Expectations/Goals for 2021-22 Gophers

Golden_Sloth

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The only goal is for the team not to give up on Ben. It's going to be an ugly year and I'm expecting a last place Big 10 finish. I just hope Ben does not get himself into a hole he can't dig out of.
 

GopherBlood666

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MRJ

Please define bad basketball,if loosing is your definition, ok ,but I believe you can play good BB and still loose
THIS TEAM WILL PLAY GOOD BB,whether they can win enough to please you is doubtful.
Why does everyone spell lose with an extra o, IDK it just really bugs me. Don't we want them to play loose? Better than being uptight : )
 



jamiche

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I'll be pleasantly surprised if this team doesn't finish last in the B1G. I think it will go into every game in the B1G season an underdog and it will be consistently physically overmatched. It also isn't going to get calls because Johnson is a rookie HC.
My goals for the team would be two upsets at home against top half B1G teams and, as others have said, a different style of ball than we saw under Pitino. There will be some nights when it will be hard to discern a different style of ball when the team is getting crushed by Michigan or MSU. Other times it should be pretty clear what Johnson is trying to do and whether or not he is succeeding at a system/style level.
Also, it appears that Johnson is getting more comfortable with the public parts of his job, which is good.
It will be an interesting year.
 




mkAz

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My expectations are low. I’d be thrilled with 10 wins. I do want to see them playing hard on offense and defense though, and I do want to see improvement as the season progresses.
 




Spaulding!No!

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The 2000 nw team was the last to winless in the bt season. We hired a loss record contributor. That’s not how this works
 

EG#9

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The gophers have played 24 seasons since the final four run. In the time they have 3 conference records above 500, 3 conference records at 500, and 18 conference records under 500.

If they get 500 out of this miserable roster Ben Johnson will be coach of the year in the Big Ten and should receive a lifetime contract extension.
With this mindset, I don't understand why you'd ever root for the University of Minnesota. There is no reason in the world this program shouldn't be better than Wisconsin frequently as it was nearly all the time until the turn of the century much less be better than Iowa. They've given 16 YEARS to Dan Monson and Richard Pitino to coach this team. If you don't think this program has underachieved and been mismanaged at a historic level, then you are wasting your time following a lost cause. The hiring of Ben Johnson certainly doesn't insipire confidence that the leadership has improved, but maybe he's inifinitely better than his resume suggests.

This team almost certainly won't finish above .500 in conference play (like I said) but when you establish GOALS they need to be at a level of an actual accomplishment. Telling a group of competitive athletes (that includes 8 seniors) that your GOAL is to win 1/3 of your conference games or whatever would be ridiculous at the high school level, much less the highest level of college basketball.

I don't get the mindset that a last place finish, or something close to it, was inevitable. Look at the rosters of teams like Iowa and Wisconsin this year. There was plenty of talent available in the transfer market to put together a roster on that level. Ben Johnson simply failed to land and/or didn't try for said talent. Literally any poster on this site could have put together a roster that the media thinks is last in the conference. Hopefully Ben has the talent to coach this team above that prediction, but that wouldn't be worthy of praise as it's his recruiting efforts/strategy that created that prediction in the first place.
 


Holy Man

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With this mindset, I don't understand why you'd ever root for the University of Minnesota. There is no reason in the world this program shouldn't be better than Wisconsin frequently as it was nearly all the time until the turn of the century much less be better than Iowa. They've given 16 YEARS to Dan Monson and Richard Pitino to coach this team. If you don't think this program has underachieved and been mismanaged at a historic level, then you are wasting your time following a lost cause. The hiring of Ben Johnson certainly doesn't insipire confidence that the leadership has improved, but maybe he's inifinitely better than his resume suggests.

This team almost certainly won't finish above .500 in conference play (like I said) but when you establish GOALS they need to be at a level of an actual accomplishment. Telling a group of competitive athletes (that includes 8 seniors) that your GOAL is to win 1/3 of your conference games or whatever would be ridiculous at the high school level, much less the highest level of college basketball.

I don't get the mindset that a last place finish, or something close to it, was inevitable. Look at the rosters of teams like Iowa and Wisconsin this year. There was plenty of talent available in the transfer market to put together a roster on that level. Ben Johnson simply failed to land and/or didn't try for said talent. Literally any poster on this site could have put together a roster that the media thinks is last in the conference. Hopefully Ben has the talent to coach this team above that prediction, but that wouldn't be worthy of praise as it's his recruiting efforts/strategy that created that prediction in the first place.
This has been the heart of the discussion, directly or indirectly, since the roster turnover began after Ben was hired. No one knows for sure what happened. He may have taken a shot at players who could have prevented this season from being a complete disaster on the court and failed. Or, he may have made the conscious decision to bring in guys to help establish a culture with little regard to on-court success this year from the beginning. Most likely, in my opinion, is that culture was the highest priority, and he missed on some guys with more talent who could have been the culture base, thus ending up with what we have. A group of mostly low major guys who he trusts to establish the culture he wants to build.

He may have had the opportunity to bring in talent that would not be last place quality, but it may have not helped establish his culture. No one knows that for sure. For what it's worth, at this stage of the rebuild, taking chances on guys who don't fit to get us into 10th instead of last would not have been worth it, in my opinion.

I would have preferred a roster that had a chance to be more competitive, like you, but Ben went in a different direction, chosen or imposed. The jury will be out for three years or so before we determine if the strategy works long term. I was disappointed that he could not land guys that he had a previous relationship with and to me that is the biggest red flag in his execution of head coaching duties so far.

Until then, this is what we have, and success will be determined by growth, glimpses of possible future success, and culture establishment, and not wins and losses. I am not excited about this season, but I bought my season tickets, will get to as many games as I can, and look for reasons to be hopeful about the future. Analyzing how bad they are in relation to other B1G teams seems like a fruitless task for now.
 



leib0039

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Im not saying we should win 25 games this year, I know guys were gone, I know we needed a new coach, I know we had injuries and I know he was put in a tough spot. I get all of that, but reading this thread is a real downer. When we are hoping to go something like 12-20 uff that tough. I don't look forward to the apathy part of the year where I dont even want to watch a game vs a Mich/Purd simply because I dont want to see losing by 30. I see absolutely 0 way we avoid weakling Wedensday. We had one of the best 2 week stretches in recent history last year and still couldnt avoid it, I can see a team full of mid-major type players does.
 

SelectionSunday

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This has been the heart of the discussion, directly or indirectly, since the roster turnover began after Ben was hired. No one knows for sure what happened. He may have taken a shot at players who could have prevented this season from being a complete disaster on the court and failed. Or, he may have made the conscious decision to bring in guys to help establish a culture with little regard to on-court success this year from the beginning. Most likely, in my opinion, is that culture was the highest priority, and he missed on some guys with more talent who could have been the culture base, thus ending up with what we have. A group of mostly low major guys who he trusts to establish the culture he wants to build.

He may have had the opportunity to bring in talent that would not be last place quality, but it may have not helped establish his culture. No one knows that for sure. For what it's worth, at this stage of the rebuild, taking chances on guys who don't fit to get us into 10th instead of last would not have been worth it, in my opinion.

I would have preferred a roster that had a chance to be more competitive, like you, but Ben went in a different direction, chosen or imposed. The jury will be out for three years or so before we determine if the strategy works long term. I was disappointed that he could not land guys that he had a previous relationship with and to me that is the biggest red flag in his execution of head coaching duties so far.

Until then, this is what we have, and success will be determined by growth, glimpses of possible future success, and culture establishment, and not wins and losses. I am not excited about this season, but I bought my season tickets, will get to as many games as I can, and look for reasons to be hopeful about the future. Analyzing how bad they are in relation to other B1G teams seems like a fruitless task for now.
Perfectly said, Holy Man.
 


Ewert86PC

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My take:

6-4 in Non-Conference

6-14 in B1G play.

1 Win in BTT

No Heroball

The HC doesn't sit outside the TO huddle and inspect the back of his tie.
 

SanDiegoGopherFan

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This has been the heart of the discussion, directly or indirectly, since the roster turnover began after Ben was hired. No one knows for sure what happened. He may have taken a shot at players who could have prevented this season from being a complete disaster on the court and failed. Or, he may have made the conscious decision to bring in guys to help establish a culture with little regard to on-court success this year from the beginning. Most likely, in my opinion, is that culture was the highest priority, and he missed on some guys with more talent who could have been the culture base, thus ending up with what we have. A group of mostly low major guys who he trusts to establish the culture he wants to build.

He may have had the opportunity to bring in talent that would not be last place quality, but it may have not helped establish his culture. No one knows that for sure. For what it's worth, at this stage of the rebuild, taking chances on guys who don't fit to get us into 10th instead of last would not have been worth it, in my opinion.

I would have preferred a roster that had a chance to be more competitive, like you, but Ben went in a different direction, chosen or imposed. The jury will be out for three years or so before we determine if the strategy works long term. I was disappointed that he could not land guys that he had a previous relationship with and to me that is the biggest red flag in his execution of head coaching duties so far.

Until then, this is what we have, and success will be determined by growth, glimpses of possible future success, and culture establishment, and not wins and losses. I am not excited about this season, but I bought my season tickets, will get to as many games as I can, and look for reasons to be hopeful about the future. Analyzing how bad they are in relation to other B1G teams seems like a fruitless task for now.
But how is a culture “established” if most of the guys he brought in will be gone?

Is his plan to show recruits tape of this coming season and say “that’s our culture” when we lost by 30 to “insert team name”?

Ben was selling a difficult situation, playing time is not a big recruiting tool otherwise every terrible team would tell 4-5 stars we guarantee you playing time because you’re so much better than anyone here.

I dont understand why some get upset at the thought that a coach couldn’t close on solid transfers to make this season competitive.

he got a good class so far for 22. He needs to develop this roster, have most of his players play above their grade.
If he does that, it means the team will have exceeded expectations and it will be a selling point to recruits.
 

SanDiegoGopherFan

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"Goals" and "Expectations" have to be realistic, and achievable.

Fans can have all the expectations they want. But I suspect that Johnson and his staff are setting realistic goals for this team.
100%

like someone else mentioned, no coach at this level should set a “let’s win 1/3 of our games” as a goal.

I think Ben keeps it simple. Something like, the goal for this season is to get better each game, each practice. Don’t listen to the noise outside these walls. Etc etc.
 

SelectionSunday

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Kind of piggy-backing on my "expectations" theme here. These are the coaches I'm going to (most) measure Ben's progress against, similar in some ways, but for different reasons.

Shrewsberry because (like Ben) he's joining the Big Ten at same time, and also (like Ben) inheriting a bottom third Big Ten program.

Smith for obvious reasons. A Minnesota guy (like Ben) who got it done at Utah State (also did a nice job at South Dakota), and who now (like Ben) is entering his first year as a head coach at a Power 6 program (Utah). Not to mention, he was the first or second choice for quite a few of us (myself included).

Otzelberger because (like Ben) he's entering his first year at a (similar) Power 6 program (Iowa State), one just a few hours down the road off I-35, and one where there presumably will be head to head recruiting battles.

 
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Fleckoff

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The thing people have to remember is they can run a good system, but if the talent isn't there, a good swarming defense is going to make them look like they don't know what they are doing, I'm guessing will going to have few games against the upper echelon of the conference where it's going to look bad
 

SelectionSunday

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I still think 12 wins (including B1G tourney) is about right, though now 8-2 or better in non-conference appears a lot more attainable. Encouraged by what we’ve seen so far, but I agree with what Robbie Hummel said during championship game. … Gophers are one injury away at any position from disaster. Must stay healthy.
 

gophernut1

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I think once we go up against tougher competition we will get destroyed. What Willis did against Princeton will be done to us repeatedly. Our overall guard speed is slow and we have no one to defend the basket once someone gets by their man. I think 3-4 wins are achievable, but it will be a great team effort to make that happen. Ben can be the greatest coach on the planet, but unless we are lights out from 3 we won't be beating any of the big boys this year. Hope I am proven wrong. I think a 10 win season is in store and next year we see a more competitive roster via recruiting and transfers.
 
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MNVCGUY

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I still think 12 wins (including B1G tourney) is about right, though now 8-2 or better in non-conference appears a lot more attainable. Encouraged by what we’ve seen so far, but I agree with what Robbie Hummel said during championship game. … Gophers are one injury away at any position from disaster. Must stay healthy.
Yeah, this team needs to rack up whatever wins they can now because odds are guys are going to get dinged during the season and with the current depth on this roster it won't take much on the injury front to completely derail the season.

But the start has been encouraging. Hopefully over the course of the season we get a good look at the guys who will be back next year and see some development in those players. Shame that Fox and Ihnen got hurt. With them this could possibly have been a middle of the pack Big Ten team this year.
 

Lakers612

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Last I heard Fox will be back January sometime. That will provide much-needed reinforcements, as Battle is our only PF at the moment.

If we can get to January without a long-term injury (we are already half way through November!), we may actually get through this season without a health issue derailing it.

Once we get Fox back, our frontcourt depth will be better and I am not too concerned with our wing depth.

The problem is we don't have a PG on this roster behind Willis, so yeah that position is vulnerable.
 

Lion King

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The Big Ten,as usual,with very few NBA players to be in it, is highly overated. Thus,if Ben is the coach I believe he is,we will be competitive in most games an win 4 or 5 ,maybe more.
 

topos

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Last I heard Fox will be back January sometime. That will provide much-needed reinforcements, as Battle is our only PF at the moment.

If we can get to January without a long-term injury (we are already half way through November!), we may actually get through this season without a health issue derailing it.

Once we get Fox back, our frontcourt depth will be better and I am not too concerned with our wing depth.

The problem is we don't have a PG on this roster behind Willis, so yeah that position is vulnerable.
How solid is the Parker Fox intel? Can anybody say with certainty he will be back in January? Or is this wishful thinking?
 

tmvander

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How solid is the Parker Fox intel? Can anybody say with certainty he will be back in January? Or is this wishful thinking?
He tore his ACL in the spring right? Seems wishful that he would be a difference maker or be able to contribute tons of minutes right away. Play? maybe.
 

jamiche

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I hate to beat down some of the optimism and enthusiasm on the board, but this is a MN sports team. Besides the obvious deficits to the roster, no matter how swell the start to the season, success always manages to elude a starving fan base.
 

howeda7

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He tore his ACL in the spring right? Seems wishful that he would be a difference maker or be able to contribute tons of minutes right away. Play? maybe.
Not all injuries are created equal. He does seem to be pretty far ahead of the curve on his recovery.
 




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