Gophers Basketball 2023 Off-Season To-Do List

Bad Gopher

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Exactly. If you have no one coming in who is obviously better and going to help the team more, then it's just fine to have him sit on the bench. We have more than 7 scholarships. Maybe he's a late bloomer. Keep plugging away in practice, getting better, maybe suddenly breaks out in year 4.

I see no reason to throw away a kid like that. Unless he himself wants to leave, then fine.
We've had such a thin bench! How can someone have seen all our injuries and foul trouble and think we should clear all these players off our roster and *hope* we can find other guys to take their place.
 


bga1

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I'll repeat it as many times as I need to: give me a name of who you have coming in that's better than him. Then I'll be fine waving him bon voyage. Subtraction is subtraction if there's no corresponding addition. Again, give me a name.

Or let me put it this way: if there were a Treyton Thompson on some other program's roster--a former 4-star recruit from Minnesota who's been languishing on some high-major bench--we'd be all over that as someone who could maybe find themselves here with all the playing time people are talking about in this thread.
Ben didn't use him at all in the latter part of the season. I doubt he returns. But if he was to dedicate to putting on about 25 pounds of muscle and stop thinking about himself as a stretch 4- I'd love to have him back as a back up center. All he did this year was shoot threes....and not very well at that.
 

CentralGopher

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I'll repeat it as many times as I need to: give me a name of who you have coming in that's better than him. Then I'll be fine waving him bon voyage. Subtraction is subtraction if there's no corresponding addition. Again, give me a name.

Or let me put it this way: if there were a Treyton Thompson on some other program's roster--a former 4-star recruit from Minnesota who's been languishing on some high-major bench--we'd be all over that as someone who could maybe find themselves here with all the playing time people are talking about in this thread.
I’m not in the portal so have no names but it shouldn’t be that difficult to find an upgrade to Thompson. Might not have the height but if the player has better weight/strength to defend other post players I would consider that an upgrade. Bunnies and put backs with rebounding isn’t that much to ask.
 



Otis

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Nate Calmese from Lamar is intriguing.

Nicolas Timberlake from Towson is as well.

Both listed as point Guards, Calmese was all conference as a freshman.
 

cjbfbp

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Do not see it happening with him. Too much evidence in these 2 seasons for me to believe he will go that route.

We don't know how much of that was due to the coach's preferences and how much was due to the constraints of the roster and other things. The table below shows the frequencies of the number of players (playing 6 minutes or more) in games this season. I chose the 6 minute requirement to eliminate players who just appeared briefly (like at the end of blowouts).

1678465165691.png

At the latter part of the season, Johnson consistently tended to use 7 players for 6 minutes or more. Shortening the number of players toward the end of the season and/or postseason is a pretty common practice throughout various levels of basketball. Given the number of frontline players he may have next season, it's possible that we might see the 8 and 9 number increase.
 

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cjbfbp

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And don't give me any of this addition by subtraction crap unless you have players to add that are as good as those we've lost. Subtraction is subtraction without actual addition.

I'm not sure why you don't believe in this phenomena. I think one could find a number of examples of it. I can think of two right of the top of my head and one of them applied to the Gophers.

Kris Humphries led the Big Ten in scoring and rebounding as a freshman and was a mid-first round NBA pick after that year. The ream finished only 12-18 that season. The year after his departure, the team finished 21-11 and was an NCAA qualifier. They certainly didn't replace him with anyone comparable.
 

leib0039

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I like the idea of shaking up the staff and adding Nate James. Didn't go well at APSU but is heavily connected to Duke, having that to draw on for recruiting can only help I would guess.
 



cjbfbp

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I like the idea of shaking up the staff and adding Nate James. Didn't go well at APSU but is heavily connected to Duke, having that to draw on for recruiting can only help I would guess.

Maybe James just wanted to get out of Clarksville, TN. I've been there so I can't say I blame him.
 


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How soon should we expect a decision on those leaving (entering the port/pro ball)?
 

bga1

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How soon should we expect a decision on those leaving (entering the port/pro ball)?
If there is any steam to the idea of Henley leaving (hope not) and perhaps following Dennis Evans, I would think that one would be soon. If nothing over the next week I bet he stays - as he would be smart to do.

I would think most players are ready to make a decision to stay the course at this point or move on. The exception might be guys who meet with the coach and are told that it might be wise to poke around for a new spot because there is no PT.

I like Ben's chances of keeping our key guys. With Battle, it's time to make some money and that's fine.
 



Off-GridTNgopher

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On the flip side tho, a way to really appeal to transfers is clear cut playing time.

We will have that for guards. Its going to be Bens job to not settle and find the right one.
We've had playing time (lots of it) available the past 2 off seasons... Playing time means shit... Kids want to win and go to the next level... Neither of which has happened under cbj...
 

cjbfbp

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I’m not in the portal so have no names but it shouldn’t be that difficult to find an upgrade to Thompson. Might not have the height but if the player has better weight/strength to defend other post players I would consider that an upgrade. Bunnies and put backs with rebounding isn’t that much to ask.

Here's a transfer that I'd consider suitable back up type Center at this level.

Owen McCormick - Presbyterian
 

Gopheritnow

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I'm not sure why you don't believe in this phenomena. I think one could find a number of examples of it. I can think of two right of the top of my head and one of them applied to the Gophers.

Kris Humphries led the Big Ten in scoring and rebounding as a freshman and was a mid-first round NBA pick after that year. The ream finished only 12-18 that season. The year after his departure, the team finished 21-11 and was an NCAA qualifier. They certainly didn't replace him with anyone comparable.
Humphries devoted his season to leading the league in scoring! Not to the team winning. He was a "Black Hole". Ball went in, never came out!
 

Gofurgold

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Here's a transfer that I'd consider suitable back up type Center at this level.

Owen McCormick - Presbyterian
If we were to take another big in the portal id prefer a true center (rim protector and rebounder). We have more than enough ~6'9 guys that aren't serviceable 5s that a midmajor dude who averages 4 rebs a game doesnt excite me.
 

cjbfbp

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Humphries devoted his season to leading the league in scoring! Not to the team winning. He was a "Black Hole". Ball went in, never came out!

Thanks for the history lesson but I'm not sure how that explanation changes the result. The team was better off without him despite his considerable talents.
 

cjbfbp

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If we were to take another big in the portal id prefer a true center (rim protector and rebounder). We have more than enough ~6'9 guys that aren't serviceable 5s that a midmajor dude who averages 4 rebs a game doesnt excite me.

Just who exactly do you think we're going to get here for a possible backup role? Just because someone wants to date Margot Robbie doesn't mean that she will accept the invitation.
 

MUgopher32

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The problem with the playing time argument is that good teams will have slots for playing time, and they will pick up the good transfers who will obviously choose playing time with a good team over that with a bad team. So now you have the left over transfers that the good teams didn't want and there you are, no difference makers.

You have to find under the radar good players, which are unicorns, who have no other options, to find difference makers. That's a steep road to climb especially if you need multiples of those.

Thats where properly identifying talent also comes into play. Of course we are not going to get the Nigel Packs who can get 800K from rich schools. But theres a middle ground between that and Taurus freaking Samuels.

Take Tyler Kolek for example. Now this was the ultimate diamond in the rough that even Shaka will probably never pull off again. But he was a 2G at George Mason. But his passing ability was identified immediately, he was made a priority. Is now arguably the best PG in the country.

He has since stated his two reasons for going to Marquette were 1. Shaka made him a priority immediately and 2. Had loads of playing time available. Both those things kinda go hand in hand.

Ben needs to identify talent that isnt the in your face blue blood. Find guys at mid majors or guys guys at high majors with potential but leaving a bad situation(playing time/personal experience) and get those guys.

Hes currently been dumpster diving for players on low majors that are 16 seed play ins if they happen to make the tournament.
 

Bad Gopher

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I'd love to see a certain Top 150 from the 2022 MN class who went to another P6 school and hasn't played much at all come home. His skillset would be perfect for what the Gophers need.
Eli King or Cam Heide?
 

Bad Gopher

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I'm not sure why you don't believe in this phenomena. I think one could find a number of examples of it. I can think of two right of the top of my head and one of them applied to the Gophers.

Kris Humphries led the Big Ten in scoring and rebounding as a freshman and was a mid-first round NBA pick after that year. The ream finished only 12-18 that season. The year after his departure, the team finished 21-11 and was an NCAA qualifier. They certainly didn't replace him with anyone comparable.
Point taken. Kris is always going to be the poster child for addition by subtraction, but I tend to see these situations as exceptions that prove the rule. I don't think Thompson is the kind of cancer that Humphries and his dad were.

I do, though, remember a long-form article and interview with Jerry Tarkanian many years ago. He was honest in that he liked some of his past teams more than others, and some of his teams he downright disliked. I'm sure that was largely personalities and chemistry, but it's a real thing. Some teams mesh better than others.
 


Gopher_In_NYC

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Cooper: BIG assists per game? 2nd in BIG at 6.3 per game. Assist/TO ratio? 5th in the BIG at 2.4. 21st in the BIG in steals (1.1/gm). Not stellar, but Jamir Young (MD leader) was only slightly better at 1.2/gm. Lots of blocks for a G at .9 per game. Now tell me how he isn't a BIG caliber guard? Our eye test tells us he is a bit slow but I'll take him back next season all day long. Personally would love another PG with a defensive mindset to double up with Cooper. Maybe they both play at the same time.
Great post.

He’s a convenient target. He overall was good, but he had no reliable backup
 

dbmn

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I’d shake up the staff. Johnson would benefit by having a former college head coach on staff. If they bring a couple guys with? Great.
I agree given the lack of success at this point, but this is analogous to hiring an athletic director to do a job and then hiring another more qualified assistant athletic director to help the new athletic director succeed. Why not hire the other person to begin with?
 

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The problem with TT is that he is positionless on a P6 team. Literally where do you plug him in? The 5? No way. 4? Potentially, but we are solid at the 4. Garcia, Ihnen, Fox, Betts, JOJ are all my choice before TT at the 4. 3? I don't think so. I just don't see a scenario where he is a good fit for a BIG team. Can you name a P6 team that has a player with TT's skill set that plays quality (15+per game) minutes? No doubt he is probably a great teammate. I'm sure everyone loves the guy.
 

upnorthkid

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Great post.

He’s a convenient target. He overall was good, but he had no reliable backup
Agreed. And I'd imagine you'd see a lot of ball handlers able to perform better not being able to log 35+ minutes every single night and defend other teams primary guard.
 

Big Dawg

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I agree given the lack of success at this point, but this is analogous to hiring an athletic director to do a job and then hiring another more qualified assistant athletic director to help the new athletic director succeed. Why not hire the other person to begin with?
If the AD you hired had a 8M buy out you would of course hire an assistant AD. Correct on hire the other guy to begin with. Much consensus on Ben being the wrong hire.
 

dbmn

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If the AD you hired had a 8M buy out you would of course hire an assistant AD. Correct on hire the other guy to begin with. Much consensus on Ben being the wrong hire.
My point is why hire the person in the first place since they were unqualified and then to cover the original bad decision, hire another person to "help". Oh, and who allowed an unqualified head coach to demand an $ 8mm buyout along with an extra year on the original contract after winning 4 bt10 games. Answer: Coyle. Coyle's high-profile coaching hires record is 1-1-2. Hockey (win), football (push/tie) and BB (2 losses).
 

UpAndUnder43

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I agree given the lack of success at this point, but this is analogous to hiring an athletic director to do a job and then hiring another more qualified assistant athletic director to help the new athletic director succeed. Why not hire the other person to begin with?
Yes and no. Ben seems to relate well to recruits and their families. He's well liked by many people locally and nationally. I think he lacks in game coaching experience. Many assistants sit around a lot during games. Would help Ben to have an experienced voice on his bench. I'm not ready to give up on Ben (though if he was gone I wouldn't be that disappointed) but I think its a similar mistake to much of what Richard did here if he doesnt change his staff and add a veteran, former college HC.
 




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