Mid season Interview with Ben Johnson

Fleckoff

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I don't like going into the season with 10 guys. Injuries happen. Look at least year with Ihnen and Fox Then all of the sudden you're down to 8 guys before the season even starts. They need to use at least 2 of the 3 open ones. Give Ramburg the last one, fine.
Problem with giving Ramburg/Purcell one before their final year is if he transfers before graduating, it hurts our APR. I'd rather add Samuels then the Merrimack kid, getting a two year starter in the Ivy League to be your back up PG shouldn't be an issue, I think he can come in and give 8-12 minutes a night and be fine. Samuels would get us up to 11, I would like 12 and one more walk on to have 15 total bodies, just for practicing purposes.
 

GopherPlaya

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So AAU coaches are holding Wright/IW against Johnson who wasn't the head coach at the time? I'm not buying that. There's also no guarantee that keeping Carrington happy will land Chatman, or that either will lead the Gophers to a winning record.

If Ben is being held by the balls by the MN AAU teams, he isn't going to be a head coach here for long. It's his job to bring in the best players possible regardless of where they are from. With the free transfer there is no long term. The best players on bad teams will either go pro or transfer to a better program.

We are a Cooper injury a way from not having a PG. We've seen this play out many times in the past and it's not good. Guard play is what wins games in college basketball and it is by far our weakest link currently.
My point is Ben just got them back on board with the U of M. This is part of the reason why Pitino isn't here and struggled with MN recruiting.

We are bringing another guard in. We are using 11 scholarships. Also, Guard play isn't what wins, coaches maximizing their strengths is. The big ten has been dominated by Bigs just as much as guards. Illinois & Iowa's best players were bigs. Michigan same thing. Wisconsin's best player was a Wing. Saying guard play is what wins is not necessarily true. A system with multiple dynamic players who can make shots in the clutch is what wins college hoops.
 

cjbfbp

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So AAU coaches are holding Wright/IW against Johnson who wasn't the head coach at the time? I'm not buying that. There's also no guarantee that keeping Carrington happy will land Chatman, or that either will lead the Gophers to a winning record.

If Ben is being held by the balls by the MN AAU teams, he isn't going to be a head coach here for long. It's his job to bring in the best players possible regardless of where they are from. With the free transfer/NIL, there is no long term. The best players on bad teams will either go pro or transfer to a better program.

We are a Cooper injury a way from not having a PG. We've seen this play out many times in the past and it's not good. Guard play is what wins games in college basketball and it is by far our weakest link currently.

Good post although Johnson seems to want a second point guard.
 

cjbfbp

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The Dartmouth guy would be the 11th player on scholarship filling 11 out of 13 scholarships is pretty much the norm in college basketball and gives the flexibility to add someone during the summer if a player is injured during workouts along with giving a walk on the 13th spot.

What if a player is injured after the summer workouts and there's hardly anyone decent left in late July or early August? This is how we got Ogele. Or, we could have a player injured in October when we wouldn't be able to fill the position with a transfer. I don't think anyone cares too much if all 13 scholarships are filled but I think most taking issue with what is being reported would like to see 12 of them filled.
 

cjbfbp

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He's not interested because he said he wants to play 8 or 9 guys. Not 10. And he said with conviction playing 9 is really hard. So that's his philosophy. He'll play 8.
but he answered a ton of questions about how and why the portal recruiting has gone the way it has.

I didn't watch the clip. I don't really care what coaches say; I only care about the product they put on the floor. But, if he really did say that playing more than 8 players is really hard, I find that troublesome. Dr. Tom Davis used to play 10 players regularly and he seemed to pull it off pretty well (career 62.6% winning percentage over 32 years)
 


Johnnyboy18

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What if a player is injured after the summer workouts and there's hardly anyone decent left in late July or early August? This is how we got Ogele. Or, we could have a player injured in October when we wouldn't be able to fill the position with a transfer. I don't think anyone cares too much if all 13 scholarships are filled but I think most taking issue with what is being reported would like to see 12 of them filled.
The norm in college basketball is 11-12 I believe. In case teams want to take an early enrolle, mid season transfer, late summer addition.
 

Gopherfan84

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It's a college basketball head coaches job to win games, not keep everyone happy. If 11-13 are unhappy and transfer out next season, so what? Go fill them with someone new.

At 10 scholarships you're a few injuries and a few positive covid tests away from being down to 5 guys playing nearly 40 minutes for a big ten game, again.

It's amazing how hard this is for some to understand.
You don't think guys being happy and the locker room being cohesive has anything to do with winning? Yes it is a coaches job to win and having a locker room that is positive and works together is part of it just like their ability to play defend and score. It all works together. Look at our neighbors to the East as an example if you are struggling to find one.
Of course it'd be just a dream scenario to have 13 All American guys on scholarship and that guys 10-13 are perfectly content sitting on the bench waiting for an injury. That's unrealistic and thats why 90% of college basketball coaches are doing it this way not just Ben. Most teams 12th and 13th scholarships are given to one year walk-ons or a grad transfer that is willing to just be a part of it and will graduate to help the APR.

Hopefully this will help you understand.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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My point is Ben just got them back on board with the U of M. This is part of the reason why Pitino isn't here and struggled with MN recruiting.

We are bringing another guard in. We are using 11 scholarships. Also, Guard play isn't what wins, coaches maximizing their strengths is. The big ten has been dominated by Bigs just as much as guards. Illinois & Iowa's best players were bigs. Michigan same thing. Wisconsin's best player was a Wing. Saying guard play is what wins is not necessarily true. A system with multiple dynamic players who can make shots in the clutch is what wins college hoops.

B1G teams do rely on bigs more than other top conference teams, and that's one of the main reasons they rarely go deep into the tournament. Guard play wins championships.
 

Gopherfan84

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So AAU coaches are holding Wright/IW against Johnson who wasn't the head coach at the time? I'm not buying that. There's also no guarantee that keeping Carrington happy will land Chatman, or that either will lead the Gophers to a winning record.
It will take a little bit of time, but Ben is winning them back over. We may not get Chatman, but we can get Winter and others. Imagine getting a Lakeville North kid. It was amazing to get a D1 MN kid. MN players will have to be a part of what we do, but can't be all of it obviously.

If Ben is being held by the balls by the MN AAU teams, he isn't going to be a head coach here for long. It's his job to bring in the best players possible regardless of where they are from. With the free transfer/NIL, there is no long term. The best players on bad teams will either go pro or transfer to a better program.
What do you think hurt Pitino here? NIL will be a big factor we need to address as well.

We are a Cooper injury a way from not having a PG. We've seen this play out many times in the past and it's not good. Guard play is what wins games in college basketball and it is by far our weakest link currently.
We a not done adding guys. Ben said yesterday he want's a back up PG. It's nearly impossible to have two starting level PGs on a team (similar to QBs in football)
 



Gopherfan84

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I didn't watch the clip. I don't really care what coaches say; I only care about the product they put on the floor. But, if he really did say that playing more than 8 players is really hard, I find that troublesome. Dr. Tom Davis used to play 10 players regularly and he seemed to pull it off pretty well (career 62.6% winning percentage over 32 years)
If you watch the best teams in the country they don't play more than 8 either unless it's a blowout. Arkansas and Auburn are a rarity and they keep guys happy by paying them and even then it may blow up this year.
 

Gopherfan84

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B1G teams do rely on bigs more than other top conference teams, and that's one of the main reasons they rarely go deep into the tournament. Guard play wins championships.
The National Championship game had Bacot and McCormmick and had all sorts of CBB analysts talking about how college basketball is the home of the bigs. Big Ten loses because of pace and how they are allowed to defend in conference season vs. the tournament imo, not because we are reliant on bigs.
 
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ecoperson

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I'll say I don't agree with your thinking on any level but especially your last point. I don't see any posters hoping Johnson gets fired. Some might think he will but pretty much unanimously everybody who posts on here is sick of losing. They want Ben to succeed.
I don't think any of us are on the team or the staff so we are being insubordinate....it's a message board where people get to state how they'd do it differently. Difference of opinion is pretty routine actually.
You don't agree with my 'thinking on any level?' I'm not calling the shots just trying to grasp what I feel is Johnson's unsound philosophy about using scholarships. Some posters on here accuse me and others of defending Johnson at every turn but fail to acknowledge this and many other times where I DO find fault in his decisions.

"Coach Johnson presented a sound argument for how he wants to run his team so we have to live with it."

I guess you're right, we don't have to live with it. We can follow another team if we don't like it or pony up our multimillion dollar personal fortune to the AD to fire Ben and hire someone who allocates scholarships the way we want.

"I think Johnson sees the 'walk ons' such as Ramberg as the deep bench and warranting of a scholarship. They know their 'role' and this may entice future walk-ons in the future."

I am open to other thoughts but IF he ends up allocating multiple scholarships to walk-ons, this is my interpretation of what he MIGHT be thinking.

"If this blows up in Johnson's face, this will lead to his hastened dismissal which is what many posters are hoping for anyhow. Consider this a win for you!"

I wrote in another thread that not allocating all of the scholarships would be a fireable offense in my opinion after last year's bench challenges. MANY on here would just as soon see the Johnson experiment end sooner than later and move on to a coach who has a stronger pedigree.

I am really hoping that the stars align and Johnson can build this program back to respectability. I am willing to give him a longer leash than others but I am VERY skeptical of not using all scholarships available.
 

bga1

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You don't agree with my 'thinking on any level?' I'm not calling the shots just trying to grasp what I feel is Johnson's unsound philosophy about using scholarships. Some posters on here accuse me and others of defending Johnson at every turn but fail to acknowledge this and many other times where I DO find fault in his decisions.

"Coach Johnson presented a sound argument for how he wants to run his team so we have to live with it."

I guess you're right, we don't have to live with it. We can follow another team if we don't like it or pony up our multimillion dollar personal fortune to the AD to fire Ben and hire someone who allocates scholarships the way we want.

"I think Johnson sees the 'walk ons' such as Ramberg as the deep bench and warranting of a scholarship. They know their 'role' and this may entice future walk-ons in the future."

I am open to other thoughts but IF he ends up allocating multiple scholarships to walk-ons, this is my interpretation of what he MIGHT be thinking.

"If this blows up in Johnson's face, this will lead to his hastened dismissal which is what many posters are hoping for anyhow. Consider this a win for you!"

I wrote in another thread that not allocating all of the scholarships would be a fireable offense in my opinion after last year's bench challenges. MANY on here would just as soon see the Johnson experiment end sooner than later and move on to a coach who has a stronger pedigree.

I just don't think that is true at all. Every Gopher fan would love to see Ben win this year or soon.
Doubt, is a totally different emotion than just wanting to fire someone now. I think Ben has the ability, for sure, to do this job well and I like his character. I also think that Coyle put him in a very tough spot to succeed. Hiring a young inexperienced, no track record coach in this new age of free agency and NIL at a lower division Big Ten team is asking a lot from that coach.

That said, he's our coach and I want him to be wildly successful and he will need time and patience to do so.
I am really hoping that the stars align and Johnson can build this program back to respectability. I am willing to give him a longer leash than others but I am VERY skeptical of not using all scholarships available.
I agree with that to a degree. I think he should be using 12 of 13 for sure.
 



Go4

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I just don't think that is true at all. Every Gopher fan would love to see Ben win this year or soon.
Doubt, is a totally different emotion than just wanting to fire someone now. I think Ben has the ability, for sure, to do this job well and I like his character. I also think that Coyle put him in a very tough spot to succeed. Hiring a young inexperienced, no track record coach in this new age of free agency and NIL at a lower division Big Ten team is asking a lot from that coach.

That said, he's our coach and I want him to be wildly successful and he will need time and patience to do so.

I agree with that to a degree. I think he should be using 12 of 13 for sure.

+o4
 

Dakota2

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We are just working our way out of local high school and AAU coaches basically blackballing the U of M because we gave IW a scholarship over Mckinley Wright. Now we are asking Ben to not try to play the local freshmen as much as possible to develop them. The majority of this team will be back the following season. Why not try to develop young guys and build chemistry for a long-term situation. Also, Chatman and Carrington are best friends. Why would we not try to make this year a year where we can get Carrington going and develop him so he can sell Ben and the program to Chatman. We already have 10 on scholarship and will bring 1 more guard in. 11 out of 13 scholarships being used is not that uncommon in college hoops, especially for a team with no seniors (Cooper can theoretically return if he wants). The 3 remaining scholarships will be for 2023 which I expect them to bring in a combo guard (Chatman), a wing, and a Stretch 4/Center. We don't want to be a squad that will need to add 4 middling portal guys each year. We need to develop young guys and mix in 1-3 portal guys each year if needed. I feel like Ben is building for the long term
Excellent content. Paragraphs would be a bonus.
 

cjbfbp

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If you watch the best teams in the country they don't play more than 8 either unless it's a blowout. Arkansas and Auburn are a rarity and they keep guys happy by paying them and even then it may blow up this year.

I don't have a problem if he chooses to play 8 guys as long as they can deliver. The problem I have is that he's indicating that playing even 8 guys is really hard.

You know, I keep reading that whatever team X or Y does should be good enough for us. The problem is that this program has a history of failure because of its inability to field a roster with enough capable players.
 

Dakota2

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What if a player is injured after the summer workouts and there's hardly anyone decent left in late July or early August? This is how we got Ogele. Or, we could have a player injured in October when we wouldn't be able to fill the position with a transfer. I don't think anyone cares too much if all 13 scholarships are filled but I think most taking issue with what is being reported would like to see 12 of them filled.
Not important that 13 filled. Critical that 12 be filled!!!!

Makes sense.
 

Bayfieldgopher

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I don't have a problem if he chooses to play 8 guys as long as they can deliver. The problem I have is that he's indicating that playing even 8 guys is really hard.

You know, I keep reading that whatever team X or Y does should be good enough for us. The problem is that this program has a history of failure because of its inability to field a roster with enough capable players.

All this talk about the # of scholarships is idle chatter. If Ben has 10 on board and plans on staying put, does anyone here think that he would turn down a top talent or a very solid player? The first is a dream and probably not a reality but..........we al;ways have to look to improve the talent level.
 

cjbfbp

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All this talk about the # of scholarships is idle chatter. If Ben has 10 on board and plans on staying put, does anyone here think that he would turn down a top talent or a very solid player? The first is a dream and probably not a reality but..........we al;ways have to look to improve the talent level.

I hope you're right but he could have picked up another big man later last summer that could have helped (I was watching the portal and there were some left) but he decided to stay put and move on to freshman recruiting.
 

BarnBurner

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We are just working our way out of local high school and AAU coaches basically blackballing the U of M because we gave IW a scholarship over Mckinley Wright. Now we are asking Ben to not play the local freshmen as much as possible to develop them. The majority of this team will be back the following season. Why not try to develop young guys and build chemistry for a long-term situation. Also, Chatman and Carrington are best friends. Why would we not try to make this year a year where we can get Carrington going and develop him so he can sell Ben and the program to Chatman. We already have 10 on scholarship and will bring 1 more guard in. 11 out of 13 scholarships being used is not that uncommon in college hoops, especially for a team with no seniors (Cooper can theoretically return if he wants). The 3 remaining scholarships will be for 2023 which I expect them to bring in a combo guard (Chatman), a wing, and a Stretch 4/Center. We don't want to be a squad that will need to add 4 middling portal guys each year. We need to develop young guys and mix in 1-3 portal guys each year if needed. I feel like Ben is building for the long term
Interesting how the narrative has changed. Last season, TT couldn’t play because, well, trying to win, etc etc.
Now, playing and developing freshmen is a positive!!
🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣⛳⛳⛳
 

GopherPlaya

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Interesting how the narrative has changed. Last season, TT couldn’t play because, well, trying to win, etc etc.
Now, playing and developing freshmen is a positive!!
🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣⛳⛳⛳
I've never had that narrative. TT not playing had more to do with him not being able to guard. Last year, we were trying to be competitive, but TT did play when he was somewhat ready.
 
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BarnBurner

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I've never had that narrative. TT couldnt play had more to do with him not being able to guard. Last year, we were trying to be competitive, but TT did play when he was somewhat ready.
Oh, of course not. I must have misread.

Fact is if cbj plays fr quite a bit this season, it will simply be part of the development plan. Nothing more.
 

Dakota2

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Interesting how the narrative has changed. Last season, TT couldn’t play because, well, trying to win, etc etc.
Now, playing and developing freshmen is a positive!!
🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣⛳⛳⛳
It's not complicated. TT did not have the strength necessary to play much. The four new recruits do.
 

short ornery norwegian

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On the plus side, Johnson said he plans to play 8 and maybe 9 guys this season.

Which implies that he has 8 or 9 players he believes in.

by the end of last season, he only had 5 players he believed in.

So, that's progress.

of course, the first time Thompson does not play as many minutes as the internet warriors think he is entitled to, we will be right back to the same endless argument.
 

BarnBurner

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It's not complicated. TT did not have the strength necessary to play much. The four new recruits do.
Development is now good, just a few short months ago development wasn’t good. Winning more important.
Care to admit the narrative has changed?

And TT was strong enough to play 40 in one game. Against the tough Penn St boys. Stop.
 

BarnBurner

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On the plus side, Johnson said he plans to play 8 and maybe 9 guys this season.

Which implies that he has 8 or 9 players he believes in.

by the end of last season, he only had 5 players he believed in.

So, that's progress.

of course, the first time Thompson does not play as many minutes as the internet warriors think he is entitled to, we will be right back to the same endless argument.
He only had 5 that WANTED to play!!!!
 

Dakota2

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Development is now good, just a few short months ago development wasn’t good. Winning more important.
Care to admit the narrative has changed?

And TT was strong enough to play 40 in one game. Against the tough Penn St boys. Stop.
TT had to play 40 minutes one game. When there was an option he wasn't used much because he wasn't strong enough. Not complicated.
 




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