***OFFICIAL ILLINOIS AT MINNESOTA IN-GAME THREAD!!!***



Wet_Blanket_Guy

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Ben on the fan at noon.
They are going to ask the hot stove questions, I’m sure.

I’d pay for them to ask why won’t Payne even consider taking one dribble and shooting essentially a free throw when teams sag off by 10+ feet?

Or, how do you attack a defense when you have Payne and JOJ in the game and the defense sags off both players by 10+ feet and just clogs the lane or runs Battle on all cuts and hints him through screens?
 

Bfan

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He is practicing 7 days a week. Most of us on this board could shoot that shot at 50% or better. He is getting offered free throws. He shoots 50% from the line- I'll take that versus our 40+% team average. I think it is confidence more than anything and the coaches have told him- don't shoot. If he is not allowed to shoot there or won't, then don't play him there...as you say below we are offering the other team a 4 on 5 offense:

Yep

Yep

We aren't watching a well coached team.

There are just so many things wrong here in terms of player usage, roster construction, shot selection and defense. Cooper is shooting 55% from 3 pt range and has shot 45 of them. Battle has shot 90 and is 31%, Carrington has shot 68 of them and is 29%. Get some shots for Cooper- he makes them. Did the coaches consider going zone when they were getting scorched by the drive in the second half? Or some change of defensive strategy?


Johnson said in his post game they were going to look where the coaches could have done better and players. I think he knew.

The 2nd by Illini was also a major shift.
 

bga1

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Johnson said in his post game they were going to look where the coaches could have done better and players. I think he knew.

The 2nd by Illini was also a major shift.
I agree. I think Johnson has the potential to be a good coach and perhaps a very good one. He's a rookie and I think it is an uphill climb. As a person, I think he is terrific and he is the type of guy who I think has good character and recruits good character. That's a great start and he is a guy is easy to root for.

He just needs better players and he needs to learn roster construction, managing depth, putting players in a position to succeed and how to adapt to different styles opponents bring. Guards are the key in college buckets and he needs to dramatically upgrade our speed in that area. Yeah- it is a long haul in front of him. I hope he can gain enough momentum in the next year to survive it.

Next year, people will not put up with the type of curb stomping on our home court that we took last night. The fans are polite right now and semi disinterested. Next year, a repeat of that embarrassment would bring boos raining down.
 



golfing18now

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Random thoughts....

Shot selection and ball movement is still a work in progress for this team. Battle hit a shot early in the second half to go up one and did the head nod thing. Then he took a terrible shot the next possession from 25 feet. This was followed up by three or four bad possessions in a row. In the meantime, Illinois blitzed the Gophers on the other end. In that little stretch, Illinois went up ten and the game was effectively over. These undisciplined, scoreless stretches prove very difficult to overcome when you don't have the players/athletes on the same level as your opponent.

The Gophers are going to struggle all year against teams with better athletes like Illinois and Michigan. They really need to win methodical, slow tempo games. They just don't have the quickness to stay with many of the guards in this conference. They also must defend and compete on the boards better than last night. Illinois looked like a top three or four conference team last night. Impressive.
 

jovs

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Rebounding, 50 to 29 advantage, shooting they had a 50% to 36% advantage
Random thoughts....

Shot selection and ball movement is still a work in progress for this team. Battle hit a shot early in the second half to go up one and did the head nod thing. Then he took a terrible shot the next possession from 25 feet. This was followed up by three or four bad possessions in a row. In the meantime, Illinois blitzed the Gophers on the other end. In that little stretch, Illinois went up ten and the game was effectively over. These undisciplined, scoreless stretches prove very difficult to overcome when you don't have the players/athletes on the same level as your opponent.

The Gophers are going to struggle all year against teams with better athletes like Illinois and Michigan. They really need to win methodical, slow tempo games. They just don't have the quickness to stay with many of the guards in this conference. They also must defend and compete on the boards better than last night. Illinois looked like a top three or four conference team last night. Impressive.
They take rushed early in the clock shots at times, really kills their momentum. Mayer shot lights out to begin the second half. Illinois bigs are a load and tough to stop.

I've railed on Coopers defense at times but he was lights out last night, kept Shannon to 2-12 shooting.
 

Gilthorp57

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Transfer to Wisconsin
Sit a year
Get stronger , get good coaching & come back to haunt gophers like all MN kids who go to Wisconsin do. !!!
He has to get stronger, I thought his hands and handles would be a little stronger this season. Not sure what the extent of the strength and condition program is with us, but this is the B1G, our team is young, strength training is needed.
 



short ornery norwegian

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I think a lot of it just comes down to effort. for whatever reason, the Gophers just seem to hit these stretches where they take 5 or 10 minutes off and the other team goes on a big run.

The OSU game featured (IMHO) the best effort the Gophers have provided all season, and look at the results.

and that effort has to come from the players. the coach can only sit there and scream "work harder" so often. or as Johnson says, match their aggressiveness. Garcia said something about this after the game - that the players know what they need to do, but they don't always do it.
 

60's Guy

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Not a chance. Simply rewatch the last defensive series at the end of the 1st half where TT is slow to rotate on the 2-3 zone and Mayer drains a corner 3.

May I ask what you see in Thompson that the coaching staff is missing?
My point is TT is not a fit for the Gophers.
His possible strengths could be shooting threes and defending in a zone. He cannot play man to man defense. He cannot play inside. He is a perimeter zone player IF he’s anything. We don’t use him that way.
That’s all… it is not going to work at Minnesota playing for Ben.
 

fan of Ray Williams

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Random thoughts....

Shot selection and ball movement is still a work in progress for this team. Battle hit a shot early in the second half to go up one and did the head nod thing. Then he took a terrible shot the next possession from 25 feet. This was followed up by three or four bad possessions in a row.
That shot was the start of the end. Terrible choice at that time.
 





Bob_Loblaw

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Johnson said in his post game they were going to look where the coaches could have done better and players. I think he knew.

The 2nd by Illini was also a major shift.
I'm glad Ben said that to not through his team under the bus, but he just didn't have the horses tonight either. Illinois is a really talented team who played pretty good in the second half. They also just match up really well with us.

I don't think there is anything Ben could have done last night to change that.
 

Lion King

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Random thoughts....

Shot selection and ball movement is still a work in progress for this team. Battle hit a shot early in the second half to go up one and did the head nod thing. Then he took a terrible shot the next possession from 25 feet. This was followed up by three or four bad possessions in a row. In the meantime, Illinois blitzed the Gophers on the other end. In that little stretch, Illinois went up ten and the game was effectively over. These undisciplined, scoreless stretches prove very difficult to overcome when you don't have the players/athletes on the same level as your opponent.

The Gophers are going to struggle all year against teams with better athletes like Illinois and Michigan. They really need to win methodical, slow tempo games. They just don't have the quickness to stay with many of the guards in this conference. They also must defend and compete on the boards better than last night. Illinois looked like a top three or four conference team last night. Impressive.

Illinois looked very much like every other team in Big Ten, with the exception of Purdue.
They are capable of beating everyone & loosing to anyone. This a very average conference like last season with no team capable of getting to elite 8, not even Purdue.
 

golfing18now

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That shot was the start of the end. Terrible choice at that time.

It was about five seconds into the shot clock and a shot he could get at any time during the possession. It was horrible and something we have seen a few too many times this year. Illinois scored the next twelve points and the game was never in question again.
 

golfing18now

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Illinois looked very much like every other team in Big Ten, with the exception of Purdue.
They are capable of beating everyone & loosing to anyone. This a very average conference like last season with no team capable of getting to elite 8, not even Purdue.

No doubt they are capable of winning or losing to anybody this year. But if the over/under for conference finish was set at 4.5, I would definitely take the under (better) finish. I think they will finish third or fourth in the conference standings. Not an elite eight team, though, as you said.
 

SelectionSunday

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I agree. I think Johnson has the potential to be a good coach and perhaps a very good one. He's a rookie and I think it is an uphill climb. As a person, I think he is terrific and he is the type of guy who I think has good character and recruits good character. That's a great start and he is a guy is easy to root for.

He just needs better players and he needs to learn roster construction, managing depth, putting players in a position to succeed and how to adapt to different styles opponents bring. Guards are the key in college buckets and he needs to dramatically upgrade our speed in that area. Yeah- it is a long haul in front of him. I hope he can gain enough momentum in the next year to survive it.

Next year, people will not put up with the type of curb stomping on our home court that we took last night. The fans are polite right now and semi disinterested. Next year, a repeat of that embarrassment would bring boos raining down.
Any Gopher fan who watched the Purdue-Michigan State game got a rude awakening as to how far we are from having high-end guards. Walker, Loyer, Hoggard, Smith, and both of the Purdue guys are freshmen. Gunslingers.
 

bleedsmaroonandgold

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"Some folks in the B1G were saying if you need a get right game play Ben Johnson's team" Rick Pizzo B1G Live
Someone needs to tell Rick Pizzo about how many minutes our freshmen are getting and what Clem Haskins' team did in its second year.

Totally unrelated, but this place gets weird when I am away for a day. Is someone feeding Oreo cookies to Bob Loblaw's ex wife? I'm confused by the trajectory of this thread.
 

60's Guy

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I'm glad Ben said that to not through his team under the bus, but he just didn't have the horses tonight either. Illinois is a really talented team who played pretty good in the second half. They also just match up really well with us.

I don't think there is anything Ben could have done last night to change that.
BS We had a lot of poorly designed offensive possessions. We made several defensive mistakes
and employed the wrong defensive strategy for the situation many times.

If the only time a coach is going to win is when he has the best players, Minnesota is in trouble for a long time!

Ben is very lucky to be coaching in college versus a high school that won't condone recruiting. In college he can recruit. He can get the pieces he needs to compete. We are missing a lot of parts to compete, agreed...but who's fault is that? Ihnen and Fox were not going to help the guards.
Coach what you got. Find a way. No excuses.
Hopefully, Ben believes and knows that even if you wanna give him a pass.
 

BarnBurner

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Any Gopher fan who watched the Purdue-Michigan State game got a rude awakening as to how far we are from having high-end guards. Walker, Loyer, Hoggard, Smith, and both of the Purdue guys are freshmen. Gunslingers.
Agreed - watch a lot of college BB and the talent deficit at MN at the guard spots is huge.
 

fan of Ray Williams

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BS We had a lot of poorly designed offensive possessions. We made several defensive mistakes
and employed the wrong defensive strategy for the situation many times.

If the only time a coach is going to win is when he has the best players, Minnesota is in trouble for a long time!

Ben is very lucky to be coaching in college versus a high school that won't condone recruiting. In college he can recruit. He can get the pieces he needs to compete. We are missing a lot of parts to compete, agreed...but who's fault is that? Ihnen and Fox were not going to help the guards.
Coach what you got. Find a way. No excuses.
Hopefully, Ben believes and knows that even if you wanna give him a pass.
Save a little venom for Thursday's probable result. (Hopefully we won't see the strategy of Ola_Joseph on Edey.)
 

bc2211

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Random thoughts....

Shot selection and ball movement is still a work in progress for this team. Battle hit a shot early in the second half to go up one and did the head nod thing. Then he took a terrible shot the next possession from 25 feet. This was followed up by three or four bad possessions in a row. In the meantime, Illinois blitzed the Gophers on the other end. In that little stretch, Illinois went up ten and the game was effectively over. These undisciplined, scoreless stretches prove very difficult to overcome when you don't have the players/athletes on the same level as your opponent.

The Gophers are going to struggle all year against teams with better athletes like Illinois and Michigan. They really need to win methodical, slow tempo games. They just don't have the quickness to stay with many of the guards in this conference. They also must defend and compete on the boards better than last night. Illinois looked like a top three or four conference team last night. Impressive.
I don’t think it necessarily needs to happen slowly and methodically, however we really need to eliminate the heat check from our offense until we have less than 5 seconds on the shot clock. Value each possession, forget the last, work for the easiest shot possible 30 seconds at a time, try to shoot shots that your offense has practiced (hopefully) every day for the last two years under CBJ.

I know Battle can win us a game or two if he gets hot, but he can’t carry the offense in the way he is trying.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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BS We had a lot of poorly designed offensive possessions. We made several defensive mistakes
and employed the wrong defensive strategy for the situation many times.

If the only time a coach is going to win is when he has the best players, Minnesota is in trouble for a long time!

Ben is very lucky to be coaching in college versus a high school that won't condone recruiting. In college he can recruit. He can get the pieces he needs to compete. We are missing a lot of parts to compete, agreed...but who's fault is that? Ihnen and Fox were not going to help the guards.
Coach what you got. Find a way. No excuses.
Hopefully, Ben believes and knows that even if you wanna give him a pass.
I don't think I've ever been accused of being a Ben apologist, I just didn't think we had a lot of options against Illinois in the second half.

They could pressure our only PG with people way more athletic than Cooper. Cooper handled it alright, but what we really needed (and IMO don't have) was a secondary ball handler. They rolled Shannon and Epps at Cooper and with our current roster, I don't know if there is any coaching that could have put us in a better spot.

Our best offensive player (Garcia) usually has mismatches with college 4s trying to defend him, we didn't against Illinois. Mayer is athletic enough to bother Garcia on the perimeter and similar size as Garcia. The same could be said about Hawkins.

We had absolutely no answer for their size inside.

I'm ripped on Ben for roster construction many times. I agree, it's on him to get the horses he needs to compete. Right now, if Illinois plays like that, we simply do not have them. However, if I am asked what Ben Johnson could have done against Illinois on Monday, I'd had have shrugged my shoulders. There wasn't a play or strategy that would have made a difference (IMO).
 

Bob_Loblaw

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Any Gopher fan who watched the Purdue-Michigan State game got a rude awakening as to how far we are from having high-end guards. Walker, Loyer, Hoggard, Smith, and both of the Purdue guys are freshmen. Gunslingers.
This 100%. The difference in guard play is scary. Recruiting as many good guards as possible should be the #1 priority for every college basketball coach.
 

BarnBurner

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I don't think I've ever been accused of being a Ben apologist, I just didn't think we had a lot of options against Illinois in the second half.

They could pressure our only PG with people way more athletic than Cooper. Cooper handled it alright, but what we really needed (and IMO don't have) was a secondary ball handler. They rolled Shannon and Epps at Cooper and with our current roster, I don't know if there is any coaching that could have put us in a better spot.

Our best offensive player (Garcia) usually has mismatches with college 4s trying to defend him, we didn't against Illinois. Mayer is athletic enough to bother Garcia on the perimeter and similar size as Garcia. The same could be said about Hawkins.

We had absolutely no answer for their size inside.

I'm ripped on Ben for roster construction many times. I agree, it's on him to get the horses he needs to compete. Right now, if Illinois plays like that, we simply do not have them. However, if I am asked what Ben Johnson could have done against Illinois on Monday, I'd had have shrugged my shoulders. There wasn't a play or strategy that would have made a difference (IMO).
As mentioned earlier, the quick shots by Battle and others at times really washes out any good that has come. CBJ should sit Battle if he doesn't understand that.

The talent gap remains a huge deal. It may improve some next season, although putting expectations on freshmen isn't usually a recipe for happiness.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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As mentioned earlier, the quick shots by Battle and others at times really washes out any good that has come. CBJ should sit Battle if he doesn't understand that.

The talent gap remains a huge deal. It may improve some next season, although putting expectations on freshmen isn't usually a recipe for happiness.
Yeah, I'd be fine with swapping out Battle at times too. I just don't know if our options on the bench would have been better.
 

bga1

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Yeah, I'd be fine with swapping out Battle at times too. I just don't know if our options on the bench would have been better.
They wouldn't. The only benefit would be possibly getting it into Battle's head that he is part of a team and not a star who can just force up any shot he so desires. 31% 3 point shooting and 35% overall FG shooting is not exactly sterling. He also gets gassed. On one play vs. Illinois the ball got stolen and he didn't even run down to chase the guy- he was huffing and puffing.
 

Formerswish

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They wouldn't. The only benefit would be possibly getting it into Battle's head that he is part of a team and not a star who can just force up any shot he so desires. 31% 3 point shooting and 35% overall FG shooting is not exactly sterling. He also gets gassed. On one play vs. Illinois the ball got stolen and he didn't even run down to chase the guy- he was huffing and puffing.
Agreed that there are not good options off the bench. And I'd also say that with anybody who is depended on to provide outside shooting, you're going to have some bad decisions and poor shots heaved up. That's happening with Battle more this year. Part of the problem is spacing. Last year, when there were at least 3 other shooters on the court, Battle had more room to operate and put the ball on the floor if needed.

So far, JOJ, Payne, and Henley have not shown any ability to knock down outside shots. Samuels and Carrington have had some moments, but no consistency. This team already lacks overall quickness-if you add an inability to shoot the 3, you have congested lanes and few successful drives to the hoop. We can only hope that all of these guys spend much of their off-season with boatloads of outside shots and free throws.
 




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