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


bizzle22

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I thought competition breeds greatness. We should want to spotlight UST and get more quality basketball players in the state. UST should be more worried about the U poaching their best players, but somehow the U is the one who doesn't have anything to gain? We played Concordia St. Paul this season in exhibition, was that a bad idea? For those of you that say go buy a ticket to a UST game, you must have much more time on your hands than most. I have time to follow the Gophers and that's about all I care to focus my energy towards sports. UST has local players on their team that would be fun to watch against the Gophers, I thought this board was all about local, local, local!!!!
This is the part I was replying to. Didn’t say you weren’t on topic, just that the focus is on the Gophers
 

oak_street1981

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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.
A lot of us that went to St. Thomas would probably show up at Williams Arena or even at the Xcel Energy Center if UST could schedule a name team, just for the novelty factor. Most of us would not bother to watch a Summit game in the on campus gym though.

I talked to an an old classmate that eagerly talked of buying four season tickets or the on campus games this year. I just smiled and said that was great.

How St. Thomas, with a non-upgraded top of the MIAC roster (they pretty much look the same) has managed to be a .500 DI team surprises me. I guess the lower rungs of D1 basketball are very low.

Iowa seems to find a reason to play Drake and UNI, some years at least, even on the road, and I am not sure that helps them much either. Playing pre-Big EAst DePaul , Creighton or Marquette would have been much better for them but they still played those games. (and lost a few)
 

Gopherfan84

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100% agree. I’d play the first couple in a neutral site game at Sanford/Fiserv or something like that, but not here

I think I probably have a little bias from my MIAC playing days (different sport) when UST was an opponent, and I think you probably have a little bias as well being an alum. Agree to disagree on my end
Many folks will not get or understand Ben and Coyle’s decision no matter how well you explain it.
 



alchemy2u

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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
What? The U should not give them any help now to assist them in building up into the big east. nip it in the bud and keep them at their place in the pecking order.
 

alchemy2u

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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.
BS, no you wouldn't. So how many Winona State or Concordia games at the U have you bought tickets for?
 


Some guy

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What? The U should not give them any help now to assist them in building up into the big east. nip it in the bud and keep them at their place in the pecking order.
If UST can make the big east some day. Their relationship with the U of M will have 0% to do with it either way
 



alchemy2u

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I don't believe anyone really feels the same about UST as they do Corpus Christi. It's just not possible. I could understand (but I'd disagree) with someone saying that they'd have more interest in UST but they would be worried that interest would breath life into UST and create competition. But to say they have just as little interest in UST as they would Corpus Christi. . .that's bizarre.
So what is it with UST that you assume attracts all of the intense fans interest?

I graduated from UST and still see no difference in them over Corpus Christi. I go to see the Gophers. Most people have no clue who is playing for UST, so there is very little local interest.

To me, the ones who are advocating so strongly for the Gophers to play UST seem to be the same ones who were so willing to attack the Gophers in the past for things like coaching hires and such. My gut just tells me that they are just secretly hoping that UST can pull off a win just to add some fuel to the fire.
 

alchemy2u

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No you said they are the same in your level of interest. Which is not true. You actively think they should avoid scheduling UST. You have a completely different level of interest in UST compared to other cupcakes. There probably isn’t another non power 6 team in the country you think the gophers should avoid


You said Corpus Christi is no different than UST to you.
quit being such an jerk.... You know exactly what he meant. To him and others, playing UST is not a more attractive opponent than playing another small school such as CC. People were saying it was obviously a more attractive opponent and it would sell many more tickets, bizzle just said he didn't think there was a difference. His not wanting to help UST by playing them was not a factor in the original question. You can circle around with all of the semantics that you want, but you knew exactly what he was saying.
 

Some guy

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quit being such an jerk.... You know exactly what he meant. To him and others, playing UST is not a more attractive opponent than playing another small school such as CC. People were saying it was obviously a more attractive opponent and it would sell many more tickets, bizzle just said he didn't think there was a difference. His not wanting to help UST by playing them was not a factor in the original question. You can circle around with all of the semantics that you want, but you knew exactly what he was saying.
No he said he had no interest difference. He clearly does have a large difference in his opinion of the two schools if he actively doesn’t want the U of schedule one of them. That isn’t semantics. It’s reality. Sorry if you don’t like that.

For instance, I don’t want the gopher football team to schedule NDSU because I think it is bad for the program. I would rather the team schedule someone like Indiana state or Villanova. So I feel differently about NDSU than I do about other FCS programs.
 

alchemy2u

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I thought competition breeds greatness. We should want to spotlight UST and get more quality basketball players in the state. UST should be more worried about the U poaching their best players, but somehow the U is the one who doesn't have anything to gain? We played Concordia St. Paul this season in exhibition, was that a bad idea? For those of you that say go buy a ticket to a UST game, you must have much more time on your hands than most. I have time to follow the Gophers and that's about all I care to focus my energy towards sports. UST has local players on their team that would be fun to watch against the Gophers, I thought this board was all about local, local, local!!!!
The whole point is there is currently NO competition between the U and UST! The U is quantum levels above UST in the pecking order. UST would love to be considered in the same breath as the U and needs all of the help it can get to accomplish that. The U is not afraid of UST and has no interest in helping breed them into a competitive team.
 



Some guy

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The whole point is there is currently NO competition between the U and UST! The U is quantum levels above UST in the pecking order. UST would love to be considered in the same breath as the U and needs all of the help it can get to accomplish that. The U is not afraid of UST and has no interest in helping breed them into a competitive team.
Yeah. I agree with that. If the U of M thinks UST could be in the big east in 20 years…they should NOT schedule them.

I personally don’t think UST will ever be higher than maybe the Missouri valley or Atlantic 10…so I don’t think the U of M hurts themselves at all by scheduling the game.
 

alchemy2u

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Comparing an exhibition game to a regular season game isn’t a really good comparison
It is a local team playing with local players and they keep time and track of the score.

I am just pointing out that you currently have an opportunity to see local schools with local talent play the U. So if that hasn't caused you to buy tickets then it is not credible to say it will for UST.
 

alchemy2u

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No he said he had no interest difference. He clearly does have a large difference in his opinion of the two schools if he actively doesn’t want the U of schedule one of them. That isn’t semantics. It’s reality. Sorry if you don’t like that.

For instance, I don’t want the gopher football team to schedule NDSU because I think it is bad for the program. I would rather the team schedule someone like Indiana state or Villanova. So I feel differently about NDSU than I do about other FCS programs.
Yes, but the original premise was that UST would be a much more attractive game and he said it would be the same as CC. (he did say no difference, but that was in reference to attractiveness, not unattractiveness).
 

Some guy

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Yes, but the original premise was that UST would be a much more attractive game and he said it would be the same as CC. (he did say no difference, but that was in reference to attractiveness, not unattractiveness).
No difference in attractiveness literally isn’t true though. He finds st Thomas less attractive
 

Ope3

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BS, no you wouldn't. So how many Winona State or Concordia games at the U have you bought tickets for?
I've bought Gopher tix to both of those schools, UMD & Southwest St too, even though they were exhibitions.

The Concordia (St Paul) game was an exempt Tournament (2008) the Gophers were hosting. Got to see Bowling Green take on Georgia St as a bonus! At tip off I did a headcount, I think it was less than 250 in the Barn, no exaggeration.
 
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alchemy2u

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Yeah. I agree with that. If the U of M thinks UST could be in the big east in 20 years…they should NOT schedule them.

I personally don’t think UST will ever be higher than maybe the Missouri valley or Atlantic 10…so I don’t think the U of M hurts themselves at all by scheduling the game.
It doesn't really matter where we think they will be... UST's goal is to be in the big east so we should treat them as such.
 

Some guy

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It doesn't really matter where we think they will be... UST's goal is to be in the big east so we should treat them as such.
I’m connected at UST and I am going to disagree with the premise that their goal is the big east

Saying it doesn’t make it true.


I get why people don’t want to play UST and don’t fault them for thinking it.
 

Ope3

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It is a local team playing with local players and they keep time and track of the score.

I am just pointing out that you currently have an opportunity to see local schools with local talent play the U. So if that hasn't caused you to buy tickets then it is not credible to say it will for UST.
There is a big difference in the Exhibition games. It doesn't count towards RPI, Net or NCAA Tournament eligibility. Usually the Gophers just want to work out kinks with the starters, give the bench some run, break a sweat and not get hurt. It's noticably a glorified scrimmage. That Winona St game was an exception, they were good, felt like a "real" game.

The 2008 Concordia game was an anomaly. They couldn't find a 4th D1 team for the tournament they were hosting so the Golden Bears were enlisted. It counted towards the regular season record, but not the NCAA resume.

From memory, I don't think the pep band/cheer squad are there either for most exhibitions. Maybe they use it as practice too.
 

Ope3

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So what is it with UST that you assume attracts all of the intense fans interest?

I graduated from UST and still see no difference in them over Corpus Christi. I go to see the Gophers. Most people have no clue who is playing for UST, so there is very little local interest.

To me, the ones who are advocating so strongly for the Gophers to play UST seem to be the same ones who were so willing to attack the Gophers in the past for things like coaching hires and such. My gut just tells me that they are just secretly hoping that UST can pull off a win just to add some fuel to the fire.
I can't speak for the others but your gut narrative of advocates secretly hoping UST pulls off the upset is a huge reach. If the Gophers played them I would want to pound them way beyond double digits. Also, I have never said squat with regards to being critical of the Johnson hire.

Intrastate/city collegiate matchups/rivalry look fun. It will never be like Philadelphia with their Big Five, but it could at least be something.

I'm not even pushing for an annual matchup. Should at least play a few times per decade so that presumably a 4 year player at least gets a crack at each other.

It would be a fun event.
 

Ope3

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I’m connected at UST and I am going to disagree with the premise that their goal is the big east
From your perspective is there any long term objective for UST? My sense is that this D1 Summit thing was thrust upon them by the MIAC, this was the best among perhaps unattractive options.

In today's NCAA landscape with NIL, transfer portals, conference realignments trying to project 20 or even 10 years into the future would appear foolhardy. Have see how this major step goes before reevaluating to another giant leap.
 

Roland Brooks

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They will play someday. I actually think neither team is quite ready especially where each program is right now..

Coyle and the UST coach know each other well. Thorson and the UST coach are friends… the relationships are there too make it happen if desired hopefully my/the Gophers don’t wuss out
 

Some guy

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From your perspective is there any long term objective for UST? My sense is that this D1 Summit thing was thrust upon them by the MIAC, this was the best among perhaps unattractive options.

In today's NCAA landscape with NIL, transfer portals, conference realignments trying to project 20 or even 10 years into the future would appear foolhardy. Have see how this major step goes before reevaluating to another giant leap.
They want to be a Drake/Creighton/butler type school from a national profile kind of perspective

Rather than being a Minnesota university they want to be a Midwest university that is nationally known. The move to D1 sports is less about some desire to be big east basketball or Missouri valley football and more about raising the overall national profile of the university.


They would love to make a sweet 16 run in basketball because of how many people would learn where UST is.
I don’t think they have the athletic donor base to try to “make a push” to be a big east school: though if the big east came calling no doubt they’d take it.
The summit league is a better fit for almost every other sport than the big east would be. Though I think they’d prefer Missouri valley to summit.

I think years from now their ideal (and realistic) situation would be:
Pioneer football
Atlantic 10 basketball only
Summit everything else

but I don’t even know if an A10 basketball only affiliation is a realIstic goal
 

short ornery norwegian

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IF the Gophers played UST now, two possible outcomes:

Gophers win the game. Media and fans say "you're supposed to win that game, and should have won by a bigger margin."

Gophers lose the Game. Media and fans savage the Gophers for losing to a "lesser" opponent. A guy like Barreiro, who almost never mentions Gopher hoops, would do a 20-minute monologue on how embarrassing it is for the Gophers to lose to UST.

Neither outcome is good for the Gopher team - at this time!

Sure, playing UST might bring in a few more fans and some minor extra revenue, but at this point, the downside outweighs the upside.
 

Some guy

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IF the Gophers played UST now, two possible outcomes:

Gophers win the game. Media and fans say "you're supposed to win that game, and should have won by a bigger margin."

Gophers lose the Game. Media and fans savage the Gophers for losing to a "lesser" opponent. A guy like Barreiro, who almost never mentions Gopher hoops, would do a 20-minute monologue on how embarrassing it is for the Gophers to lose to UST.

Neither outcome is good for the Gopher team - at this time!

Sure, playing UST might bring in a few more fans and some minor extra revenue, but at this point, the downside outweighs the upside.
How is that different than playing Missouri Kansas City? Just curious

and Dan B talks gophers hoops a bit every week. Not sure the last time you listened but I listen very little and he has talked gopher hoops at least once a week every week since December began. And that’s just on my short commute home
 

Chicago Gophers

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If St Thomas can improve their program and become a mid-major or a Big East team, this is a chance to improve the college basketball scene in Minnesota which is sorely lacking.

Pretty sure Wyoming (1943) was the last NCAA Champion from a state with only one D1 basketball team, so if anyone was thinking that being the only team in the state was an advantage...
 

Spottedmuskie

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If you want to see them play then go buy a ticket for a UST game. They are cheap and plenty of seats available.
Eh, bit of a drive for me. I'm more interested in their recruits for next year
 

Spottedmuskie

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Kendall Blue looks huge this season, Ben should have offered. Can he not shoot the long ball?
 




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