Ben Johnson to have contract extended one year?

Spaulding!No!

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I saw this last week, and my anger for this absolute joke of a program has turned more and more towards apathy in the last few years. If leadership is this inept, there's just no chance. From keeping Pitino far too long to hiring Ben Johnson, to now extending him... just WTF?

One point: The extension matters. It was just a year ago that we supposedly couldn't afford Pitino's buyout which had to be among the lowest of all power 5 coaches at just a million and change. This absolutely adds a year to when (if necessary) the University can fire Ben Johnson. On the other hand, if he succeeds, the University will raise/extend him by 2024.
How would you define a successful 2nd season for Ben and his boys.
 


ecoperson

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I saw this last week, and my anger for this absolute joke of a program has turned more and more towards apathy in the last few years. If leadership is this inept, there's just no chance. From keeping Pitino far too long to hiring Ben Johnson, to now extending him... just WTF?

One point: The extension matters. It was just a year ago that we supposedly couldn't afford Pitino's buyout which had to be among the lowest of all power 5 coaches at just a million and change. This absolutely adds a year to when (if necessary) the University can fire Ben Johnson. On the other hand, if he succeeds, the University will raise/extend him by 2024.
Did the Johnson hire disappoint so much initially that you can't objectively find anything in year one to suggest that a foundation is being raised and that this 'experiment' might just have a chance?

Let's not kid ourselves... we all know Pitino would have been fired had COVID not hit.

Johnson's contract and buyout clauses are very friendly so I don't think that they have tied themselves up in a knot.
 

GopherLady

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It's official, per U of MN press release:

Ben Johnson Contract Extended Until 2027

MINNEAPOLIS-
The University of Minnesota and head men's basketball coach Ben Johnson have agreed to a contract extension that will keep him at the helm through 2027. The extension became official today after being approved at the Board of Regents meeting.

"I'm very blessed to be the head coach at the University of Minnesota and look forward to leading this program for years to come," Johnson said. I want to thank Athletics Director Mark Coyle and President Joan Gabel for their unbelievable support as we continue to build a brand of Golden Gopher Basketball that this university and state will be proud of."

In his first season as the Gopher men's basketball coach, Johnson had the task of assembling a team from scratch when he added 10 newcomers to the group. The Golden Gophers went 13-17 last season and went 9-1 in nonconference play. Under Coach Johnson's tutelage, Minnesota won five road games last season, the first road wins since the 2019-20 campaign. He also recorded six Power 5 wins last year, including two Quad 1 wins.

Johnson notched his first Big Ten Conference win on the road when the team defeated Michigan, 75-65. It marked Minnesota's first win at Michigan since the 2010-11 season. The Gophers also won the inaugural Asheville Championship and earned a thrilling win over Pitt in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Off the court, the Golden Gophers have six individuals earn a degree this past month as the team held a 3.18 team grade point average last season.

"Ben has done a tremendous job guiding our men's basketball program," said Director of Athletics Mark Coyle. "His team plays with a tenacity and grit that should make every Gopher fan proud, and they are excelling in the classroom and the community as well. Ben is recruiting the state of Minnesota at a high level and has restored some of that magic to Williams Arena. I look forward to Ben leading our program for years to come."

Johnson, a 2005 Minnesota graduate, is set to begin his second season when the Gophers report to summer practice Monday. Welcoming the No. 43 recruiting class in his second year as head coach, the Gophers will have freshmen Braeden Carrington, Jaden Henley, Josh Ola-Joseph and Pharrel Payne join the team as well as transfers Dawson Garcia, Ta'Lon Cooper and Taurus Samuels and six returners.
 



AO54

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It's always odd when I see people talking about exceeding expectations on here. Well if you recruit the worst roster in the Big Ten, the expectations for that group are going to be pretty low. I'd hope that the expectation is that you can put together a better roster in the first place. It seems year 2 will be an improvement in that regard, and this deal is pretty cheap, so we'll see how it goes.
 

ecoperson

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It's always odd when I see people talking about exceeding expectations on here. Well if you recruit the worst roster in the Big Ten, the expectations for that group are going to be pretty low. I'd hope that the expectation is that you can put together a better roster in the first place. It seems year 2 will be an improvement in that regard, and this deal is pretty cheap, so we'll see how it goes.
Did you expect a first year head coach without a blue blood or NBA pedigree in Johnson to get a bunch of 4 and 5 stars to sign on the dotted line within a couple months of getting the job? Those are unreasonable expectations.

Once this hire was made, many fans reduced their expectations in the short term understanding that this was now a tear down, design-build construction project and we were working with a first time contractor. Not an ideal set of circumstances but it is the path that Coyle picked so we need to let it play out.

Johnson began laying the footings for the foundation in year one by establishing his vision for the identify of the team. He successfully developed a cohesive team-first group out of a bunch of mid-major parts whose sum was greater than their parts. He quickly strengthening relationships with recruits in record time resulting in 4 solid high school recruits including 3 from the local area.

My expectations have risen this year. Johnson has had a year of seasoning, he will have a more talented (and deeper!) roster, and he has been working both the local and national recruiting scenes. I expect that he should have a solid foundation completed by the end of year two and fans should expect progress towards framing up the structure so we can begin to assess the quality of the build.
 

Dakota2

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How would you define a successful 2nd season for Ben and his boys.
A few more conference wins, competitive games with better teams, strong defensive effort, and significant improvement in rebounding.
 

Dakota2

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It's always odd when I see people talking about exceeding expectations on here. Well if you recruit the worst roster in the Big Ten, the expectations for that group are going to be pretty low. I'd hope that the expectation is that you can put together a better roster in the first place. It seems year 2 will be an improvement in that regard, and this deal is pretty cheap, so we'll see how it goes.
You do not recruit the portal. There is no time. You offer players and have a limited opportunity to discuss useage envisioned and playing time. Players decide if they can get a spot in a stronger program or not. Good transfers want a high profile coach and a tournament team.

Minnesota is not currently a desireable destination for top transfers. Ben has done very well to get Willis, Battle, Fox, and Garcia through circumstances.

The program will be primarily rebuilt through high school recruiting. That is why Coyle offered the extension. He knows Johnson will be here at least five years.
 



Bob_Loblaw

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You do not recruit the portal. There is no time. You offer players and have a limited opportunity to discuss useage envisioned and playing time. Players decide if they can get a spot in a stronger program or not. Good transfers want a high profile coach and a tournament team.

Minnesota is not currently a desireable destination for top transfers. Ben has done very well to get Willis, Battle, Fox, and Garcia through circumstances.

The program will be primarily rebuilt through high school recruiting. That is why Coyle offered the extension. He knows Johnson will be here at least five years.
I disagree and it's not all about the star players.

Identifying talent, offering players and selling them on your vision is recruiting. It might be a bit more rapid but BJ certainly recruited players from the portal this year.
 



Dakota2

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I disagree and it's not all about the star players.

Identifying talent, offering players and selling them on your vision is recruiting. It might be a bit more rapid but BJ certainly recruited players from the portal this year.
You recruit high school players by developing relationships with players, their families, and their coaches over a long period of time.

You offer portal players and they make a decision on whether they can get offered to a better program or not. Since we currently are not a good program, top players will pass.

Johnson was hired primarily to be a high school recruiter and to make steady progress.
 



Bob_Loblaw

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You recruit high school players by developing relationships with players, their families, and their coaches over a long period of time.

You offer portal players and they make a decision on whether they can get offered to a better program or not. Since we currently are not a good program, top players will pass.

Johnson was hired primarily to be a high school recruiter and to make steady progress.
Not always. There are last minute offers. Yep, the top players out of HS will pass on us too, it's still recruiting.

Cooper had opportunities at better programs than the U, he chose us. Garcia had opportunities at better programs. Fox had opportunities at better programs. Ben Johnson won those recruiting battles. You can try to call it something else but it's recruiting.

Johnson was hired to win basketball games. If we win next year because we are carried by Garcia, Battle, Fox, and Cooper - - Ben Johnson should get a ton of kudos. He would be successful doing his job (winning games) even if the cause of that success is recruiting from the portal.

We can all bury our head in the sand and pretend the portal isn't there but for now it's part of building a roster and players from the portal will make up the core of our team next season.
 

Dakota2

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Not always. There are last minute offers. Yep, the top players out of HS will pass on us too, it's still recruiting.

Cooper had opportunities at better programs than the U, he chose us. Garcia had opportunities at better programs. Fox had opportunities at better programs. Ben Johnson won those recruiting battles. You can try to call it something else but it's recruiting.

Johnson was hired to win basketball games. If we win next year because we are carried by Garcia, Battle, Fox, and Cooper - - Ben Johnson should get a ton of kudos. He would be successful doing his job (winning games) even if the cause of that success is recruiting from the portal.

We can all bury our head in the sand and pretend the portal isn't there but for now it's part of building a roster and players from the portal will make up the core of our team next season.
Yup, after thousands of posts about the portal you conclude " we can all bury our head in the sand and pretend the portal isn't there". Really?

Obviously whatever success we have this year will be largely due to portal transfers ... his first recruiting class hasn't suited up for a game yet. It's a 3-5 year process to build the program with recruits. Ben has a much higher potential as a high school recruiter than working the portal.

Recruits are sold on the longer term development of the program. Transfers are interested in the coming season.
 

BarnBurner

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Did the Johnson hire disappoint so much initially that you can't objectively find anything in year one to suggest that a foundation is being raised and that this 'experiment' might just have a chance?

Let's not kid ourselves... we all know Pitino would have been fired had COVID not hit.

Johnson's contract and buyout clauses are very friendly so I don't think that they have tied themselves up in a knot.
More excuses for Coyle.
 


short ornery norwegian

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Bob & Dakota - there is a middle ground.

in today's world, you need HS recruits and you are going to need players from the portal - either grad transfers or underclass portal transfers.

I grew up in a time when there were no transfers. your entire roster was HS kids and they stayed 4 years. Of course, that was back in the 60's. Shoot, I am so old I remember when true Freshmen were ineligible to play in college.

now, we have 1-and-dones, multiple players jumping to the pros after 1 or 2 seasons, underclass transfers with immediate eligibility, grad transfers, etc. it's a whole new world.

so, even with the best of intentions, I don't think you can expect any program to survive on the old model of HS recruits who all stay 3 or 4 years. There is going to be a lot more roster churn, and coaches (and fans) will have to adjust.

sure, you want and need a core of HS recruits. But, I think there are going to be transfers and portal players coming and going every season. and coaches will need to manage the new era of roster construction to be successful.
 

SelectionSunday

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How would you define a successful 2nd season for Ben and his boys.
You're not asking me, but I'll bite.

1 Start protecting the home court in a reasonable manner. Let's set 7-3 in the Big Ten as a baseline. Good teams aren't a .500 (at best) at home proposition.

2 Avoid Weakling Wednesday (finish no lower than 10th). The Big Ten looks a lot more wide open next season. I don't see a clear favorite. Let's take advantage of that and make some hay.

The first step is separating yourself from the basement dwellers. Let's start by parting company from the Nebraskas, Northwesterns, and Penn States of the Big Ten world. That's not a place you want to be hanging out, though in fairness I think the Nittany Lions are headed the right way under Micah Shrewsberry.
 

ecoperson

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You're not asking me, but I'll bite.

1 Start protecting the home court in a reasonable manner. Let's set 7-3 in the Big Ten as a baseline. Good teams aren't a .500 (at best) at home proposition.

2 Avoid Weakling Wednesday (finish no lower than 10th). The Big Ten looks a lot more wide open next season. I don't see a clear favorite. Let's take advantage of that and make some hay.

The first step is separating yourself from the basement dwellers. Let's start by parting company from the Nebraskas, Northwesterns, and Penn States of the Big Ten world. That's not a place you want to be hanging out, though in fairness I think the Nittany Lions are headed the right way under Micah Shrewsberry.
Reminds me of Clem's philosophy... win them all at home and try to sneak some away wins. 7-3 at home would likely have them flirting with 10-10 in conference. Seems a little aspirational but I would love to see it!

The one thing that I will add is that the NE, NW, and PSUs of the world are also wanting to part company with the likes of Minnesota! No team at the bottom is fine being there so each team is doing everything in their power to improve. Moving up in the world is a challenge because not only do you need to improve but you also need to improve MORE than other teams that are your comps!
 

SelectionSunday

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Reminds me of Clem's philosophy... win them all at home and try to sneak some away wins. 7-3 at home would likely have them flirting with 10-10 in conference. Seems a little aspirational but I would love to see it!

The one thing that I will add is that the NE, NW, and PSUs of the world are also wanting to part company with the likes of Minnesota! No team at the bottom is fine being there so each team is doing everything in their power to improve. Moving up in the world is a challenge because not only do you need to improve but you also need to improve MORE than other teams that are your comps!
100% agree. People tend to forget that.
 

Dakota2

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Bob & Dakota - there is a middle ground.

in today's world, you need HS recruits and you are going to need players from the portal - either grad transfers or underclass portal transfers.

I grew up in a time when there were no transfers. your entire roster was HS kids and they stayed 4 years. Of course, that was back in the 60's. Shoot, I am so old I remember when true Freshmen were ineligible to play in college.

now, we have 1-and-dones, multiple players jumping to the pros after 1 or 2 seasons, underclass transfers with immediate eligibility, grad transfers, etc. it's a whole new world.

so, even with the best of intentions, I don't think you can expect any program to survive on the old model of HS recruits who all stay 3 or 4 years. There is going to be a lot more roster churn, and coaches (and fans) will have to adjust.

sure, you want and need a core of HS recruits. But, I think there are going to be transfers and portal players coming and going every season. and coaches will need to manage the new era of roster construction to be successful.
Don't disagree with anything you say. However, the title of this thread pertains to Johnson's contract extension, not the transfer portal.

My contention is simply that Ben was hired because of a perceived skill at high school recruiting, especially his knowledge of local kids, their coaches, and their off-season coaches. I am quite sure Coyle did not envision that a first-year head coach would pull top portal players into a terrible program. Really good portal players want an immediate opportunity to play on a winner and a tournament team. They don't transfer to help a down program rebuild.

But Coyle does expect that Ben will recruit successively better high school classes, most of whom will stay with the program and help build a winner. As that plan develops the need for one-year transfers will diminish. As the need diminishes, our chances of attracting good ones will increase because we will soon be a tournament team.

Building steadily through high school recruiting is the plan and Ben's strength. Thus the early contract extension.
 









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