Have We Got Ourselves a Real Coaching Staff?

BarnBurner

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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.

Who did Jonhson land that makes him a prolific recruiter?
 

Fleckoff

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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 guess short and sweet answer to this would be when you were school I'm guessing you had teachers who were far better at communicating to kids than others. It's the same deal, you can want to play good defense, but if you can't communicate you
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.
I would say in his first year Pitino did a really good job of filling the holes in the roser, brought in Lil Dre to run point so Andre Hollins could be in more of a scoring role. Malik Smith for outside shooting off the bench, Joey King,a stretch four and Dede was showing promise as a three and D guy as a Freshman. Most importantly he got Mo Walker on a diet and he lost 70 lbs that off season, but I think he inherrited guys from Tubby who knew how to play team defense and was able to improve the offensive abilities for guys like Mav and EE, Austin Hollins had a good Senior year, great NIT run, but he was never able to develop those abilities with his own recruits.
 

Fleckoff

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Definitely had nothing to do with quality of wins.
The 2014 team had some nice wins, they beat Ohio State and Wisconsin at home, the weird thing about that year was Top 50 wins were a big deal in the Selection Process, when they beat Iowa they knocked them out of the top 50, so Iowa got into the Dayton game because they had more top 50 wins than us, but that was because our win knocked them out of the top 50. Also the 2013 team, biggest difference was they had the nice wins over Stanford and Memphis in Atlantis and they beat FSU and USC on the road. 2014 team had a nice win at home vs FSU, beat fellow bubble team Richmond on the road, but lost to Syracuse and blew a ten point lead in the second half to Arkansas in Maui. They also had some tough luck losing Andre Hollins for three games when Gassner stepped his ankle. Guessing the home loss to NW and close loss at Nebraska and the 3Ot loss at Purdue, good chance those all turn into wins with a healthy Dre, but they probably would have only needed one of those to get in. All well, both years had fun moments, Tubby's last team I thought lucked out drawing UCLA but they kicked the shit out of Shabazz Mohammed that day, and that was fun, had they beaten Florida they would have had a very favorable draw with Florida Gulf Coast in the Sweet 16.
 

Tucker32

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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.
Pitino didn't take a step back? From an NCAA team winning a round one game, to going to the NIT year one (they won it, still the NIT) and then having a historically bad year during year two. That's a step back from what Tubby had been doing. Pitino seems like a great guy who was easy to cheer for. However, he never demonstrated the ability to build a roster (although some of it was bad luck), and never demonstrated the ability to get a team to play well together offensively or defensively. There were stretches where they won and played good defense, but not consistently. Never for a lack of effort though. I wish it would have worked out here, and wish him well at New Mexico.

Why you are even bringing him up doesn't make a lot of sense. People are feeling good about what they are seeing the first few games of this year. Let them feel good about that. No one is villianizing Pitino, making "Year Zero" comments, simply stating it is fun to see a well-coached team on both sides of the ball the first few games.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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Pitino didn't take a step back? From an NCAA team winning a round one game, to going to the NIT year one (they won it, still the NIT) and then having a historically bad year during year two. That's a step back from what Tubby had been doing. Pitino seems like a great guy who was easy to cheer for. However, he never demonstrated the ability to build a roster (although some of it was bad luck), and never demonstrated the ability to get a team to play well together offensively or defensively. There were stretches where they won and played good defense, but not consistently. Never for a lack of effort though. I wish it would have worked out here, and wish him well at New Mexico.

Why you are even bringing him up doesn't make a lot of sense. People are feeling good about what they are seeing the first few games of this year. Let them feel good about that. No one is villianizing Pitino, making "Year Zero" comments, simply stating it is fun to see a well-coached team on both sides of the ball the first few games.

No, they didn't take a step back from Tubby's last year to Pitino's first year which I already explained in multiple posts. I'm comparing first years, not the second year.

The title of the thread is 'Have we got ourselves a real coaching staff?', a few games into a new coaching staff. The comparison is valid because plenty of people felt the same way in year one of Pitino and comparing him to Tubby, as now posters feel watching the first few games of Johnson and comparing them to Pitino.

Oh and wasn't Johnson on Pitino's staff for the first 5 years....
 



Dakota2

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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?
There is no argument against good team basketball. Some coaches can convince a collection of high school heroes to pass the ball and play defense and some can't.
 

ecoperson

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No, they didn't take a step back from Tubby's last year to Pitino's first year which I already explained in multiple posts. I'm comparing first years, not the second year.

The title of the thread is 'Have we got ourselves a real coaching staff?', a few games into a new coaching staff. The comparison is valid because plenty of people felt the same way in year one of Pitino and comparing him to Tubby, as now posters feel watching the first few games of Johnson and comparing them to Pitino.

Oh and wasn't Johnson on Pitino's staff for the first 5 years....
You have previously mentioned the huge distance between being an assistant coach and a head coach so that may answer your own question.
 

Tucker32

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No, they didn't take a step back from Tubby's last year to Pitino's first year which I already explained in multiple posts. I'm comparing first years, not the second year.

The title of the thread is 'Have we got ourselves a real coaching staff?', a few games into a new coaching staff. The comparison is valid because plenty of people felt the same way in year one of Pitino and comparing him to Tubby, as now posters feel watching the first few games of Johnson and comparing them to Pitino.

Oh and wasn't Johnson on Pitino's staff for the first 5 years....
You’re laughable.
 



golfing18now

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Way too early to answer this question. Nice four game stretch. Nothing more, nothing less.

The answer would be the same if he was 0-4 in this stretch.
 


Fleckoff

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Who did Jonhson land that makes him a prolific recruiter?
Under Pitino he was the primary recruiter for jarvis Johnson, Jordan Murphy, Amir Coffey, Oturu, Omersa and Gabe K. I think in this last portal season Jamison Battle, Payton Willis and Parker Fox were very good gets. Pharrell Payne a top 80 recruit on Prep Hoops, Carrington in the top 125 range and JOJ is pushing top 150 on that site as well. Early returns on Chatman and Winter sound pretty promising too
 




forever a gopher

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I was highly skeptical of the hire, as there were WAY more qualified people to pick from. Does that mean he won't be successful? Of course not. But I have to imagine hiring somebody with past success increases your odds of it working out. That's all any coaching search is- increasing the odds it'll be successful. Just like recruiting- at some level it's a crap-shoot. Some 5* guys never pan out, and some 2* guys turn out to be amazing. But on average, the 5* will pan out more than 2*.

I am highly encouraged in what I've seen in the first 4 games from an effort and scheme standpoint. But as others have said, it's way way too early to draw conclusions. At this point, I would say, looks good, let's build on it.
 

alchemy2u

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I was highly skeptical of the hire, as there were WAY more qualified people to pick from. Does that mean he won't be successful? Of course not. But I have to imagine hiring somebody with past success increases your odds of it working out. That's all any coaching search is- increasing the odds it'll be successful. Just like recruiting- at some level it's a crap-shoot. Some 5* guys never pan out, and some 2* guys turn out to be amazing. But on average, the 5* will pan out more than 2*.

I am highly encouraged in what I've seen in the first 4 games from an effort and scheme standpoint. But as others have said, it's way way too early to draw conclusions. At this point, I would say, looks good, let's build on it.
I tended to agree with you. Was expecting one of the names we all tossed around. When Ben was announced I screamed WTF and even started a fire Coyle thread. I knew nothing about Ben and it wasn’t about him, it was because we seemed to have a chance at some coaches with good track records. And it seemed too early in the search to be picking an unknown. I gradually came down off the ledge and liked all of the info we were hearing about Ben. Liked his coaching staff and his criteria that he was using to pick transfers (high BB IQ, hard workers, shooters, defense minded, high character, etc…). Now we see a team that is paying attention to the details and looks to be well coached. It is very early, but it is a very promising beginning.
 

BarnBurner

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Under Pitino he was the primary recruiter for jarvis Johnson, Jordan Murphy, Amir Coffey, Oturu, Omersa and Gabe K. I think in this last portal season Jamison Battle, Payton Willis and Parker Fox were very good gets. Pharrell Payne a top 80 recruit on Prep Hoops, Carrington in the top 125 range and JOJ is pushing top 150 on that site as well. Early returns on Chatman and Winter sound pretty promising too
Love Murph and Daniel, for that matter the others. It didnt translate to much winning.

Results matter. If Payne, Ola Jo, and Carrington are prolific recruits, they will propel the program. Also, of course, with a large dose of excellent coaching.
 

SanDiegoGopherFan

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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.
Reply of the year nominee
 

Swede88

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I've been watching Gopher basketball since the Musselman days of Jim Brewer and Clyde Turner and I have to say this team is really well coached. They don't have the "BIGS" to challenge for the Big 10 crown, but I love the way they play defense; the unselfish play; spacing and passing. They play so smart - it's a real pleasure to watch. Have to give Ben a lot of credit - they may have found a Diamond in the Rough! Go Gophers!
 

xxxdog

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I've been watching Gopher basketball since the Musselman days of Jim Brewer and Clyde Turner and I have to say this team is really well coached. They don't have the "BIGS" to challenge for the Big 10 crown, but I love the way they play defense; the unselfish play; spacing and passing. They play so smart - it's a real pleasure to watch. Have to give Ben a lot of credit - they may have found a Diamond in the Rough! Go Gophers!
I agree....He is getting the upmost production from a lightly recruited undersized roster, it reflects on coaching, relying on tight defense and constant offensive motion...I expect forward recruiting {H.S & transfers in 2022} will create positive interest realizing the ability of the present coaching staff...
 

Cayman

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No, they didn't take a step back from Tubby's last year to Pitino's first year which I already explained in multiple posts. I'm comparing first years, not the second year.

The title of the thread is 'Have we got ourselves a real coaching staff?', a few games into a new coaching staff. The comparison is valid because plenty of people felt the same way in year one of Pitino and comparing him to Tubby, as now posters feel watching the first few games of Johnson and comparing them to Pitino.

Oh and wasn't Johnson on Pitino's staff for the first 5 years....
In an absolute sense, I guess Pitino's first year was a minor step back from Tubby's last. As you previously noted, the conference record was identical, and the post Big Ten Tournament record was almost identical, though I do recall the Gophers having an exceptionally strong schedule in 2012-13, with like a top 30 RPI. There were people worried we wouldn't make the tournament, and I think Selection Sunday assured us that a power conference team with an RPI that high getting left out would be unprecedented, even though the team was kind of on a losing streak and couldn't beat anyone on the road. We had threads arguing about whether the Gophers were 9th in the Big Ten due to tournament seeding tiebreakers, or tied for 7th in the Big Ten. We had threads asking if you were going to cheer for the Gophers to lose their NCAA Tournament game in service of maximizing the chance of Tubby getting fired, and there was a lot of sentiment that the 2013-14 team was going to be absolutely terrible if Tubby came back.

Pitino came in and brought in big contributors in the spring, something we didn't see with Tubby, and we ran up and down the court and forced lots of turnovers and beat some ranked teams and got mentioned in tournament bracketology updates and went after top 50 recruits, and we crapped on Tubby in the game threads after every win. Expectations for that season were very low at the end of Tubby's tenure, and we were very close to making the tournament at a point when the NIT seemed out of reach just a year earlier.

So again, in an absolute sense, Pitino's first year was a very small step back from Tubby's last, but it was substantially above expectations, and nobody at the time, outside of maybe the most ardent, bitter end Tubby defenders, was disappointed with it. In fact after that season people started crapping their pants about how Pitino was an up and coming star in the coaching ranks and would be leaving us shortly to inherit the Louisville job from Rick. Calling it a step back is like calling PJ Fleck's first year a step back from Claeys' 9-4 season, if you just don't mention the expulsions from the rape scandal or the fact that we had to beg a walk-on quarterback to come back for another year and be our starter.

Pitino outperformed expectations in year one and no one was unhappy with him. Likewise, Ben Johnson seems to be outperforming expectations so far, and he's earning some goodwill early on. I was leery of the hire when it was announced, but I've always been willing to give him a chance and I like what I see so far. I'll be rooting for him.
 

Pete smith

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To answer your title question - the answer is we aren’t into the schedule far enough to make a definitive answer, but in the short term I would say “no”.
 




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