Have We Got Ourselves a Real Coaching Staff?

stocker08

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Messages
27,324
Reaction score
8,553
Points
113
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.

True. But Pitino wasn't given an empty roster. He inherited both Andre and Austin Hollins. Not to mention a front court including Big Mo Walker and Elliott Eliason.
 


MennoSota

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2015
Messages
10,555
Reaction score
1,851
Points
113
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.
I question your title. It is a strange title.
"Have We Got Ourselves a Real Coaching Staff?"

Of course we have ourselves a real coaching staff.
Perhaps, it seems strange to me because I always have supported Ben Johnson as head coach.
 

short ornery norwegian

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2011
Messages
12,084
Reaction score
4,036
Points
113
Regardless of the talent level or experience of the players on the roster, Johnson and his staff have gotten them to buy into the system.

the Gophers are playing as a team. They have a system and they are following the system.

that, to me, is the result of effective coaching.

no more Hero Ball.

The Gophers are going to lose games this year because other teams will have more size and talent. But, I truly believe the Gophers are not going to lose games because they were out-coached.
 

Gopher_In_NYC

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 19, 2010
Messages
6,523
Reaction score
4,116
Points
113
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.
Regardless of the talent level or experience of the players on the roster, Johnson and his staff have gotten them to buy into the system.

the Gophers are playing as a team. They have a system and they are following the system.

that, to me, is the result of effective coaching.

no more Hero Ball.

The Gophers are going to lose games this year because other teams will have more size and talent. But, I truly believe the Gophers are not going to lose games because they were out-coached.
hero ball is fun to watch when it’s Jordan or Lebrun as their skills are so high.

rarely works well in college and not why I watch it am draw to it.
 


jamiche

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 13, 2008
Messages
22,997
Reaction score
3,087
Points
113
Johnson will make mistakes and social media will amplify those mistakes, as it does for all coaches. The distinction in this case is the "diversity hire" folks will slither out from under their rocks to raise "concerns."
I think he's off to a great start. My expectations for the season are about what they were over the summer. Players that pass the ball to one another on offense and work hard with a scheme on defense. That's exactly what's happening. What's different is the talent and experience levels are greater than I anticipated. Regardless of the record, it's going to continue to be a fun year at Williams.
 


MplsGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
31,329
Reaction score
8,117
Points
113
Players that pass the ball to one another on offense and work hard with a scheme on defense.
This seems like such an obvious thing.

So obvious, that every coach would automatically do it.


But I'm pretty sure that's not true? So there has to be some kind of "valid"(?) argument against doing this. I assume Pitino bought into such arguments.

What are they??


First to admit that I did not play bball in middle/high school, and only have a basic understanding of the game.

So this will probably be wrong: but is it something akin to Mike Leach Air Raid offense in football, as the argument against?
 

cjbfbp

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
9,414
Reaction score
3,671
Points
113
Seems to me the meaning of the right fit will be much more important to Johnson's recruits than Pitino's were.

Yes, reminds me of a funny exchange from Seinfeld:

Newman: "She wasn't my type!"

Jerry: "You don't have a type, Newman!"

I don't think Pitino really had a type. He just got whatever well rated players, or accomplished transfers, he could get. Obviously, he cared about getting good post players. His eye for transfer talent was better than his eye for prep talent as he had few misfires on the transfers. Ben's eye for transfer talent has been really good so far. We'll have to see about his eye for prep talent.
 



Tucker32

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2008
Messages
1,489
Reaction score
523
Points
113
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.
You’re right, many people would get excited. Not a lot of people who really know basketball though. They rarely played sound team defense, or demonstrated the ability to move the ball and get good shots in non-conference. They just won based on having more talent. I like Pitino a lot and always hoped for more and wanted to see success, but the quality of team play, other than a glimpse here or there, never seemed to change no matter the players. With the current staff they have been playing defense, with each person knowing his role. They are getting good shots by playing together. That will be tougher as the athletes they compete against improve, but they will compete — maybe not win a lot in the Big Ten — if they keep playing this way together. Add a couple more athletic players to the team in the future, and it could be fun to watch.
 
Last edited:

Spaulding!No!

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2019
Messages
3,557
Reaction score
1,466
Points
113
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.
We are not yet at the pointwhere credit is to be distributed.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2013
Messages
10,140
Reaction score
4,461
Points
113
True. But Pitino wasn't given an empty roster. He inherited both Andre and Austin Hollins. Not to mention a front court including Big Mo Walker and Elliott Eliason.

Ben Johnson didn't inherit an empty roster either, he just didn't convince anyone to stay outside of Ihnen and having Curry un-retire.

Pitino was the one who forced Mo Walker to get into shape. Pitino lost Williams, Mbakwe, and Joe Coleman as starters from Tubby's last team and didn't take a step back.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2013
Messages
10,140
Reaction score
4,461
Points
113
You’re right, many people would get excited. Not a lot of people who really know basketball though. They rarely played sound team defense, or demonstrated the ability to move the ball and get good shots in non-conference. They just won based on having more talent. I like Pitino a lot and always hoped for more and wanted to see success, but the quality of team play, other than a glimpse here or there, never seemed to change no matter the players. With the current staff they have been playing defense, with each person knowing his role. They are getting good shots by playing together. That will be tougher as the athletes they compete against improve, but they will compete — maybe not win a lot in the Big Ten — if they keep playing this way together. Add a couple more athletic players to the team in the future, and it could be fun to watch.

Most people were very excited for Pitino after year 1 and that included his coaching. That roster was not super talented either. Pitino's downfall was he could never put together a deep roster that would hold up against injuries.

Ben will have to prove that over the next few years. This years roster is similar as if they suffer any injuries, they will be in big trouble. Although I like the 3 guys they have signed for next year, they still have 4 scholarships to fill.
 



skyman31

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 6, 2019
Messages
302
Reaction score
439
Points
63
This seems like such an obvious thing.

So obvious, that every coach would automatically do it.


But I'm pretty sure that's not true? So there has to be some kind of "valid"(?) argument against doing this. I assume Pitino bought into such arguments.

What are they??


First to admit that I did not play bball in middle/high school, and only have a basic understanding of the game.

So this will probably be wrong: but is it something akin to Mike Leach Air Raid offense in football, as the argument against?
I think it’s just hard to find the right balance. You want guys to be unselfish and pass the ball, but you also need to have guys be playmakers off the dribble, and occasionally take (and make) tough shots. You need guys to have good shot selection, but you also can’t discourage your shooters from shooting themselves out of a cold stretch. Too far one way leaves you with an offense that can’t score when things are tough because you don’t have that go-to guy, too far the other way leaves you with an offense like Pitino where it felt like guys just took turns playing 1 on 1. The best players know how to walk that line, and know how to find the difference between playmaker and someone who stalls the offense. The best coaches know how to help their players find that balance.

I think Steph Curry (and Steve Kerr as a coach) is a great example of a guy who is incredible at this. He gets other guys on his team involved, their offense has great movement, but he’s still able to pick his spots where he needs to take over a game and score 40 or hit a couple tough 3s to spark a run.
Long rambling answer, but I think that some coaches are unable to push their players more toward the ball-movement side of the spectrum than the playmaker side. Not that they aren’t trying to get guys to pass the ball, they just don’t have the right balance.
 

bc2211

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 29, 2013
Messages
1,646
Reaction score
691
Points
113
This seems like such an obvious thing.

So obvious, that every coach would automatically do it.


But I'm pretty sure that's not true? So there has to be some kind of "valid"(?) argument against doing this. I assume Pitino bought into such arguments.

What are they??


First to admit that I did not play bball in middle/high school, and only have a basic understanding of the game.

So this will probably be wrong: but is it something akin to Mike Leach Air Raid offense in football, as the argument against?
I’m not an X’s and O’s guy so much, but pitino tended to adapt his offense each year to feature his best offensive players. Part of that IMO was the separation between his best players and the rest of the team. We always had a first team caliber player, a couple of good starters, and the rest very questionable talent,

The last few years the offense was high ball screens for coffee and carr, to let them create because that was probably viewed as the best way to score on any given possession. When Oturu was at his best, I believe we played more high-low post offenses. Ultimately, we never developed a consistent offensive system that players could grow into it into which Pitino could recruit intentionally.
 

bc2211

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 29, 2013
Messages
1,646
Reaction score
691
Points
113
True. But Pitino wasn't given an empty roster. He inherited both Andre and Austin Hollins. Not to mention a front court including Big Mo Walker and Elliott Eliason.
True, but BJ also hasn’t won squat yet.

We are all here to opine, but forming broad opinions about coaching ability after one round of spring recruiting and four non conf games seems premature at best (not pointing the finger at you, just broadly at the posts in this thread).
 

alchemy2u

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 13, 2009
Messages
5,191
Reaction score
1,637
Points
113
Johnson will make mistakes and social media will amplify those mistakes, as it does for all coaches. The distinction in this case is the "diversity hire" folks will slither out from under their rocks to raise "concerns."
I think he's off to a great start. My expectations for the season are about what they were over the summer. Players that pass the ball to one another on offense and work hard with a scheme on defense. That's exactly what's happening. What's different is the talent and experience levels are greater than I anticipated. Regardless of the record, it's going to continue to be a fun year at Williams.
It is still going to be a very long season when they play teams with more talent, but at least we should be fun to watch. The effort and coaching will give a chance in many games.
 


stocker08

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Messages
27,324
Reaction score
8,553
Points
113
Ben Johnson didn't inherit an empty roster either, he just didn't convince anyone to stay outside of Ihnen and having Curry un-retire.

Pitino was the one who forced Mo Walker to get into shape. Pitino lost Williams, Mbakwe, and Joe Coleman as starters from Tubby's last team and didn't take a step back.

Difference is that covid transfer rules allowed kids to jump ship. Not exactly the same situation as when Pitino took over from Tubby.

All I am saying is that Pitino inherited some really solid players. Ben Johnson had to rush to fill basically an entire roster.
 


hungan1

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2011
Messages
11,941
Reaction score
2,239
Points
113
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!
He was a star player in HS under Dave Thorson. He played for NW and then returned to his home state to play for the Gophers.

His journey took him to a lot of places in different capacities in including recruiter and assistant coach. He learned from all his stops. He is smart enough to hire the right coaching staff including his former HS coach who will act as a mentor. He was a prolific recruiter at all his stops where he was a recruiter. He is plugged into the AAU circuit and the in-state players in particular.

Yes, there was/is trepidation that he was never a head coach before. But, if you look around the Big Ten, there are successful head coaches hires with no college-level coaching experience. Tom Izzo had no head coaching experience.

IMHO, it is clear that he has all the tools to be successful. If he can flip the interest of high in-state prospects, the future of the program will be in good hands.

 
Last edited:

Johnnyboy18

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Messages
3,812
Reaction score
511
Points
113
Ben Johnson didn't inherit an empty roster either, he just didn't convince anyone to stay outside of Ihnen and having Curry un-retire.

Pitino was the one who forced Mo Walker to get into shape. Pitino lost Williams, Mbakwe, and Joe Coleman as starters from Tubby's last team and didn't take a step back.
They didn't take a step back????? One team won a game in the tournament and the other didn't even make the tournament. What are are you even saying?
 

Johnnyboy18

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Messages
3,812
Reaction score
511
Points
113
Most people were very excited for Pitino after year 1 and that included his coaching. That roster was not super talented either. Pitino's downfall was he could never put together a deep roster that would hold up against injuries.

Ben will have to prove that over the next few years. This years roster is similar as if they suffer any injuries, they will be in big trouble. Although I like the 3 guys they have signed for next year, they still have 4 scholarships to fill.
The rosters are now similar after you and others shit on it the entire offseason. Gotta love it. Anything to take away credit.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2013
Messages
10,140
Reaction score
4,461
Points
113
They didn't take a step back????? One team won a game in the tournament and the other didn't even make the tournament. What are are you even saying?
2012-13 Gophers record after Big Ten tournament: 20-12 overall, 8-10 in conference
2013-14 Gophers record after Big Ten tournament: 20-13 overall, 8-10 in conference

Their records were nearly identical prior to the post season tournaments. Pitino even won a game in the Big Ten tournament and Tubby did not. It just happened that the record was good enough to sneak into the NCAA tournament in 13, but not in 14.
 

Gopher Teeth

Fear the Teeth
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
979
Reaction score
676
Points
93
I question your title. It is a strange title.
"Have We Got Ourselves a Real Coaching Staff?"

Of course we have ourselves a real coaching staff.
Perhaps, it seems strange to me because I always have supported Ben Johnson as head coach.
I think its meant more as a shot at the prior staffs, Pitino primarily and then Tubby, Monson secondarily
 

GopherWeatherGuy

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2013
Messages
10,140
Reaction score
4,461
Points
113
The rosters are now similar after you and others shit on it the entire offseason. Gotta love it. Anything to take away credit.

Where did I say Johnson's team this year was similar to Pitino's first team? They would have been more similar if Johnson would have kept more players but he didn't. I'm simply comparing what people thought of both coaches coaching ability in the first year.

My expectation is for this team to win 10-12 games, not 20 like Pitino's first team. I've already said they have performed better than I thought and that they do look well coached so far. So how is that taking away credit?

It'll be years before we know if Johnson is better than Pitino. Calm down there sugar tits.
 

Johnnyboy18

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Messages
3,812
Reaction score
511
Points
113
[
2012-13 Gophers record after Big Ten tournament: 20-12 overall, 8-10 in conference
2013-14 Gophers record after Big Ten tournament: 20-13 overall, 8-10 in conference

Their records were nearly identical prior to the post season tournaments. Pitino even won a game in the Big Ten tournament and Tubby did not. It just happened that the record was good enough to sneak into the NCAA tournament in 13, but not in 14.
Definitely had nothing to do with quality of wins.
 

alchemy2u

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 13, 2009
Messages
5,191
Reaction score
1,637
Points
113
I think its meant more as a shot at the prior staffs, Pitino primarily and then Tubby, Monson secondarily
I think it was meant to open up and try to get the original nay sayers to contribute on if they think Ben may actually know how to coach.... Similar to the "how they doing?" Not too bad....
 

GopherWeatherGuy

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2013
Messages
10,140
Reaction score
4,461
Points
113
Definitely had nothing to do with quality of wins.
They both beat multiple ranked teams during the season. The difference between being one of the last teams in the NCAA tournament and a 1 seed in the NIT is razor thin, and highly dependent on the rest of the NCAA that season.
 

Blizzard

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Messages
4,354
Reaction score
557
Points
113
I think we're going to get destroyed in the B1G this year, which is not the end of the world. I would be encouraged if Johnson's teams would be get better as the season went along rather than worse though. Maybe we pull off an upset here and there, we'll see.
 




Top Bottom