Justin Gaard on KFAN

forever a gopher

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It isn’t one loss. Reuvers has been terrible this year. He’d get shredded constantly on this board if he was playing how he is for the gophers. Look at his stats.
You referred to that one loss specifically, hence my “cherry picking data” comment. Yes, Ruevers has had a down year. He also plays soft. His rebounding numbers for a guy his size are terrible. Davison has literally gotten worse statistically every year he’s been there. With all of that, this being a “down” year for them currently has them 6th in the conference standings, and already safely in the NCAA tourney even if they do nothing the rest of the year. I’m not saying the Mn guys they have this year are world beaters. But somehow with a roster made up of like 1/3 Minnesotans, they are 6th in the conference and we’re sitting at a 7th losing season out of 8 in Pitino’s tenure.

Again, nobody would care at all where our players were from if Pitino won. But he hasn’t.
 



GopherNuts

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You have to earn the right to recruit nationally, it's not the other way around. It's great for people to say "I don't care where they come from as long as we win" but athletic departments have budgets and reality is that more often than not, you aren't convincing a kid halfway across the country to come to a building upper Midwest program. You start within your region and when you've shown you can develop and win, recruits in other parts of the country start to return your calls. This isn't just a Gopher fan thing, look at recruiting classes across college athletics and you'll find that the majority of classes are made up largely by kids within a certain mile radius of the particular University.

The more damning thing for Pitino in recruiting was not as much how he did in Minnesota but largely ignoring Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. Those are easy trips down to see recruits and easy trips up for them to come and visit but instead we prioritized New York and New Jersey which is why the roster so frequently lacks depth and why we're chasing around transfers. Mitchell's the only high school recruit from Illinois we've landed in the Pitino era, none from Wisconsin, none from Michigan, none from Indiana, none from Missouri, none from Ohio. Bo Ryan had a Hall of Fame career recruiting those states and the same with Izzo. Use your resources wisely.
 
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alchemy2u

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With all respect, none of that matters if he shows he can coach and win.

Top Minnesota recruits will be more interested if the team is successful. That's just the way it works. He didn't get many and a big reason is because he wasn't successful. A lot of them threw him a bone because it was the local school, but in the end, his results spoke for themselves and it was therefore an easy decision to go elsewhere. Getting top local kids is always going to be tough with bluebloods sniffing around. It's even harder when the local team is totally irrelevant nationally.

As it relates to transfers, he was literally filling up his roster with them due to not having won many significant recruiting battles. And the the transfers he did get haven't changed the on-court product much, if at all. If those transfers had suddenly lifted the program into contention, there would be no complaints whatsoever. As it is, they haven't and didn't. So getting transfers isn't the issue. Not being competitive with the transfers is the problem. Win more than 25 games every year and finish in the top 25 yearly and nobody cares about transfers or where the recruits come from.

As to that "best team since 1997" squad, he brought in Reggie Lynch, who was a transfer, local product and sexual predator. That's not bad luck. He was one of your guys. The "whoopsie, we recruited a sexual predator" angle is fine, but doesn't fully explain the full context of that season. After Lynch was booted, the squad completely tanked. If they truly were the "best team since 1997", they should have been able to absorb that loss and stay relevant. Instead, it was a complete free-fall.

As to the Wisconsin and Marquette angle, I'm not sure why it matters how many Minnesotans started for them and that they got throttled. Almost every team in the country loses several games a year. With the Gophers, they get throttled on the regular whether there are Minnesotans on the roster or not, so I don't understand the point. Is he inferring there isn't that much instate talent? It didn't matter he didn't get those kids because they aren't very good anyway? Honestly, I don't get it.

Which leads me to this; Pitino's undoing has nothing to do with the Minnesota basketball community as a whole. It has to do with him not getting it done on the court, period. If the team is successful, all that complaining becomes a moot point and he has a better shot at getting more top in-state talent. As it is, he didn't and therefore hasn't.

Trust me, people won't care one bit about any of that if the next coach starts winning consistently. Pitino never came close, even under the best of circumstances and Gaard knows that, which is why he took the entire issue in another direction, preaching to the Minnesota basketball community.
I agree. Many of the superficial fans will blame it all on not getting MN recruits. We all would love to get MN recruits, if they are good enough to play for a top tier B1G team. Pitino brought in his share of good talent for being a middle of the pack B1G team. He just wasn't able to over achieve his spot in the pecking order, in fact he drastically under achieved on numerous occasions. As other have noted, you get better talent when you have better results.
 


builtbadgers

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I agree. Many of the superficial fans will blame it all on not getting MN recruits. We all would love to get MN recruits, if they are good enough to play for a top tier B1G team. Pitino brought in his share of good talent for being a middle of the pack B1G team. He just wasn't able to over achieve his spot in the pecking order, in fact he drastically under achieved on numerous occasions. As other have noted, you get better talent when you have better results.
I wish he was middle of the pack !
 

tmvander

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You have to earn the right to recruit nationally, it's not the other way around. It's great for people to say "I don't care where they come from as long as we win" but athletic departments have budgets and reality is that more often than not, you aren't convincing a kid halfway across the country to come to a building upper Midwest program. You start within your region and when you've shown you can develop and win, recruits in other parts of the country start to return your calls. This isn't just a Gopher fan thing, look at recruiting classes across college athletics and you'll find that the majority of classes are made up largely by kids within a certain mile radius of the particular University.

The more damning thing for Pitino in recruiting was not how he did in Minnesota but largely ignoring Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan or Indiana. Those are easy trips down to see recruits and easy trips up for them to come and visit but instead we prioritized New York and New Jersey which is why the roster so frequently lacks depth and why we're chasing around transfers. Mitchell's the only high school recruit from Illinois we've landed in the Pitino era, none from Wisconsin, none from Michigan, none from Indiana, none from Missouri, none from Ohio. Bo Ryan had a Hall of Fame career recruiting those states and the same with Izzo. Use your resources wisely.
I don't know...i think this is more true for football than basketball. I'm willing to bet that outside of the East coast where everyone is jammed together most teams will have 1 or 2 players from close and the rest from farther off.

Either way it doesn't matter where they would have came from pitino wouldn't have won with them haha
 

UpAndUnder43

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You referred to that one loss specifically, hence my “cherry picking data” comment. Yes, Ruevers has had a down year. He also plays soft. His rebounding numbers for a guy his size are terrible. Davison has literally gotten worse statistically every year he’s been there. With all of that, this being a “down” year for them currently has them 6th in the conference standings, and already safely in the NCAA tourney even if they do nothing the rest of the year. I’m not saying the Mn guys they have this year are world beaters. But somehow with a roster made up of like 1/3 Minnesotans, they are 6th in the conference and we’re sitting at a 7th losing season out of 8 in Pitino’s tenure.

Again, nobody would care at all where our players were from if Pitino won. But he hasn’t.

I agree. And I said that earlier. You’re reiterating points I’ve made
 





Section2

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New coach might not get the top local recruits, but I guarantee he will work harder at it than Pitino. Fleck outrecruited Suggs vs Pitino. Pitino is a lazy recruiter. He gives up too easily. You only have to recruit 2-3 kids most years and Fleck works harder at it than you for a kid who’s a long shot to play football? That really says it all.
 

GopherNuts

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I don't know...i think this is more true for football than basketball. I'm willing to bet that outside of the East coast where everyone is jammed together most teams will have 1 or 2 players from close and the rest from farther off.

Either way it doesn't matter where they would have came from pitino wouldn't have won with them haha

I don’t have any proof of this but just from following recruiting, I’d say most kids (66% and up) are from surrounding states. You have Duke, Kentucky and Gonzaga that recruit from anywhere but the core of pretty much every other program is fairly regional. Pick a random P6 school and look through their classes on 247 in the last 10 years (you probably pick one that makes me look bad lol..but I’m pretty confident about this).
 

Keyser Söze

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It really helps your coaching if you’ve actually played at reasonable level (high school minimally, college preferred, professional a plus). You can tell pitino has a limited understanding due to limited playing experience.

I want a coach that has actually played. Is that so hard to find?

How many of the best basketball coaches played professionally? How many played at a high level in college? I get what you’re saying, but coaching and playing are entirely different things. If our next coach didn’t play in college that isn’t going to bother me.
 



tmvander

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I don’t have any proof of this but just from following recruiting, I’d say most kids (66% and up) are from surrounding states. You have Duke, Kentucky and Gonzaga that recruit from anywhere but the core of pretty much every other program is fairly regional. Pick a random P6 school and look through their classes on 247 in the last 10 years (you probably pick one that makes me look bad lol..but I’m pretty confident about this).
I mean you might be right...i don't have the energy to compile data or see who are the walk ons etc haha
 

From the Parkinglot

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I don’t care where the kids come from and who the coach is I just want a respectable basketball program. For too long gopher basketball has been an embarrassment. I am not expecting the new coach to get every Minnesota kid to stay home. Kids are kids and they gonna do what they want to do. Pitino will never live down taking jelly doughnut over McKinnley Wright if that is what happened.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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New coach might not get the top local recruits, but I guarantee he will work harder at it than Pitino. Fleck outrecruited Suggs vs Pitino. Pitino is a lazy recruiter. He gives up too easily. You only have to recruit 2-3 kids most years and Fleck works harder at it than you for a kid who’s a long shot to play football? That really says it all.

To be fair, very few people work harder than Fleck does at recruiting.
 

builtbadgers

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There is a regional pull from a lot of programs but when your building you find the right guys to fit the culture your instilling. The best ones at this have found under the radar guys with high skill and high intelligence and high character no matter where they are from. But you have to know what your building and have a eye for who fits that. Research reveals they come from all over. Heck, even after great success several programs still do not get the best players from their own state.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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JG and the people who defend Pitino play this game of semantics with recruiting.

I don't blame Pitino that we didn't land Suggs. I blame Pitino that I think it felt like a pipedream to land Garcia, Wahl, etc. Something felt off to me when we didn't Macura. He felt like a guy Tubby would have landed. I know that's likely entirely in my head, but Pitino's failure at recruiting is not about losing to blue bloods, it's about losing to Marquette, Xavier, etc.

I also don't care where they guys come from. But I think it's easier to recruit depth if part of your base is local.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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JG and the people who defend Pitino play this game of semantics with recruiting.

I don't blame Pitino that we didn't land Suggs. I blame Pitino that I think it felt like a pipedream to land Garcia, Wahl, etc. Something felt off to me when we didn't Macura. He felt like a guy Tubby would have landed. I know that's likely entirely in my head, but Pitino's failure at recruiting is not about losing to blue bloods, it's about losing to Marquette, Xavier, etc.

I also don't care where they guys come from. But I think it's easier to recruit depth if part of your base is local.

As far as Macura is concerned, Tubby never wanted him. Pitino offered him 2 months after he took the job, had several unofficial visits, but J.P. ended up choosing Xavier.
 

tmvander

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As far as Macura is concerned, Tubby never wanted him. Pitino offered him 2 months after he took the job, had several unofficial visits, but J.P. ended up choosing Xavier.
Off i remember correctly pitino also was in the running for Isaiah whitehead...had him on campus...had to follow through on that one as he was a stud
 

Keyser Söze

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Off i remember correctly pitino also was in the running for Isaiah whitehead...had him on campus...had to follow through on that one as he was a stud

Pretty sure we were the perceived leader for him until Seton Hall hired his high school coach.
 


EG#9

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His second segment hit on Pitino today and he acknowledged he is biased because of his job. However I think he did a great job explaining why the Minnesota basketball community needs to look in the mirror a bit and get with the times.

Recruiting: Listed the number in state recruits Fleck has gotten each year. Says Fleck lives and breathes recruiting and still kids leave. Basically Minnesotans feel entitled that all MN kids should get their first offer from MN.


Transfers are here to stay. 1000 kids transferred (3 per team) last year. Even Fleck gets it and is “living in the portal”. So realize the next basketball coach will too get transfers

Luck: Pitino has had some bad luck and that skews win percentage. He had the best team since 1997 and off the court issues took it down. Injuries have taken this season down.


He got two top MN kids to stay and they both left early to NBA, and that’s hardly talked about.

Just yesterday. Wisconsin starts 3 Minnesotans and got handled by Illinois. Marquette starts two Minnesotans and is under .500 in the Big East and got throttled yesterday.
He understands change is coming and understands it, but people need to realize that a new coach will work many of the same ways.

The first bolded part is nonsense. The team Gaard is referring to in 2017-2018 lost at home to Miami 86-81, at Nebraska 78-68 and at Arkansas 95-79 before anything happened Lynch (not an injury) or Coffey went down. They were not even ranked. Tubby had the team where neither Royce White or Trevor Mbakwe were allowed to play and I believe still made the tournament. That was a better team. Tubby had a team ranked in the top 10 in January that lost Al Nolen to injury and Devoe Joseph to transfer.

The second part. Wow. Those same Minnesotans have been ranked all year, probably finish with a winning B1G record and most importantly won a share of the B1G title last season! I think they've done pretty well. Dawson Garcia for that Marquette team had 24 and 11 in a win at North Carolina a couple days ago. That would be the best performance by a Gopher Freshman since? At least Amir Coffey? He had 18 and 8 in that "throttling" yesterday too.

I am NOT advocating for a team of only Minnesotan's or claiming that Minnesota should offer and get everyone from in state. But when you miss on the local kids and your out of of state guys are Tre Williams, Isaiah Ihnen, and Sam Freeman, it's not bad luck that your winning percentage is absolutely atrocious.
 
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Roland Brooks

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The first bolded part is nonsense. The team Gaard is referring to in 2017-2018 lost at home to Miami 86-81, at Nebraska 78-68 and at Arkansas 95-79 before anything happened Lynch (not an injury) or Coffey went down. They were not even ranked. Tubby had the team where neither Royce White or Trevor Mbakwe were allowed to play and I believe still made the tournament. That was a better team. Tubby had a team ranked in the top 10 in January that lost Al Nolen to injury and Devoe Joseph to transfer.

The second part. Wow. Those same Minnesotans have been ranked all year, probably finish with a winning B1G record and most importantly won a share of the B1G title last season! I think they've done pretty well. Dawson Garcia for that Marquette team had 24 and 11 in a win at North Carolina a couple days ago. That would be the best performance by a Gopher Freshman since? At least Amir Coffey? He had 18 and 8 in that "throttling" yesterday too. Theo John has averaged 11.5 points and 9 rebounds and 3.2 blocks over his 4 year career at Marquette. He's limited offensively, but he's the type of physical big Minnesota seemingly never has enough of.

I am NOT advocating for a team of only Minnesotan's or claiming that Minnesota should offer and get everyone from in state. But when you miss on the local kids and your out of of state guys are Tre Williams, Isaiah Ihnen, and Sam Freeman, it's not bad luck that your winning percentage is absolutely atrocious.
McBrayer got hurt and didn’t play the Miami game and was hobbled the whole year he misses 7/8 games.
 

Roland Brooks

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Theo John has averaged 5.6 points and 4.4 rebounds over his illustrious career
 

Bad Gopher

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The first bolded part is nonsense. The team Gaard is referring to in 2017-2018 lost at home to Miami 86-81, at Nebraska 78-68 and at Arkansas 95-79 before anything happened Lynch (not an injury) or Coffey went down. They were not even ranked. Tubby had the team where neither Royce White or Trevor Mbakwe were allowed to play and I believe still made the tournament. That was a better team. Tubby had a team ranked in the top 10 in January that lost Al Nolen to injury and Devoe Joseph to transfer.

The second part. Wow. Those same Minnesotans have been ranked all year, probably finish with a winning B1G record and most importantly won a share of the B1G title last season! I think they've done pretty well. Dawson Garcia for that Marquette team had 24 and 11 in a win at North Carolina a couple days ago. That would be the best performance by a Gopher Freshman since? At least Amir Coffey? He had 18 and 8 in that "throttling" yesterday too. Theo John has averaged 11.5 points and 9 rebounds and 3.2 blocks over his 4 year career at Marquette. He's limited offensively, but he's the type of physical big Minnesota seemingly never has enough of.

I am NOT advocating for a team of only Minnesotan's or claiming that Minnesota should offer and get everyone from in state. But when you miss on the local kids and your out of of state guys are Tre Williams, Isaiah Ihnen, and Sam Freeman, it's not bad luck that your winning percentage is absolutely atrocious.
I've always felt that Richard undervalued local/regional talent. Not the elite guys but the 3- and 4-star guys. It took Ben Johnson to convince him to go after Kalscheur. We were later than we should have been on Will Tschetter and Eli King. The list is long, so I won't go on and on, but you can make a pretty good team by starting locally. Aside from the 5-stars, the players around here are usually undervalued. A coach with an eye for talent and who knows what they want and need will find this a good hunting ground.
 


Gopherfan84

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I've always felt that Richard undervalued local/regional talent. Not the elite guys but the 3- and 4-star guys. It took Ben Johnson to convince him to go after Kalscheur. We were later than we should have been on Will Tschetter and Eli King. The list is long, so I won't go on and on, but you can make a pretty good team by starting locally. Aside from the 5-stars, the players around here are usually undervalued. A coach with an eye for talent and who knows what they want and need will find this a good hunting ground.
I agree with the undervalue especially at the start of his tenure. Felt since the Gabe and Daniel class he tried harder but it was too late. Will T was a tough one because he had Thompson on board already. I don’t know where we are with King, but he’s been on Holloman hard for three years
 

cjbfbp

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You have to earn the right to recruit nationally, it's not the other way around. It's great for people to say "I don't care where they come from as long as we win" but athletic departments have budgets and reality is that more often than not, you aren't convincing a kid halfway across the country to come to a building upper Midwest program. You start within your region and when you've shown you can develop and win, recruits in other parts of the country start to return your calls. This isn't just a Gopher fan thing, look at recruiting classes across college athletics and you'll find that the majority of classes are made up largely by kids within a certain mile radius of the particular University.

The more damning thing for Pitino in recruiting was not as much how he did in Minnesota but largely ignoring Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. Those are easy trips down to see recruits and easy trips up for them to come and visit but instead we prioritized New York and New Jersey which is why the roster so frequently lacks depth and why we're chasing around transfers. Mitchell's the only high school recruit from Illinois we've landed in the Pitino era, none from Wisconsin, none from Michigan, none from Indiana, none from Missouri, none from Ohio. Bo Ryan had a Hall of Fame career recruiting those states and the same with Izzo. Use your resources wisely.

What are you talking about? Did we have to earn the right to recruit Jordan Murphy from Texas and Nate Mason from Georgia? Did Fleck have to earn the right to recruit Tanner Morgan from KY and Mo from the Baltimore area?

Focusing so much on New York and New Jersey? How many recruits did Pitino get from New York and New Jersey? Off the top of my head I can think of only Washington from New York and McBrayer and Jamir Harris from New Jersey.

"This isn't just a Gopher fan thing, look at recruiting classes across college athletics and you'll find that the majority of classes are made up largely by kids within a certain mile radius of the particular University."

You mean the majority of that talent Gonzaga gets comes from the Spokane area?

That was a genuinely idiotic rant by someone who seems obsessed by regional bigotry.

Numerous others on this page have stated the bottom line issue correctly: Wherever Pitino has recruited players from, he seldom managed to mesh them as a team effectively.
 
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tjgopher

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Tubby had a team ranked in the top 10 in January that lost Al Nolen to injury and Devoe Joseph to transfer.

For clarity's sake, Tubby's team that lost Al Nolen and Devoe Joseph (2010-11) got as high as #13 in December with a 11-1 record, but lost those two guys and lost 9 of its last 10 games to finish 6-12 in the Big Ten. That team had plenty of talent with Trevor, Rodney, Ralph, Hoffarber, Austin, Colton, and Mo. But, it went south fast when Al got injured because they had no PG depth.

Two years later, Tubby had a team ranked #8 in the country in January (2012-13), started 15-1 (including a 3-0 start in Big Ten), only to lose 10 of its last 15, finish 8-10 in the Big Ten, lose to a terrible Illinois team in the BTT opening game, limp into the NCAA tourney, beat a disinterested UCLA team, lose to Florida and Tubby got fired. That team had Trevor, Rodney, Andre, Austin, Joe Coleman, Julian Welch, Mo, etc.

The team Gaard is referring to in 2017-2018 lost at home to Miami 86-81, at Nebraska 78-68 and at Arkansas 95-79 before anything happened Lynch (not an injury) or Coffey went down. They were not even ranked.

They were ranked for all of November and most of December and were 13-3 (2-1 in Big Ten) then all hell broke loose. They proceeded to go 2-14 after that. Reggie got booted, Amir missed time and played hurt with a shoulder, Dupree played hurt and missed time with a leg, and Mason played hurt with a hip all year.


There are some similarities to the 2010-11 and 2017-18 teams.
 
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