Gophers target: Morehead State PG Ta'Lon Cooper (5.9 APG)

Tucker32

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Yes, but typically not for the entire season if they have any depth. In post season and critical games, yes.
Will have to disagree. Many teams play throughout the year that way. I follow Nova pretty close, and Wright rarely plays more than seven until a game is out of hand. An 8th player gets some minutes, but that is it. Similar for many programs. They play more in non-conference against poor programs, but in conference, etc do not have a long rotation.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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I think all 3 of those are pretty much slam dunks to happen. Don't see how Garcia doesn't get a hardship waiver given his situation, Payne is physically ready to at least be a role player off the bench, and based on guys we have been linked to in the portal it seems very likely we will get the additional guards we will need to fill things out.
I completely agree. If I wasn't a MN sports fan, I'd say they are certainties.

I am really stoked to see a frontcourt of Battle-Garcia-Payne. That's a tough group.
 

MNVCGUY

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I completely agree. If I wasn't a MN sports fan, I'd say they are certainties.

I am really stoked to see a frontcourt of Battle-Garcia-Payne. That's a tough group.
I still think Fox is going to be something special for this team.....a guy who is willing to work near the rim and allow the other guys to stretch the floor and free up space.
 

skiumah1

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I still think Fox is going to be something special for this team.....a guy who is willing to work near the rim and allow the other guys to stretch the floor and free up space.
I'd throw Ihnen in there as well. High level talent, just needs to come together for him.

We're looking decent for next year, but how bout in 2 years if everyone stays around...Whew
 



Tucker32

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I think people are underestimating Ihnen. He showed flashes and the staff was extremely high on him last fall before the injury. He has a ton of talent, and Pitino never put him in positions to be successful. The style of play just didn’t fit. I see him getting time ahead of Fox because Fox just doesn’t shoot well. Garcia, Ihnen, Battle together will force significant mismatches as they will be able to play five out and post up multiple players. In addition, it allows Fox to come in for any one of them as he can guard multiple positions. Who knows? It is fun to actually have some depth of guys with length.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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I think people are underestimating Ihnen. He showed flashes and the staff was extremely high on him last fall before the injury. He has a ton of talent, and Pitino never put him in positions to be successful. The style of play just didn’t fit. I see him getting time ahead of Fox because Fox just doesn’t shoot well. Garcia, Ihnen, Battle together will force significant mismatches as they will be able to play five out and post up multiple players. In addition, it allows Fox to come in for any one of them as he can guard multiple positions. Who knows? It is fun to actually have some depth of guys with length.
Ihnen is the kind of guy who is really going to struggle in Pitino's system. IMO, he needs to play 4 and be a really active cutter and spot up shooter. If he does those things, he can be an asset. He'll really have to earn his minutes now with Garcia, Payne, and Fox (even Battle should get some minutes at the 4).
 

Tucker32

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Ihnen is the kind of guy who is really going to struggle in Pitino's system. IMO, he needs to play 4 and be a really active cutter and spot up shooter. If he does those things, he can be an asset. He'll really have to earn his minutes now with Garcia, Payne, and Fox (even Battle should get some minutes at the 4).
Ben doesn’t really have a 3 or 4. He will play four out, ideally five out when he has a player like Garcia who is 6’11 and can play on the perimeter. Ihnen is a perimeter player who shoots well. He will be a much more flexible player, I believe, than Fox or Payne (Payne initially).
 

BTChamp

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Ben doesn’t really have a 3 or 4. He will play four out, ideally five out when he has a player like Garcia who is 6’11 and can play on the perimeter. Ihnen is a perimeter player who shoots well. He will be a much more flexible player, I believe, than Fox or Payne (Payne initially).
Also I think with a better coaching staff that understands each individual strength will put him (as well as everyone) in a better position to succeed.
 



tjgopher

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Ihnen is a perimeter player who shoots well.

We hope he shoots well. His body of work so far as a Gopher hasn't confirmed that.

In 50 career games, he is a 29% 3pt shooter. He was 22% from 3pt range as a sophomore.

If you take out a 15-game stretch in 2021 where he was 2-27 from 3pt range (yikes), his career percentage goes to 36%.

But, if you take out a 5-game stretch to close out his freshman year when he went 10-22, his career percentage drops to 24%.

So, his sample size to me indicates his 29% career mark through 50 games is probably who he is.

Which probably means it is too early to call him a player who shoots well, in my opinion.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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Ben doesn’t really have a 3 or 4. He will play four out, ideally five out when he has a player like Garcia who is 6’11 and can play on the perimeter. Ihnen is a perimeter player who shoots well. He will be a much more flexible player, I believe, than Fox or Payne (Payne initially).
I think Ihnen is fine on the perimeter on offense if he is surrounded by other ball handlers. He can't be thought of as a wing. He also needs to defend post players (IMO).
 

Obi-Wan Okogie

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I don't know what is going on, I am used to waiting around forever and then being disappointed. Johnson and snatching people up left and right, I can't keep up. On top of that we are getting some quality recruits. Could go from bottom-feeders to contenders in the Big Ten. Throw in the experience any returning guys will have and man, this coaching staff seems to be killing it.
 

Tucker32

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I think Ihnen is fine on the perimeter on offense if he is surrounded by other ball handlers. He can't be thought of as a wing. He also needs to defend post players (IMO).
Will be interesting to see with the new staff. I think he was so poorly used and developed before. I think we will see a different player overall.
 



GopherWeatherGuy

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We hope he shoots well. His body of work so far as a Gopher hasn't confirmed that.

In 50 career games, he is a 29% 3pt shooter. He was 22% from 3pt range as a sophomore.

If you take out a 15-game stretch in 2021 where he was 2-27 from 3pt range (yikes), his career percentage goes to 36%.

But, if you take out a 5-game stretch to close out his freshman year when he went 10-22, his career percentage drops to 24%.

So, his sample size to me indicates his 29% career mark through 50 games is probably who he is.

Which probably means it is too early to call him a player who shoots well, in my opinion.

I agree. I think Fox is very underrated on this board and Ihnen gets too much love. Fox also could have played at the end of last season and is fully recovered from his ACL injury. Ihnen's recovery is much more of a mystery right now.

Ihnen has potential, but I think Fox is better and will play significantly more next season.
 

Dakota2

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Wanna watch me make Barn Burner's head explode.....:)

As long as Garcia is allowed to play next year this is a tournament team. I know there are still spots to fill but feel confident they will get some guards to fill them to go along with what is already in place.
Nah, Barny's not having any of it until Ben proves he can put a good left tackle on the floor.
 

Lion King

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With this news, and reading the blog, we are now the odds on favorite to win it all next season.
I wonder how many lottery picks we have on the roster? ONE ,MAYBE 2.
GO GOPHERS !!
 

MNVCGUY

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Nah, Barny's not having any of it until Ben proves he can put a good left tackle on the floor.
Barney has a vendetta against me because he thinks I believe wins don't matter and getting to the tournament isn't important. He can't grasp the nuance that there shouldn't be high expectations put on Johnson for wins and tournament success early in his run.....doesn't mean it wouldn't be awesome to see the team do really well and make a tournament run as early as year 2.

So I am sure at some point he will take a swipe at me for the comment I made above....Unfortunately I will probably miss his reply....but I am sure it will be the stuff of legend :)
 

MNVCGUY

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With this news, and reading the blog, we are now the odds on favorite to win it all next season.
I wonder how many lottery picks we have on the roster? ONE ,MAYBE 2.
GO GOPHERS !!
Sorry it is so difficult for you to see people happy or optimistic about the team....must really suck for you.

Just don't get people like you that hang around on other team message boards just looking for reasons to try and tear people down. To each their own I guess.
 

stocker08

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With this news, and reading the blog, we are now the odds on favorite to win it all next season.
I wonder how many lottery picks we have on the roster? ONE ,MAYBE 2.
GO GOPHERS !!

'Lion King' odds:

Over/Under: 2.5 friends
Over/Under: IQ of 80
 



Bad Gopher

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Lot to like about this kid if he decides to come here. Free throw percentage down in the 60% range is a little concerning or a guard but hopefully he can bump that up some.

Will be interesting to see what happens this afternoon I guess.

Interesting: shot 81% from the stripe his freshman year, then dropped off. Still a career mark of 68%, which ain't too bad. Hopefully he can change his best when it comes to that.
 

BTChamp

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Interesting: shot 81% from the stripe his freshman year, then dropped off. Still a career mark of 68%, which ain't too bad. Hopefully he can change his best when it comes to that.
If he dropped off dramatically, he must have eye issues.

Paging PJ. "Hey, got a great eye guy. Nobody will even notice."
 

TNGophfan

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Probably an unpopular take here but maybe Ben has seen enough of Thiam on practice that he thinks he can back-up Cooper from 5 - 7 minutes.
Know he was out of control most if time last year but the game often slows down for guys after their freshman year.
If so, give us 1 top notch shooter to finish up.
 

MNVCGUY

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Probably an unpopular take here but maybe Ben has seen enough of Thiam on practice that he thinks he can back-up Cooper from 5 - 7 minutes.
Know he was out of control most if time last year but the game often slows down for guys after their freshman year.
If so, give us 1 top notch shooter to finish up.
Thiam and Thompson are both wildcards for the upcoming season. Both were very young and could certainly improve. I don't think it is crazy to think Thiam could be a serviceable option off the bench at one of the guard spots.
 

fan of Ray Williams

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Him and Broome were both rough at the line which led to Morehead State having a team percentage of .667
That being said, he got to the line 86 times last year which is greater than anyone on the Gophers. Willis led with 80 attempts, Battle had 79, Sutherlin 78
 

matt

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Probably an unpopular take here but maybe Ben has seen enough of Thiam on practice that he thinks he can back-up Cooper from 5 - 7 minutes.
Thiam might have some redeeming qualities, but I really don’t think ball handling is one of them. He had a couple absolutely careless turnovers this year while dribbling where a defender wasn’t even involved. Maybe it was nerves, but I do not have high hopes for a team that has Thiam as a primary ball handler, even in a backup role.
 

Holy Man

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Him and Broome were both rough at the line which led to Morehead State having a team percentage of .667
That being said, he got to the line 86 times last year which is greater than anyone on the Gophers. Willis led with 80 attempts, Battle had 79, Sutherlin 78
If he just practices, he'll be fine. Clearly the Morehead coach did not prioritize free throw shooting or the team would have been better.;)
 

Bayfieldgopher

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Watched their game against Murray State.
I think people are underestimating Ihnen. He showed flashes and the staff was extremely high on him last fall before the injury. He has a ton of talent, and Pitino never put him in positions to be successful. The style of play just didn’t fit. I see him getting time ahead of Fox because Fox just doesn’t shoot well. Garcia, Ihnen, Battle together will force significant mismatches as they will be able to play five out and post up multiple players. In addition, it allows Fox to come in for any one of them as he can guard multiple positions. Who knows? It is fun to actually have some depth of guys with length.
I've never been an Ihnen fan. He has lots of areas to improve and become more than just a perimeter floater. Same with TT. Maybe he has improved his ball handling, aggressiveness and shooting as well as gaining strength which will help his board game.

It will be very interesting to see how Ben uses his bigs. He does have some options.
 

Gophs24

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If these three "ifs" come true, I actually think we have a really good shot at the tournament.

(1) If Garcia is eligible;
(2) If Payne is ready to play in year 1 (he gives us something we just don't have yet);
(3) If we add two more solid rotation-level players.

I think there is a good chance all those happen. This could be a fun year for the Gophers.
Yeah I don’t see your #3 happening. We will get one more guy…but I don’t see how we get two meaningful guys to come in yet. The reality is we will play a max of 8-9 guys by the time big ten season starts. Battle, Garcia, and Cooper will all be getting 30+ minutes a game. Fox will get a bunch. Ihnen will get plenty of minutes coming off the neck presumably. The other presumed transfer guard/wing will get a chunk. And then mix in the 3 freshman and TT for the remainder of the minutes

So I will switch my number 3 to. Finding a solid combo guard to mix in as the 5th starter and also be able to handle ball handling dutues

And number 4. Henley and/or Braeden are ready to play….and looking at the roster one of those two are just as important then Payne even…if Henley is ready he fills the void for minutes at both the 2 and 3. If Braden is ready he fills the void for minutes at the 2 and spot minutes at PG

PG-Cooper/TransferC/Braeden
SG-TransferC/Henley/braeden
SF-Battle/Henley/Ihnen
PF-Fox/Ihnen/TT/Battle
C-Garcia/Payne/TT

Still have JOJ and maybe a drastically improved thiam? to possible fill in as well
I mean I’m a perfect world adding 2 more guard types would be great…but I think we will be able to count on Henley and/or Braeden more then some on here think
 




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