Have We Got Ourselves a Real Coaching Staff?

alchemy2u

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Ok, after all the speculation, criticism and accusations about why our current coach was hired, can we finally get some acknowledgement that this staff might just possible know how to coach?

Yes it is early, they have played mostly weaker competition and the team has quite a few experienced upperclassman. But a team doesn’t play together this way and this quickly without some degree of coaching and setting team expectations.

So far it looks very promising that the U has made a good hire!
 



bga1

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Ok, after all the speculation, criticism and accusations about why our current coach was hired, can we finally get some acknowledgement that this staff might just possible know how to coach?

Yes it is early, they have played mostly weaker competition and the team has quite a few experienced upperclassman. But a team doesn’t play together this way and this quickly without some degree of coaching and setting team expectations.

So far it looks very promising that the U has made a good hire!
Early signs of a well coached team are good. It justifies hope for the future.
 

skyman31

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I think the start to the season has gone as well as it could, and early signs are promising. I like style of basketball they’re playing.

However, Ben is doing it with guys who have played for years at the D1 level and know what it takes to win, and mostly had their fundamentals drilled in by other coaches. The real test will be if he can continue to play this style of team basketball with hard defense when he has to take high school kids and fit them into the system.

I think Ben has done as well through 4 games as he could have, very encouraged so far. Just think that needs to happen before considering the hire a success
 


GoldenMAV30266

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I think the start to the season has gone as well as it could, and early signs are promising. I like style of basketball they’re playing.

However, Ben is doing it with guys who have played for years at the D1 level and know what it takes to win, and mostly had their fundamentals drilled in by other coaches. The real test will be if he can continue to play this style of team basketball with hard defense when he has to take high school kids and fit them into the system.

I think Ben has done as well through 4 games as he could have, very encouraged so far. Just think that needs to happen before considering the hire a success
I think the key to success nowadays will be integrating high shook players (like Payne, Carrington and JOJ) with transfers. I’d be willing to bet Johnson finds another PG, SG and C in the portal next year.
 

jovs

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I think the key to success nowadays will be integrating high shook players (like Payne, Carrington and JOJ) with transfers. I’d be willing to bet Johnson finds another PG, SG and C in the portal next year.
He's got guys with a little more basketball skills but significantly less athleticism than Pitino got, they play much better team basketball for sure, when they start playing the P5 teams we will know how that holds up. Seems to me the meaning of the right fit will be much more important to Johnson's recruits than Pitino's were.
 

ethomasp31

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He's got guys with a little more basketball skills but significantly less athleticism than Pitino got, they play much better team basketball for sure, when they start playing the P5 teams we will know how that holds up. Seems to me the meaning of the right fit will be much more important to Johnson's recruits than Pitino's were.

First of all, Ben Johnson hasn’t even had a high school recruiting class yet. I think as time goes on his high school classes will be better than Pitino’s. Secondly, who are all of these superior athletes Pitino supposedly got?? I’ll give you Oturu who came here because he’s from Minnesota and as he even says Ben Johnson recruited him. I don’t think Pitino’s years will be remembered by having great athletic players, but rather as a waste by all the Minnesota kids who left because Pitino did a poor job of recruiting them.
 




MplsGopher

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but rather as a waste by all the Minnesota kids who left because Pitino did a poor job of recruiting them.
They would've left anyway.

For every Oturu, with actual loyalty to his state, you've got 5-10 more 4/5* who can't sign fast enough to use their basketball skill as a ticket out of Minnesota.
 


ethomasp31

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They would've left anyway.

For every Oturu, with actual loyalty to his state, you've got 5-10 more 4/5* who can't sign fast enough to use their basketball skill as a ticket out of Minnesota.

I disagree with your statement. Not all of them would have left. Minnesota players left at a much higher rate when Pitino was coach than at anytime in recent memory.

I’ll tell you two stories. The first is when Tubby was hired here. I asked a friend who was an assistant basketball coach at a MIAC school if he had a chance to be successful here. He told me he didn’t know....but to watch in the next year or so to see where to very highly rated Minnesota kids go to college. If he would able to get them to stay he had a good chance to be successful. Those two kids were Royce White and Rodney Williams and Tubby got them both. Now Royce White has some problems and ended up never playing a game here, but the point is Tubby got them both.

the other story happened this spring. I was golfing with a family friend of a former Minnesota kid who went to college outside of the state who everyone on this message board would know. I asked him what happened with this kid and the Gophers....he looked at me and passionately said, “Pitino never recruited him!”

I’m a teacher....and I have met and know several coaches and assistant coaches. When talking to some of them....it’s not hard to understand why we had so many kids not play with the Gophers. Would another coach have been able to keep Tyus Jones of Jalen Suggs at home? I highly doubt it. But we should have been able to keep a lot of other players in state.
 




MplsGopher

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I disagree with your statement. Not all of them would have left. Minnesota players left at a much higher rate when Pitino was coach than at anytime in recent memory.

I’ll tell you two stories. The first is when Tubby was hired here. I asked a friend who was an assistant basketball coach at a MIAC school if he had a chance to be successful here. He told me he didn’t know....but to watch in the next year or so to see where to very highly rated Minnesota kids go to college. If he would able to get them to stay he had a good chance to be successful. Those two kids were Royce White and Rodney Williams and Tubby got them both. Now Royce White has some problems and ended up never playing a game here, but the point is Tubby got them both.

the other story happened this spring. I was golfing with a family friend of a former Minnesota kid who went to college outside of the state who everyone on this message board would know. I asked him what happened with this kid and the Gophers....he looked at me and passionately said, “Pitino never recruited him!”

I’m a teacher....and I have met and know several coaches and assistant coaches. When talking to some of them....it’s not hard to understand why we had so many kids not play with the Gophers. Would another coach have been able to keep Tyus Jones of Jalen Suggs at home? I highly doubt it. But we should have been able to keep a lot of other players in state.
Great post, thanks
 

fan of Ray Williams

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So far so good, and it'll be interesting to see what happens once the competition gets tougher.

Most people thought Richard Pitino could coach too when he started 6-0 and won the NIT his first season.
He never did make it to 6-0, but to his credit, did have some nice wins the first year.
 

ethomasp31

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Great post, thanks
Sorry I didn’t mean to get on you. I shouldn’t make this thread about Pitino. I’m excited for the start that we have had....but also realize it will take sometime to build back the program as everyone left. I was hopeful that Ben Johnson would have been able to convince Theo John, Dawson Garcia, the kid who went to Texas who I’m blanking on his name or the kid from BC. It didn’t happen and our front court is extremely thin. But I have hopes of better recruiting days ahead. I’m hopeful for Chatman and Winter in 2023. Hopefully we can reverse the kids leaving Minnesota and bring in some guys from out of state who want to be Gophers.
 



Cayman

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Playing devil's advocate, is it possible our transfer players are just better than expected? Kind of just going off anecdotal evidence, but I think Pitino's 2016-17 team was picked to finish toward the bottom of the conference, maybe an NCAA bubble team at best, because we were counting on, and got, significant contributions from transfers in Reggie Lynch and Akeem Springs, not to mention the true freshman Amir Coffey, with Curry contributing off the bench. Last year's team was also projected toward the bottom of the conference, and did eventually end up there, but not until after multiple wins against top 10 teams, including handing an 11-0 Michigan team their first loss of the season in mid January, and spending about a month in the top 25 themselves, relying on contributions from transfers Liam Robbins, Brandon Johnson, and Both Gach.

Based off of limited data, it feels like transfers are kind of treated as unknowns for the most part in preseason projections, unless it's a cast-off top 50 recruit who wasn't getting minutes at Kentucky, or like if Michigan State is taking in a former all-conference Power 6 player as the final piece for a Final Four contender. Just about our entire team this year is mid and low major transfers, and so it may have just kind of been written off as automatically terrible, 13th in conference at best, and a cut below even being NIT worthy.

I agree that early signs with Ben Johnson appear positive, cruising to victory in the second half of a buy game feels good, but I wonder if it's less that he's turning water into wine with bottom of the barrel talent, and maybe that some of the transfers brought in can actually hold their own.
 

Gopherfan84

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Playing devil's advocate, is it possible our transfer players are just better than expected? Kind of just going off anecdotal evidence, but I think Pitino's 2016-17 team was picked to finish toward the bottom of the conference, maybe an NCAA bubble team at best, because we were counting on, and got, significant contributions from transfers in Reggie Lynch and Akeem Springs, not to mention the true freshman Amir Coffey, with Curry contributing off the bench. Last year's team was also projected toward the bottom of the conference, and did eventually end up there, but not until after multiple wins against top 10 teams, including handing an 11-0 Michigan team their first loss of the season in mid January, and spending about a month in the top 25 themselves, relying on contributions from transfers Liam Robbins, Brandon Johnson, and Both Gach.

Based off of limited data, it feels like transfers are kind of treated as unknowns for the most part in preseason projections, unless it's a cast-off top 50 recruit who wasn't getting minutes at Kentucky, or like if Michigan State is taking in a former all-conference Power 6 player as the final piece for a Final Four contender. Just about our entire team this year is mid and low major transfers, and so it may have just kind of been written off as automatically terrible, 13th in conference at best, and a cut below even being NIT worthy.

I agree that early signs with Ben Johnson appear positive, cruising to victory in the second half of a buy game feels good, but I wonder if it's less that he's turning water into wine with bottom of the barrel talent, and maybe that some of the transfers brought in can actually hold their own.
Anyone who listened to podcasts or read about why the gophers were picked 14th knew that it was cause of unknowns. Are the transfers good, can Ben coach, etc…. This is still a bottom 4 B1G team but like I’ve tried to tell people, they will not be historically bad.
As far as this staff. Defense is priority and a non negotiable. They also are not taking shortcuts and require guys fit over talent. It’s nice to see
 

Gopherfan84

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Sorry I didn’t mean to get on you. I shouldn’t make this thread about Pitino. I’m excited for the start that we have had....but also realize it will take sometime to build back the program as everyone left. I was hopeful that Ben Johnson would have been able to convince Theo John, Dawson Garcia, the kid who went to Texas who I’m blanking on his name or the kid from BC. It didn’t happen and our front court is extremely thin. But I have hopes of better recruiting days ahead. I’m hopeful for Chatman and Winter in 2023. Hopefully we can reverse the kids leaving Minnesota and bring in some guys from out of state who want to be Gophers.
Very surprised we didn’t get one of those front court guys. However losing them to pros, Duke, and UNC did make me not hold that a ton on Ben at least. We will get more kids here from instate I’m guessing. The ones that came under Richard were basically all attached to Ben anyways.
 



bc2211

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Playing devil's advocate, is it possible our transfer players are just better than expected? Kind of just going off anecdotal evidence, but I think Pitino's 2016-17 team was picked to finish toward the bottom of the conference, maybe an NCAA bubble team at best, because we were counting on, and got, significant contributions from transfers in Reggie Lynch and Akeem Springs, not to mention the true freshman Amir Coffey, with Curry contributing off the bench. Last year's team was also projected toward the bottom of the conference, and did eventually end up there, but not until after multiple wins against top 10 teams, including handing an 11-0 Michigan team their first loss of the season in mid January, and spending about a month in the top 25 themselves, relying on contributions from transfers Liam Robbins, Brandon Johnson, and Both Gach.

Based off of limited data, it feels like transfers are kind of treated as unknowns for the most part in preseason projections, unless it's a cast-off top 50 recruit who wasn't getting minutes at Kentucky, or like if Michigan State is taking in a former all-conference Power 6 player as the final piece for a Final Four contender. Just about our entire team this year is mid and low major transfers, and so it may have just kind of been written off as automatically terrible, 13th in conference at best, and a cut below even being NIT worthy.

I agree that early signs with Ben Johnson appear positive, cruising to victory in the second half of a buy game feels good, but I wonder if it's less that he's turning water into wine with bottom of the barrel talent, and maybe that some of the transfers brought in can actually hold their own.
I’m in the same camp.

We also haven’t played anyone who can exploit our weaknesses. IMO that’s 90% of big ten play. Curry will be targeted on nearly every defensive possession at least once by any team with a competent big man and he’ll be doubled on every touch in the low post on offense, our guards will face nearly 3/4 court pressure constantly because they aren’t great ball handlers or athletes, and I suspect Battle will be baited into living on the perimeter. We’ll see how our coaching staff adjusts.

Guys look pretty good thus far, but there’s a lot left to figure out this season. Should we be happy with the results so far? Yeah, of course. Should we congratulate ourselves? Probably not.
 

alchemy2u

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Playing devil's advocate, is it possible our transfer players are just better than expected? Kind of just going off anecdotal evidence, but I think Pitino's 2016-17 team was picked to finish toward the bottom of the conference, maybe an NCAA bubble team at best, because we were counting on, and got, significant contributions from transfers in Reggie Lynch and Akeem Springs, not to mention the true freshman Amir Coffey, with Curry contributing off the bench. Last year's team was also projected toward the bottom of the conference, and did eventually end up there, but not until after multiple wins against top 10 teams, including handing an 11-0 Michigan team their first loss of the season in mid January, and spending about a month in the top 25 themselves, relying on contributions from transfers Liam Robbins, Brandon Johnson, and Both Gach.

Based off of limited data, it feels like transfers are kind of treated as unknowns for the most part in preseason projections, unless it's a cast-off top 50 recruit who wasn't getting minutes at Kentucky, or like if Michigan State is taking in a former all-conference Power 6 player as the final piece for a Final Four contender. Just about our entire team this year is mid and low major transfers, and so it may have just kind of been written off as automatically terrible, 13th in conference at best, and a cut below even being NIT worthy.

I agree that early signs with Ben Johnson appear positive, cruising to victory in the second half of a buy game feels good, but I wonder if it's less that he's turning water into wine with bottom of the barrel talent, and maybe that some of the transfers brought in can actually hold their own.
Isn’t that the whole point of bringing in kids? You only select kids that you think will be able to hold their own? Ben selected each of these transfers for a reason. He has said from the start, he wants players with high basketball IQ, that can shoot and will play their heart out. That is also part of coaching that Ben and his staff should be given credit for.
 

MennoSota

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What a strange topic question by the OP.
"Have We Got Ourselves a Real Coaching Staff?"
Of course we have a real coaching staff. Last years staff was also real.
What we have this year is a staff that has years of experience coaching mid-major players and running a system designed to cover the lack of athleticism on their roster.
Pitino knew all about coaching blue blood athletes, but struggled to run an offense that was effective for non-blue blood players. His offense emphasized individual skill and thus ball movement was stifled. This coaching staff knows all about working with non-athletic players who must work as a whole rather than strike individually.
 

CoMn

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I love team basketball. I love this team. Sure we are going to lose a lot of conference games but I love how Ben is having them play and am very optimistic for the future. Great hire.
 


Lion King

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I’m in the same camp.

We also haven’t played anyone who can exploit our weaknesses. IMO that’s 90% of big ten play. Curry will be targeted on nearly every defensive possession at least once by any team with a competent big man and he’ll be doubled on every touch in the low post on offense, our guards will face nearly 3/4 court pressure constantly because they aren’t great ball handlers or athletes, and I suspect Battle will be baited into living on the perimeter. We’ll see how our coaching staff adjusts.

Guys look pretty good thus far, but there’s a lot left to figure out this season. Should we be happy with the results so far? Yeah, of course. Should we congratulate ourselves? Probably not.
 

alchemy2u

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What a strange topic question by the OP.
"Have We Got Ourselves a Real Coaching Staff?"
Of course we have a real coaching staff. Last years staff was also real.
What we have this year is a staff that has years of experience coaching mid-major players and running a system designed to cover the lack of athleticism on their roster.
Pitino knew all about coaching blue blood athletes, but struggled to run an offense that was effective for non-blue blood players. His offense emphasized individual skill and thus ball movement was stifled. This coaching staff knows all about working with non-athletic players who must work as a whole rather than strike individually.
What a strange response to the OP.

This staff was greeted with a tremendous amount of criticism and doubt as to whether they were even worthy of coaching this team. Many kept spouting various theories on why they were hired and most of them had nothing to do with actual coaching ability. People were claiming they would never go to another game or that Coyle had a gun to his head, etc, etc, etc.....

I am just opening a discussion about the traits this team has shown so far. Of course it is early, we all know that. But, so far it is very promising that this team is showing the traits of being well coached.
 




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