Ben Johnson on scheduling St. Thomas as opponent: "I think we will stay away from that game"

MaxyJR1

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I'm not great at geography but aren't both Williams Arena and Schoenecker Arena located east of the Mississippi River?

Both Universities have a presence on both sides.
So it works both ways? Thanks for supporting my take.
 

Fleckoff

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I agree that this year it would not have been logical to play St Thomas, and probably next season as well. By say Year 3 though I would expect/hope the program is in a solid state that they wouldn't be apprehensive with scheduling the Tommies.

If they are "fearful" at that point of time, then there would be bigger problems likely impacting the prospects of Johnson's long term job status.
I would say year five once UST is eligible for post season play. That when we started scheduling NDSU and SDSU, no sense in scheduling them before that, there just going to be a quad four NET killer regardless.
 

BarnBurner

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Here's the deal. Johnson is building a program and trying to do it with MN kids. He is early in the process and trying to do it with the best MN kids he can get. That might be the 6th best kid in the state who is also considering St. Thomas. If they were to lose to St. Thomas, that could hurt getting that kid to assist with his foundation to the program. 5 years from now might be a different story. If we're a top 5 B1G program annually, the game is less of a issue.

St. Thomas already got two top 12 MN kids for 2022.

Johnson has the 7, 10, and 17. Johnson can't afford a loss to St. Thomas when trying to build toward the top recruits in the state.

We don't want a NDSU of Basketball across the river.
Someone is very, very afraid......
 

alchemy2u

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I’m sure st Thomas would love to be in the big east but that’s like 30 years away IF it were to happen

drake
Gonzaga
and half the Atlantic 10 would be candidates first
So then they are like 30 years away from playing the U...
 

Some guy

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So then they are like 30 years away from playing the U...
Well actually the opposite. You were weren’t playing them because you don’t want to help them along their goals….they actually present a lot bigger threat to the U of M basketball program far away from now than now. Right now, they are no threat. If they were in the big east the U of M should do everything they can to not give them any help
 



mnsportsgeek

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Wrong approach. You build attendance by winning games and being fun to watch. Not by playing wannabes and counting on their fans to boost your attendance. The games have to be a must see for YOUR fans, not the opposing fans. You increase your pre-season attendance through season ticket sales and by being the only games that more casual fans can possibly get tickets to see that year.
I literally could not roll my eyes any harder. Our fans want interesting in state and regional opponents. Not the snoozefest we have currently.

You couldn’t be more wrong about the scarcity of tickets for successful programs. Look at how easy it is to go see a home conference game at Michigan State. And they aren’t scared of playing eastern Michigan and Oakland.
 
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Gopherfan84

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I literally could not roll my eyes any harder. Our fans want interesting in state and regional opponents. Not the snoozefest we have currently.

You couldn’t be more wrong about the scarcity of tickets for successful programs. Look at how easy it is to go see a home conference game at Michigan State. And they aren’t scared of playing eastern Michigan and Oakland.
I couldn’t roll my eyes harder at this response either. You think Coyle and others don’t have a pulse on these things? Fans will show up of the team is good and wins first and foremost. Fans are going to decide to go see the U instead of the Wolves because they play NDSU or some other regional . They will go because they like the product more. Every team schedules buys games for a reason.
 




fan of Ray Williams

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A school, in it's second season of Division1, Bellarmine, no game with Louisville even though that's where they are also located.
Merrimack, in it's 3rd season and 30 minutes away from Boston College, no game yet.
Dixie State Red Storm, in their second season. No Utah or Utah State as yet.
Tarleton, in it's second season now. Did play Texas A&M in it's inaugural season, but nothing happening with the Texas schools this year.
UC-San Diego Tritons, also in their second season did play Univ of California of the PAC 12 in the opening game this year.
That's some of the recent schools that moved up to D1
 

vaporboy

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Isn't this more to do with recruiting than anything else? Their campus is around the corner and Johnson is trying to lock down the locals right? Won't some of the recruits favor the smaller, quieter campus down the road having all the same benefits of being in the Twin Cities?
 

Gopherfan84

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Isn't this more to do with recruiting than anything else? Their campus is around the corner and Johnson is trying to lock down the locals right? Won't some of the recruits favor the smaller, quieter campus down the road having all the same benefits of being in the Twin Cities?
It’s more about media and market share. Not willingly creating or giving them a pedestal. Recruiting can b q byproduct but for the most part they won’t compete for the same recruits.
 

builtbadgers

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Exactly. It is only a benefit to the small local program that gets the "shot" and publicity of playing the U. It is of very little interest for typical Gopher fans to attend verse any other non-conference game. People attend these games to see how the new recruits look or how the team has improved over the prior year, or maybe it is the only game they can get tickets to see in person.
Gopher tickets are very cheap and a ton to choose from. We have 1000's of empty seats.
 



gopherguy15

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Glad Ben is putting his foot down. Zero reason to schedule this game. Zero.

I'd bet most of you on GH that want this local non-conference game aren't even season ticket holders. So why does it make a difference to you if the Gophers continue play a mid-major from the south instead? It's not like the St Thomas NET would help the Gophers.

And you know damn well that all it takes is one upset at the Barn and the Star Tribune and Kfan are ripping the Gophers and claiming there's a new best D1 team in MN.
 

Roland Brooks

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Maybe an exhibition against Winona St again?? That killed recruiting… maybe that’s why Minnesota kids have gone else where…
 


Roland Brooks

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Winona St beat the U and it was either that same year or a year later UST beat Winona St… Tommies killing programs 13-14 years ago…
 

Roland Brooks

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Thompson and Fox were at the UST game to watch Abmas drop 38… I bet the local Gopher kids would love to play UST…
 

gopherguy15

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All I'm reading is Minnesota is too afraid to play St. Thomas. Let's go and beat Michigan, but shake in our boots because St. Thomas might steal a recruit

Unless St Thomas gets a Big East invite, I'm not worried at all about losing recruits to them.

It's about the fan-base and perception of the program... two big things that Ben is trying to increase. The problem is there seems to be less and less diehard Gopher basketball fans every year. With the professional sports teams in Minneapolis/St Paul, it's getting tougher to attract the non-diehard fans to the Barn. It's those sports fans that Ben needs to get with a consistently winning team. A better perception of the program will help with that. A random loss to a mid-major St Thomas (if we play them every year, it will happen) gets bad local media coverage for the Gophers, thus not moving the needle.

I want the Barn of the mid-90s back.

Nothing to lose for St Thomas. Plenty to lose for the Gophers.
 

Angry

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I don't believe any grown man has 24 friends. I am going to need names and Linkedin profiles to verify.
I’m serious we should start a revolution! This is unexceptionable and frankly unamerican. I have to watch basketball with the tv muted cause she doesn’t like the squeaky shoes.
 

gophereric30

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Were never gonna lose recruits we really want to St. Thomas. Why would a guy who is being recruited to play in best conference in America in some people's mind, decide he doesnt want to play in big ten and wants to play in summit. If we lose those kind of guys who would rather play in summit then I didnt want them anyway.
 

Some guy

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A school, in it's second season of Division1, Bellarmine, no game with Louisville even though that's where they are also located.
Merrimack, in it's 3rd season and 30 minutes away from Boston College, no game yet.
Dixie State Red Storm, in their second season. No Utah or Utah State as yet.
Tarleton, in it's second season now. Did play Texas A&M in it's inaugural season, but nothing happening with the Texas schools this year.
UC-San Diego Tritons, also in their second season did play Univ of California of the PAC 12 in the opening game this year.
That's some of the recent schools that moved up to D1
Dixie state is in Utah? The hell?
 


SelectionSunday

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I think once UST is eligible for the NCAA tourney they’ll be able to put together a summit league contender very quickly
Yep. They’ll be right there in 2025-26, perhaps just a smidge behind good programs like SDSU, NDSU, and ORU. Will hit the ground running when eligible for automatic bid, just like NDSU was with Ben Woodside.
 

Ope3

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Glad Ben is putting his foot down. Zero reason to schedule this game. Zero.

I'd bet most of you on GH that want this local non-conference game aren't even season ticket holders. So why does it make a difference to you if the Gophers continue play a mid-major from the south instead? It's not like the St Thomas NET would help the Gophers.

And you know damn well that all it takes is one upset at the Barn and the Star Tribune and Kfan are ripping the Gophers and claiming there's a new best D1 team in MN.
Well, yeah that's the whole point. Because I am not a season ticket holder, I would be more likely to a purchase a ticket (or buy a mini package) vs St Thomas instead of Alcorn St, Jacksonville, Ft Wayne, UM-KC et al.
 
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bizzle22

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Gopher tickets are very cheap and a ton to choose from. We have 1000's of empty seats.
And UST has almost a thousand empty seats in an arena that doesn't even seat 2000. Any notion that a game against them would help ticket sales is misguided. The only reason to play them is to throw them a bone. And last time I checked, that's not our responsibility.
 

Some guy

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And UST has almost a thousand empty seats in an arena that doesn't even seat 2000. Any notion that a game against them would help ticket sales is misguided. The only reason to play them is to throw them a bone. And last time I checked, that's not our responsibility.
If MN hosted UST in a non conference game more UST people would go to that one game than their home schedule combined
 

Bob_Loblaw

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Glad Ben is putting his foot down. Zero reason to schedule this game. Zero.

I'd bet most of you on GH that want this local non-conference game aren't even season ticket holders. So why does it make a difference to you if the Gophers continue play a mid-major from the south instead? It's not like the St Thomas NET would help the Gophers.

And you know damn well that all it takes is one upset at the Barn and the Star Tribune and Kfan are ripping the Gophers and claiming there's a new best D1 team in MN.
Because it would be fun and they're local. It's a game that matters for the precise reason you describe below.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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And UST has almost a thousand empty seats in an arena that doesn't even seat 2000. Any notion that a game against them would help ticket sales is misguided. The only reason to play them is to throw them a bone. And last time I checked, that's not our responsibility.
You would be equally interested in the UST game as you would the Corpus Christi game?
 





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