minnesota for his entire career. Sad that we have hit a point where you can't count on guys sticking around at the same college for multiple years anymore.
I think Ben’s approach of going after high character guys will help as well.

It’s also fun to be apart of turning around a program - athletic band of brothers vibe.
 



Formerswish

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If we can go at 2-2 in the next 4, I'd be okay bringing him back.
Agreed, and I would say if they can go 3-3 in their last 6 games he is back for sure. I don't think there is much appetite at all for starting over again. One of the encouraging things here is that 2 of their wins were achieved without either Garcia or Payne-and so far, the injury-Gods are being more reasonable this year.

And if it wasn't clear how valuable Hawkins is to this team, the last part of the 1st half when he was on the bench exposed their challenges when they were pressured by Penn State's guards. Hawkins quickness and ball handling can break down any press/pressure. And I'm not sure if Hawkins is unable to shoot a mid-range jumper, but every game he gets multiple opportunities....but he doesn't shoot them.

And nobody knows what will happen these next 6 games, but it does appear that if most of these guys return next year and they can pick up another portal player or two, this has the makings of another step upward to an upper division finish in the Big Ten. I know it's hard for a lot of folks to see something being "built", but they're going to have to plug their noses and watch it happen.
 

fan of Ray Williams

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And if it wasn't clear how valuable Hawkins is to this team, the last part of the 1st half when he was on the bench exposed their challenges when they were pressured by Penn State's guards. Hawkins quickness and ball handling can break down any press/pressure.
After too much damage was done, thought Ben made a good move when he started having Garcia bring it up. As soon as I thought that, Garcia turned it over. Oh well, worked for a spell, but then they still had to try and get into their offense.
 

dbmn

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I'm old enough to remember that Clem had coached 6 years at Western Kentucky before coming to Minnesota. Two NCAA tourney bids and a NIT appearance, 2 OVC regular season titles and 1 OVC tourney title, Coach of the year in OVC (81) & Sun Belt (86). I'm old enough to remember "Madison" and how Clem's 1st year was (IMO) a total rebuild.
But you're right, Clem's 1st 2 seasons were dismal.

Yes, Clem's first 2 years were dismal, but he had already been successful head coach for 7 years with 2 NCAA appearances and 1 NIT before being hired as mn coach. CBJ was an assistant from the little Ricky coaching tree (not a huge plus for the resume) and a couple other schools and was not selected for head coach at much smaller schools than UofM, yet still hired by uofm. This year is an upgrade compared to the first 2 years with returning experienced players making a huge contribution. Since Clem 25+ years of mediocrity.
 




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