Gopher 2018-2019 Lineup Thoughts

bball_craz_31

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Now that the season is over and we have a quick time to reflect on the season, I think they really exceeded expectations. My hope is that we don’t follow the same direction after Stollings’ first NCAA tournament where they went to WNIT then nothing. I think the biggest question going into next year is who will be able to fill the massive shoes of Carlie Wagner. Looking at the next year’s roster and incoming freshman and barring injuries or a player really taking a massive step forward, here are the 3 most likely options (based off my opinion) they could go with.

1.
Forward: Taiye Bello
Guard: Destiny Pitts
Guard: Gadiva Hubbard
Guard: Kenisha Bell
Guard: Jasmine Brunson
-the thinking here is Brunson takes over the PG role and the team can continue the 4 guard preference. However Taiye’s foul issues and Brunson’s limited scoring, I don’t know how well this will go.

2.
Forward: 6’2 Freshman Delaynie Byrne
Forward: Taiye Bello
Guard: Destiny Pitts
Guard: Gadiva Hubbard
Guard: Kenisha Bell
-with this lineup gophers could go with a more traditional type of lineup with two posts. Neither would be really a center, two posts could help with rebounding. Downfall would be 3-point shooting with solely on the shoulders of Hubbard and Pitts. Although Byrne is said to have 3-point capability.

3.
Forward: Taiye Bello
Guard: Destiny Pitts
Guard: Gadiva Hubbard
Guard: Freshman 5’9 Guard Jaidah Stewart
Guard: Kenisha Bell
-This is another option of 4 guard lineup, going with the freshman guard coming in with the best reported 3-point ability. I feel the difference between Brunson and one of the freshman guards, it comes down to experience (Brunson) vs possible higher ceiling and more scoring (Stewart)

I am very upfront I really don’t know where Lamke, Kaposi, Garrido-Perez, K.Bello, Juco Transfer Houlfat Mahouchiza, or freshman guard from California Lesila Finau fit into the mix. I understand injuries and transfers could happen, but right now I think the only 3 guarantees is Hubbard/Pitts/Bell. I see freshman Byrne and Stewart getting good minutes and I feel if Brunson was ever going to jump into consistent role, this would be her time. Frankly Taiye wins the award of only post player who played any significant minutes this last year that is still on the team so not hard to picture her jumping into starting role. However I feel her foul amount and finishing ability need to take a step forward for her to be as effective as I think she can be for the team.

any thoughts? A different lineup you think they could go with?
 

Ski U Mah Gopher

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It would be nice to get a grad transfer or JUCO big. I see any lineup that the Gophers throw out woefully inadequate inside right now.
 

bball_craz_31

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Well the Juco Mahouchiza is a forward. Although the history of Jucos just riding the bench doesn't give me much hope. My preferred lineup with be with both Taiye/Byrne in there. Hopefully two 6'2 forwards and guards like Pitts/Bell could be serviceable on the rebounding end of the floor. I feel on defense it will probably fall on guard pressure to try and stop it from getting into the opposing team's post.

It would be nice to get a grad transfer or JUCO big. I see any lineup that the Gophers throw out woefully inadequate inside right now.
 

Shades

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I feel bad for Brunson, but I think they should consider a 3 guard system in light of how the Gophers got destroyed on the boards in both their NCAA tournament games. I think it was 42-21 in the Oregon game.

Of course until we know just how good the newcomers are it’s hard to decide anything for sure. No way I thought Pitts would contribute as much as she did this year.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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My mid-March guess:

Post: Taiye Bello/Delaynie Byrne (it's an open battle)

Guard: Lesila Finau
Guard: Destiny Pitts
Guard: Gadiva Hubbard
Guard: Kenisha Bell


I'm thinking Stewart will be first off the bench and then Brunson. Jasmine needs to step up her overall game (I think she can; but her limited playing time in a guard driven offense was telling).

Taiye needs to develop elbow and short corner jumpers. And it wouldn't hurt if she got some big man camp instruction. I think she's close to being an really effective inside player; but then I once thought that about the Buckeyes Alexa Hart. More important, with Edwards and Fernstrom gone we can't even pretend to have a true post player. It's a good thing that Taiye can leap.
 


tripledouble

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I'm thinking that Brunson will be in the starting lineup, at least to start the year. But she's going to have to step up her offensive game in order to retain that spot. Bello will almost surely start and I'm thinking she has a chance to be fairly effective, even at the post position. I think she'll shed some of her foul-proneness once she gets a specific role, whether it's post or forward. And yes, it would behoove her to work on some short jumpers in the off season. She showed that a bit this season, but not much. As others have pointed out, it's hard to tell what the newcomers will bring. In looking at numbers and just some short video clips, it looks like Finau should be able to get some PT at the guard spot. And I'm hoping that Pitts has just scratched the surface with her abilities. I'd like to see her get more muscle and I'd like to see her be able to put the ball on the floor and get to the hoop more often next year. She's a really solid outside shooter, but I still think she has the potential to improve her game into an all-conference player.
 

samloupete

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PG - Bell
SG - Hubbard
SF - Pitts
PF. - Mahouchiza
C - Bello
 

longtermfan

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Wide open opportunity for all of the four newcomers. Also for Kaposi, Perez or the Bello twin if any of them can step it up. Brunson might actually be the quickest player on the team if she could learn to shoot. She needs to take about 500 shots per day over this summer. We have four good players to start with but need four more to step up. Eight months or so to get ready.
 





thatjanelpick

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Bell just tweeting that she should have stayed where she was does not sound good.
 


thatjanelpick

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Did she take it down? Not seeing it.

Looks like she did. She had posted it around 5 p.m. April 7. Should have screen-grabbed it. It said, essentially, "Should have stayed where I was. The grass is not always greener." I really hope she stays!
 



Ski U Mah Gopher

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Looks like she did. She had posted it around 5 p.m. April 7. Should have screen-grabbed it. It said, essentially, "Should have stayed where I was. The grass is not always greener." I really hope she stays!

The new coach will have to convince her to stay.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

overpass

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Looks like she did. She had posted it around 5 p.m. April 7. Should have screen-grabbed it. It said, essentially, "Should have stayed where I was. The grass is not always greener." I really hope she stays!

She does have one up now that it’s every man for themselves. I’m going to take that as Stollings has accepted the job.
 


Shades

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Looks like she did. She had posted it around 5 p.m. April 7. Should have screen-grabbed it. It said, essentially, "Should have stayed where I was. The grass is not always greener." I really hope she stays!

I find it very hard to believe Bell came here just for Stollings. Homesick is usually a component for those coming back to Minnesota.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Remember this thread?

The current roster stands at 14:

23 Bell, Kenisha
20 Bello, Kehinde
5 Bello, Taiye
21 Brunson, Jasmine
31 Garrido Perez, Irene
34 Hubbard, Gadiva
25 Kaposi, Palma
41 Lamke, Annalese
3 Pitts, Destiny

Delaynie Byrne
Lesila Finau
Houlfat "Happy" Mahouchiza
Jaidah Stewart
Mercedes Staples
 

samloupete

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I am really liking the look of this roster. I think Byrne and Mahouchiza are really going to add to the front court in a far more athletic way. The backcourt of Staples, Bell , Pitts and Hubbard are top notch. Could be a really good team!!
 

Shades

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Bell(RS-SR)/Brunson(JR)/Staples(FR)
Hubbard(JR)/Finau(FR)/Stewart(FR)
Pitts(SO)/Perez(SR)
Mahouchiza(JR)/Byrne(FR)/Kaposi(SR)
TBello(JR)/Lamke(SR)/KBello(JR)


Wasn’t sure what position Mahouchiza would play.
She’s gotten the least hype.

I suppose since the bulk of the presumed talent is once again at guard, it’s possible Pitts could play the bulk of minutes at PF, so maybe Finau, Staples, or Stewart could end up being a starter, whoever turns out to be the best. Stollings lives on!

Then for 2019-2020
Grace Cumming (Stollings)
Sara Scalia (Whalen)


Should we have a contest for naming Whalen’s first transfer out?
 

longtermfan

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Bell(RS-SR)/Brunson(JR)/Staples(FR)
Hubbard(JR)/Finau(FR)/Stewart(FR)
Pitts(SO)/Perez(SR)
Byrne(FR)/Mahouchiza(FR)/Kaposi(SR)
TBello(JR)/Lamke(SR)/KBello(JR)


Wasn’t sure what position Mahouchiza would play.
She’s gotten the least hype.

Then for 2019-2020
Grace Cumming (Stollings)
Sara Scalia (Whalen)


Should we have a contest for naming Whalen’s first transfer out?

This lineup has a good chance to be better than last year in spite of losing Carlie. Also, three of the four seniors are the players with the least playing time so we have room to keep improving after this year. Also, believe Mahouchiza will be a junior.
 


samloupete

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The game is transitioning. You can see it at every level. The three point shot is taking precedent. If you have several really good 3 point shooters your team will likely do well. You do still need a couple of good interior players who can at the very least play defense and rebound. But it does look like the Gophers will have a rotation of at least 10 players that will be of reasonably equal basketball talent. And that does bode well for Lindsay’s team!
 

tripledouble

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Some random thoughts. I like the way this roster is taking shape. I have no problem with a 4-guard lineup, as long as all the guards can shoot the 3 and some of them can get to the hoop and are willing to do that. Obviously, Bell has already proven that she can get to the hoop and is difficult to stop in that regard. Hubbard will do the same. Also, our guards are not small, and Hubbard, Bell, and Pitts have also proven that they can grab some rebounds. My biggest concern in losing Wagner is not her points. We can replace those and we can replace the defense. I'm more concerned about losing the rebounds, the leadership, and the ability to drive to the hoop. And as for offensive style, I loved Stollings' up-tempo style (almost as much as I was exasperated by her defense or lack of it) . Although I would have preferred for Stollings to make better use of her posts, in fairness to Stollings, she had a couple of posts who really weren't athletic enough to fit the team's offense. It will be interesting to see how Whalen's offense differs from Stollings. I expect Whalen's teams to make better use of the post, especially with some pick and roll plays. As Whalen inherits an all-conference PG and All-American mention in Bell, it's probably not a good time to change the up-tempo style the team used last year. And I don't expect Whalen to change the tempo. And, as previous posts have correctly mentioned, the game is transitioning and we're seeing a lot more 3- or 4 guard offenses and a lot more 3-point shooting. I'm reminded of this every time I watch the Houston Rockets or the Golden State Warriors. We used to always hear the warning, "Live by the 3; Die by the 3", but we're not hearing that as much any more, as long as players can also get to the hoop when the 3's aren't falling.

One other note. It seems that last year's players have bought in to the idea of Whalen as their coach. We've yet to hear of any transfers resulting from the coaching change. I think that the players deserve some credit for that. This appeared to be a cohesive unit last year that came together as the season progressed. Most importantly, the team's bench players (many of whom didn't get a lot of playing time) seemed to be good teammates. And maybe also some credit to Stollings. Last summer, a lot of BIG teams lost key transfers (Maryland, OSU, and Iowa included). The Gophers lost Sue Key during the season last year and Paloma Gonzales (sp?) during the past season, but, other than that, the roster has remained in place during a time when transfers are the rule and no longer an exception.
 

bball_craz_31

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Ok here is where I don't have the worries about this many guards. Gophers have a lot of position-less players or multiple position type players.

Bell can play the 1,2, or 3
Hubbard can play the 1,2, or 3
Pitts can play the 3 or 4
Stewart could play 1 or 2
Finau could play 1, 2 or 3
Staples could play 1 or 2 and possibly even 3

Brunson is probably the off one out unless really develops a 3-point shot, then she could do the 1 or 2 position. Also gotta realize injuries can happen at anytime and if an injury unfortunately would occur, we now have the depth to handle that much better than last year. Look at senior night last year when hubbard was out with a fever and Pitts was hobbled by a sore knee, the gophers turned into a 2 player (bell/wagner) team.

if they go with 3 guards to start I would go with
1. Bell
2. Hubbard
3. Pitts

Then having Staples back up Bell, Stewart back up Hubbard and Finau back up Pitts

If they go with four I would go with Bell, Staples, Hubbard, Pitts and Brunson, Stewart and Finau off bench.

The only two posts that I have faith can contribute is Taiye and Byrne.


Bell(RS-SR)/Brunson(JR)/Staples(FR)
Hubbard(JR)/Finau(FR)/Stewart(FR)
Pitts(SO)/Perez(SR)
Mahouchiza(JR)/Byrne(FR)/Kaposi(SR)
TBello(JR)/Lamke(SR)/KBello(JR)


Wasn’t sure what position Mahouchiza would play.
She’s gotten the least hype.

I suppose since the bulk of the presumed talent is once again at guard, it’s possible Pitts could play the bulk of minutes at PF, so maybe Finau, Staples, or Stewart could end up being a starter, whoever turns out to be the best. Stollings lives on!

Then for 2019-2020
Grace Cumming (Stollings)
Sara Scalia (Whalen)


Should we have a contest for naming Whalen’s first transfer out?
 

Shades

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I noticed Kaposi participated in graduation ceremonies, so she could decide to move on with her life as a graduate OR join another team as a no-wait graduate transfer.

She seems to like it here even though Stollings didn’t seem to respect what she had to offer as much as she maybe should have. I think she’s a decent defensive presence, which was probably a downside with Stollings. I wonder if Whalen likes her any better. Kaposi was around for the introduction of Whalen as the new head coach, which could be taken as a clue that she wants to return, but you never know.
 

hungan1

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We can't forget team defense.
 

Fire McHale

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We can't forget team defense.

If Whalen doesn't feel she'll be a regular contributor to the team i'm semi hoping she tells her there won't be much time available and she gets the chance to bring in another player that has more long-term potential. We can't forget interior defense and rebounding....my hope is that this is where our focus moves to next.
 

joshvanklomp

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Most people watch enough men's basketball to know kind of what the prototypical sizes are for each position on the floor. It's pretty easy to spot when a player is undersized for a position. At least for me, that's a little harder in women's basketball. But to me, 5-10 to 5-11 should be big enough to play forward. Not in all cases, but some. I mean, on the Final Four team, we went 5-9, 5-6, 5-11, 5-11, 6-2 in the starting lineup, with 5-9, 6-2, 6-3 off the bench in the regular rotation.

At 5-10, Pitts might be a little undersized when she's essentially at PF, but it doesn't seem major. Not really much different from a MBB team starting someone 6-6 or 6-7 at PF. Finau and Staples should be able to play wing/forward just fine as well at 5-10. Finau certainly has an edge to her game that seems like it will translate to the wing. Call it a four-guard lineup if you want if one of them is at PF, but I think it'll probably work out in the end.

We do need to focus on replenishing some size in upcoming classes though. Byrne will be the only freshman or sophomore on this year's team taller than 5-10. We have a couple years though to solve that issue. We'll be able to truly see how Whalen wants to construct her roster.
 

Fire McHale

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Most people watch enough men's basketball to know kind of what the prototypical sizes are for each position on the floor. It's pretty easy to spot when a player is undersized for a position. At least for me, that's a little harder in women's basketball. But to me, 5-10 to 5-11 should be big enough to play forward. Not in all cases, but some. I mean, on the Final Four team, we went 5-9, 5-6, 5-11, 5-11, 6-2 in the starting lineup, with 5-9, 6-2, 6-3 off the bench in the regular rotation.

At 5-10, Pitts might be a little undersized when she's essentially at PF, but it doesn't seem major. Not really much different from a MBB team starting someone 6-6 or 6-7 at PF. Finau and Staples should be able to play wing/forward just fine as well at 5-10. Finau certainly has an edge to her game that seems like it will translate to the wing. Call it a four-guard lineup if you want if one of them is at PF, but I think it'll probably work out in the end.

We do need to focus on replenishing some size in upcoming classes though. Byrne will be the only freshman or sophomore on this year's team taller than 5-10. We have a couple years though to solve that issue. We'll be able to truly see how Whalen wants to construct her roster.

I tend to agree that the women's game allows for athleticism to overcome length in many cases, but not all. The component I worry about most is interior defense and rebounding comes along with that. 3-guard lineups are great for shooting, passing and handling but if you can't control the paint it can create havoc. I'm hoping Lindsey has luck filling the paint as well as I think she'll stock our backcourt.
 




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