Player & Team Grades after 4 games

Wet_Blanket_Guy

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I caveat this thread and make the assumption that all underclassmen stay and play their for the duration of their college eligibility *unless otherwise noted below*

JoJ - Strengths: Possesses a strong B10 body and could be one of the most athletic players the gophers have had in the last 15 years. His bigger build is suited for the B10 and he should grow and develop over these next 4 years. . Weaknesses: Needs to work on tightening up his dribble. Overall: Impressed through 4 games. I believe he will be a player who plays up to his competition and we will not see who he truly is until he plays real competition....maybe he turns into the next OG Anunoby (player comparison) Grade B

Payne
- Strengths: Possesses a strong B10 body albeit and hopefully can add another 15-20 pounds of muscle over the next 1-2.5 years to combat the size of bigger Centers in the B10 . Weaknesses: Only 6'9" for a true Center who can't stretch the floor to take his opponent away from the hoop to open driving lanes for his teammates to attack. Passing (but I chalk this up to Freshman mistakes and this will be sorted out) Overall: Impressed through for games (outside of his freshman mistakes). This years B10 season will be hard on Payne but with hopefully another 10-15 LBs and a year of seasoning (learning the trade) he will become a steady double double guy who can stay out of foul trouble while slowing down the likes of Dickenson and Edey (other B10 centers) - Long-Term: he will need to develop a face-up game along with the ability to space the floor as Evans will be the primary center who anchors our defense and plays close to the basket. GRADE B

Battle
- Strengths: ability to create his own offense when needed, pre-season B10 all-conference pick, ability to guard multiple positions due to combo of size & agility . Weaknesses: *maybe this is an error in the data on the U's 2021-22 stats page, but it says in 29 games last year he had 11 Steals and 28 assists all season, in which he started 29 games (playing over 1062 minutes)* - clearly a weakness is creating easy buckets for his teammates along with deflecting passes and generating steals (by being in the passing lanes *potentially conditioning related*) Overall: N/A Long-Term: He is the straw that stirs the drink and the key cog for the gophers GRADE N/A

Garcia
- Strengths: 6'11" body who can stretch the floor and is mobile enough to guard small forwards, has an ability for getting to the free throw line (average 7 per game - Harden'esque) Weaknesses: For being 6'11" is he absolutely not a banger and looks like he is soft / avoids contact. His shooting percentage on 2 pointers is 44% (and when he gets contact he struggles) and while he gets to the free throw line a lot (a positive) he is only shooting 69%. Additionally, he has a negative assist / turnover ration (7 assists and 8 turnovers) along with only 2 blocks on the season (how does someone 6'11" only have 2 blocks through 4 games against our level of competitions so far? Overall: He has shown the ability to stretch the floor, but he is not a creator and so far plays soft - Long-Term: With his mobility, he will need to work on his drive and kicks since he should be able to blow by other near 6'10" with his talent + speed, but he needs to look for his teammates. Paired with Battle and Evans he'll mesh nicely as a stretch 4, but an absolute focus needs to be put on assist to turnover ratio & free throws GRADE C+

Cooper
- Strengths: Assist to turnover ration 3 to 1, Size (bigger build *not height*) which will be good for the B10, 3pt shooting 58% on 7-12 Weaknesses: Not quick so it will be hard to stay in front of speedy guards and we've already seen this at lower level competition, Free throw shooting 48% (main ball handler at end of games is a horrendous ft shooter) . Overall: The 3pt % will come back to reality, but if it is around 40%+ that is fantastic and we need a PG who has the ability to generate a 2.0 assist to turnover ration....while I can get past the lack of footspeed, I can't get past the abysmal ft shooting and the risk that is at end of close games (how do you play him when we don't really have any other true ball handlers) GRADE B-

Henley
- Strengths: Good b10 body, 40% on treys Weaknesses: 2pt shot selection he is shooting 33% so its a combo of he's a bad shooter and he's taking bad shots. Doesn't have a nose for the ball in regards to rebounding (in 104 minutes of play he has 6 total rebounds). Negative assist to turnover ration 4 assists / 11 Turnovers (chalk some up to being a freshman) Overall: He needs to work on getting aggressive as he could be a nice rotation piece for this team over the next four years. Fix the assists to turnover ration (seasoning will help) but shot selection and rebounding will go a long way: Long-Term: Rotation player until at least a junior behind (evans, battle, garcia, JoJ *from current roster) GRADE C+

Carrington
- Incomplete due to injury but I have concerns about how he is getting blown by every time he is the on ball defender GRADE Incomplete (but leaning towards a C as he has 2 games at this point) *he may end up being like Gabe in which we were told his shot is amazing but in reality the data doesn't align...Gabe had the prettiest misses I have ever seen. *I am hopeful this is not the case*

Thompson- Strengths: Ability to stretch the floor and pull the opposing team's center away from the hoop to open driving lanes, shooting for a 7fter, Vision has a 3-1 assist to turnover ratio (6-2). Microwave ability / when he gets hot it creates a buzz within the arena (which is rare) - good for team momentum. Weaknesses: Boxing out / defensive rebounding. He has a complete disregard for this aspect of the game and it keeps him off the floor. Extremely thin frame means he typically gives up 40+ lbs to who he guards on the defensive end night-in / night-out Overall: He needs to get the mentality of an NBA player on a 10-day contract...meaning if he doesn't have the aggressive play he is cut / out of the league. He can't play without being aggressive, especially with another 7 footer coming in. If he can be aggressive, rebound, and stretch the floor with his shooting while energizing the barn...it will be to everyone's advantage Long-Term: 50/50 if he makes it 4 years with the program as he easily could transfer with Evans coming in and two other bigs (Payne and Garcia taking the majority of the minutes) GRADE C

Samuels
- don't need to spend to much time on him, I think the B10 will destroy him. Incredibly out of shape for this level of basketball

Ramberg - Shouldn't be playing, but I will say this...This kid is a warrior. He is 3rd in minutes on the team and while he is only 6'5" and no where near the tallest Gopher on the court at any point in time, he is second on the team in rebounds this season with 23 (only Garcia has more with 28). Kid has heart. But, he has 2 assists and 2 turnovers in 113 min because he can't create for himself or his teammates at this level of play (and we are not playing high level basketball until December even). Even though he has 113 minutes of play, he's only shot the ball 14 times all season and + going 40% on free throws (2-5)...so he's out there for heart and rebounds... GRADE B- but shouldn't be playing

Coaching Staff:

  • Starting with the Ramberg situation as it is immediately above: I assume your attempting to show your young players that if you have heart you will play...but that is a bad message to send as there are a lot of players in this world who have a ton of heart but at the end of the day don't have the talent to compete at the level of major college basketball (and hopefully Ben isn't looking for bottom of the B10). I get it if he wants to showcase Ramberg's heart / hustle in practice and occasionally in games, but starting him every game and playing him the 3 most minutes on the team so far this season is egregious. (maybe this is coupled with the Carrington injury...we will see how the minutes start to shift) but come on, start playing for the future of the program with the young guys who we need to evaluate if they have the juice or not

  • Maybe I have a different philosophy then our current Coaching Staff, but the style of offense we play does not match our personal. I think we out team is geared to a run and gun / up-temp (Memphis Dribble Drive - Memphis Dribble Drive Motion Offense Film Study) style of play. Our bigs are not that big (Payne is only 6'9" and in the B10 that is not concerned large) + Garcia while 6'11" is not a true post / bruiser and Treyton is really a perimeter player...
    • We have all of these bigs (Treyton, Garcia, Battle) who can run and handle the ball / space the floor / shoot treys / drive and kick plus we have a big (Payne) who can sit on the block and wait for a drive man to kick it to him for a dunk ...
    • We have an elite athlete (JoJ) on the wing along
    • We have shooters in Carrington (fingers crossed), Cooper
  • Rebounding has been terrible (if you can call what we do rebounding) - this should be a non-negotiable if you want to see the court
  • FT shooting % - woof - get a team sports head shrink and however much time you are spending on this, double it, then double it again
  • Scoring - through 4 games (and our creampuff opponents) we only average 60.8 points per game - this is dare I say pathetic especially when we are a B10 team competing against sisters-of-the-poor. Push the pace and crush them into submission with our depth and talent. Not everything needs to be an x's and o's battle. Recruits may be turned off by seeing a team gut out 60 points against bad competition as it isn't the sexiest brand of basketball - one could argue Michigan State is known as a really gritty / blue collar team ...but their lowest scoring game of the season was 63 points and that was against some bad team called Gonzaga
COACHING GRADE C+
 

MaxyJR1

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Player ratings I agree for the most part. Ramberg has to play due to the injuries, but I agree his minutes will go down when battle is back and as Carrington continues to grow. I think Ramberg is more to keep guys in positions for when Battle is back and can just be slotted in.

I disagree with style of play. I don't think we are athletic enough and would get run out of the gym by many teams. Watching Texas, MSU, Gonzaga, etc. play, it's 100 mph. all game and that is not us.
 

formerlybis

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Regarding rebounding - it's only defensive rebounding that is horrendous (#354 out of 363 teams). The offensive rebounding is surprisingly pretty good at #54.

Do they just try harder on the offensive end? It's kinda weird.
 


MNVCGUY

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Regarding rebounding - it's only defensive rebounding that is horrendous (#354 out of 363 teams). The offensive rebounding is surprisingly pretty good at #54.

Do they just try harder on the offensive end? It's kinda weird.
Complete reversal from last year where we were not even really going after offensive boards in order to get back on D.
 


GopherOhana

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Though Evans said Henley being at MN didn't influence his decision, i don't know if Johnson would have been after Evans early if he wasn't already on Henley. Maybe a bit higher grade for Henley for extra credit?
 

Lou Hudson

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Player ratings I agree for the most part. Ramberg has to play due to the injuries, but I agree his minutes will go down when battle is back and as Carrington continues to grow. I think Ramberg is more to keep guys in positions for when Battle is back and can just be slotted in.

I disagree with style of play. I don't think we are athletic enough and would get run out of the gym by many teams. Watching Texas, MSU, Gonzaga, etc. play, it's 100 mph. all game and that is not us.
I don't think it's one or the other (race-horse or slow, deliberate pace). In the past, when the team walked the ball up the court (read Carr), the defense is always set, anticipating the first screen and pass to the wing. I really hate it when we're watching the point back into the offense near mid-court.

I noticed that they can get into their offense quicker if they push the ball a little. There's more energy, and it's actually easier to start the sequence of screens and cuts if the defense isn't totally set. We aren't quick, so a total fast-break focus probably doesn't really fit. But they can control the pace of the game if they try to push it a bit.
My two cents.
 

MonikerSchmoniker45

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I think Evans coming in will be exciting enough for the guys to stick around next year.
 

MennoSota

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This team, and it's individual players all get a solid C. There is no outstanding player as each one brings both strengths and weaknesses to the team.
What I note, mostly, is that this team is slow. They are slow, not because they aren't good athletes, but because they are still having to think about what they are doing a bit too long before they actually do it. This gives opponents the opportunity to react and counter the action.
We have a combination of youth and new transfers with Battle (the only one who knows the system inside and out) sitting on the bench.
This present team is struggling with paralysis by analysis. They are simply taking a split second too long to react and it's making it hard for them to create a smooth flow on either side of the floor.

A solid C across the board. Coaches may need to simplify and emphasize ball movement on offense via a pattern rather than asking players to read the defense. Right now these kids look like they are cramming for an exam and when the exam comes they can't quite remember the answers to the test.
Time and experience are needed.
 



Gophs24

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nice write up

Henley Long-Term: Rotation player until at least a junior behind (evans, battle, garcia, JoJ *from current roster) GRADE C+

but Henley is a guard.....evans, garcia, battle, JOJ will never be his competition for playing time. he will be battling Carrington for the remainder of their careers here for playing time.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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nice write up

Henley Long-Term: Rotation player until at least a junior behind (evans, battle, garcia, JoJ *from current roster) GRADE C+

but Henley is a guard.....evans, garcia, battle, JOJ will never be his competition for playing time. he will be battling Carrington for the remainder of their careers here for playing time.

This is not true. Henley has been starting for Battle, Ramberg has been starting at the 2 so far, and JOJ even replaces him off the bench at times.
 


goldenboy

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This is not true. Henley has been starting for Battle, Ramberg has been starting at the 2 so far, and JOJ even replaces him off the bench at times.
Or vice versa. Not a lot of difference for our wings (2 or 3). When Battle is back it will be interesting to see who sits and who starts. Right now Ramberg has the experience advantage but both Henley and Carrington have the talent/athleticism. I think all four of those guys (add in Christie and maybe Ihnen next year) share the two wing positions. Evans, Garcia, Payne, JOJ, TT, Fox and Betts are fighting for time at the 4 and 5. I’ll take that roster, but wish we had a speedier PG coming in.
 




Dupreefor3

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Payne may be 6'9" but his wingspan is about 7'3" so I don't think his size is going to be an issue. He showed the ability to knock down a three in AAU so he can definitely develop that part of his game and play next to Evans at some point. Oturu made a huge jump in his offense between Freshman and Sophomore year. Payne also atleast 250, he has a big ten body, if he's going to play the four at times in the future, don't want him to balloon up to 270 or 275. As far as the staff goes, they haven't done anything that's made me question their abilities, team seems pretty well coached and the Freshman are further along on defense than I expected them to be. Think a lot of our rebounding issues stem from these guys not having their team chemistry developed, I think a lot of little things will improve as guys become more comfortable in their own roles and with each other on the court. Going to be a lot of ups and down's with this group, especially early on.
 

Gopher_In_NYC

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Payne may be 6'9" but his wingspan is about 7'3" so I don't think his size is going to be an issue. He showed the ability to knock down a three in AAU so he can definitely develop that part of his game and play next to Evans at some point. Oturu made a huge jump in his offense between Freshman and Sophomore year. Payne also atleast 250, he has a big ten body, if he's going to play the four at times in the future, don't want him to balloon up to 270 or 275. As far as the staff goes, they haven't done anything that's made me question their abilities, team seems pretty well coached and the Freshman are further along on defense than I expected them to be. Think a lot of our rebounding issues stem from these guys not having their team chemistry developed, I think a lot of little things will improve as guys become more comfortable in their own roles and with each other on the court. Going to be a lot of ups and down's with this group, especially early on.

His real weight is 255 now - Marcus has mentioned this before
 
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ecoperson

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Good analysis. With so many new players who are just getting their feet wet with D-1 ball, I hope that you reassess after 10-12 games after they get a chance to acclimate. This will be even more important as we've been missing an All B1G player in Battle. Carrington not being available for 2/4 games so far also has given us no continuity in the rotation.

I think the coaching staff are willing to take some lumps now and are spreading out the minutes to see who steps up or not and which players complement one another in game situations.
 

Chico Gopher

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At one point, mention was made that Ramberg is 2nd in rebounding but also that he shouldn't be playing. Later, mention was made that rebounding should be non-negotiable and you shouldn't even see the floor unless you're rebounding.

In addition to Battle not being available, my guess is that one reason Ramberg is seeing so much time is that he seems to be the one guy who is really working hard and using fundamentals to pull some rebounds.

Coaches like to know what they're going to get from a player when they're sent in. Even if the only thing that player can really offer is hard work on the boards. If the coach feels that particular part of the game is lacking and something that we really need on the floor, then that guy is gonna see playing time.

I agree that Ramberg probably should be a "situational minutes a half" guy once the Gophers get rolling, likely with instructions from the bench "Block out and get some rebounds". Gonna be kinda fun to see how this team grows and what the rotations eventually become.
 

Holy Man

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Good analysis. With so many new players who are just getting their feet wet with D-1 ball, I hope that you reassess after 10-12 games after they get a chance to acclimate. This will be even more important as we've been missing an All B1G player in Battle. Carrington not being available for 2/4 games so far also has given us no continuity in the rotation.

I think the coaching staff are willing to take some lumps now and are spreading out the minutes to see who steps up or not and which players complement one another in game situations.
Most obvious impressive coaching this year has been more minutes for bench players. It creates some sloppy play at times, but they get some experience and Ben can see what he has. So far, it isn’t very good but improvement is possible.
 

Holy Man

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Payne may be 6'9" but his wingspan is about 7'3" so I don't think his size is going to be an issue. He showed the ability to knock down a three in AAU so he can definitely develop that part of his game and play next to Evans at some point. Oturu made a huge jump in his offense between Freshman and Sophomore year. Payne also atleast 250, he has a big ten body, if he's going to play the four at times in the future, don't want him to balloon up to 270 or 275. As far as the staff goes, they haven't done anything that's made me question their abilities, team seems pretty well coached and the Freshman are further along on defense than I expected them to be. Think a lot of our rebounding issues stem from these guys not having their team chemistry developed, I think a lot of little things will improve as guys become more comfortable in their own roles and with each other on the court. Going to be a lot of ups and down's with this group, especially early on.
I’m not seeing any of the freshmen very far along on defense. Defense has been miserable so far. A much better effort on Thursday than we’ve seen this season.
 

march madness

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I caveat this thread and make the assumption that all underclassmen stay and play their for the duration of their college eligibility *unless otherwise noted below*

JoJ - Strengths: Possesses a strong B10 body and could be one of the most athletic players the gophers have had in the last 15 years. His bigger build is suited for the B10 and he should grow and develop over these next 4 years. . Weaknesses: Needs to work on tightening up his dribble. Overall: Impressed through 4 games. I believe he will be a player who plays up to his competition and we will not see who he truly is until he plays real competition....maybe he turns into the next OG Anunoby (player comparison) Grade B

Payne
- Strengths: Possesses a strong B10 body albeit and hopefully can add another 15-20 pounds of muscle over the next 1-2.5 years to combat the size of bigger Centers in the B10 . Weaknesses: Only 6'9" for a true Center who can't stretch the floor to take his opponent away from the hoop to open driving lanes for his teammates to attack. Passing (but I chalk this up to Freshman mistakes and this will be sorted out) Overall: Impressed through for games (outside of his freshman mistakes). This years B10 season will be hard on Payne but with hopefully another 10-15 LBs and a year of seasoning (learning the trade) he will become a steady double double guy who can stay out of foul trouble while slowing down the likes of Dickenson and Edey (other B10 centers) - Long-Term: he will need to develop a face-up game along with the ability to space the floor as Evans will be the primary center who anchors our defense and plays close to the basket. GRADE B

Battle
- Strengths: ability to create his own offense when needed, pre-season B10 all-conference pick, ability to guard multiple positions due to combo of size & agility . Weaknesses: *maybe this is an error in the data on the U's 2021-22 stats page, but it says in 29 games last year he had 11 Steals and 28 assists all season, in which he started 29 games (playing over 1062 minutes)* - clearly a weakness is creating easy buckets for his teammates along with deflecting passes and generating steals (by being in the passing lanes *potentially conditioning related*) Overall: N/A Long-Term: He is the straw that stirs the drink and the key cog for the gophers GRADE N/A

Garcia
- Strengths: 6'11" body who can stretch the floor and is mobile enough to guard small forwards, has an ability for getting to the free throw line (average 7 per game - Harden'esque) Weaknesses: For being 6'11" is he absolutely not a banger and looks like he is soft / avoids contact. His shooting percentage on 2 pointers is 44% (and when he gets contact he struggles) and while he gets to the free throw line a lot (a positive) he is only shooting 69%. Additionally, he has a negative assist / turnover ration (7 assists and 8 turnovers) along with only 2 blocks on the season (how does someone 6'11" only have 2 blocks through 4 games against our level of competitions so far? Overall: He has shown the ability to stretch the floor, but he is not a creator and so far plays soft - Long-Term: With his mobility, he will need to work on his drive and kicks since he should be able to blow by other near 6'10" with his talent + speed, but he needs to look for his teammates. Paired with Battle and Evans he'll mesh nicely as a stretch 4, but an absolute focus needs to be put on assist to turnover ratio & free throws GRADE C+

Cooper
- Strengths: Assist to turnover ration 3 to 1, Size (bigger build *not height*) which will be good for the B10, 3pt shooting 58% on 7-12 Weaknesses: Not quick so it will be hard to stay in front of speedy guards and we've already seen this at lower level competition, Free throw shooting 48% (main ball handler at end of games is a horrendous ft shooter) . Overall: The 3pt % will come back to reality, but if it is around 40%+ that is fantastic and we need a PG who has the ability to generate a 2.0 assist to turnover ration....while I can get past the lack of footspeed, I can't get past the abysmal ft shooting and the risk that is at end of close games (how do you play him when we don't really have any other true ball handlers) GRADE B-

Henley
- Strengths: Good b10 body, 40% on treys Weaknesses: 2pt shot selection he is shooting 33% so its a combo of he's a bad shooter and he's taking bad shots. Doesn't have a nose for the ball in regards to rebounding (in 104 minutes of play he has 6 total rebounds). Negative assist to turnover ration 4 assists / 11 Turnovers (chalk some up to being a freshman) Overall: He needs to work on getting aggressive as he could be a nice rotation piece for this team over the next four years. Fix the assists to turnover ration (seasoning will help) but shot selection and rebounding will go a long way: Long-Term: Rotation player until at least a junior behind (evans, battle, garcia, JoJ *from current roster) GRADE C+

Carrington
- Incomplete due to injury but I have concerns about how he is getting blown by every time he is the on ball defender GRADE Incomplete (but leaning towards a C as he has 2 games at this point) *he may end up being like Gabe in which we were told his shot is amazing but in reality the data doesn't align...Gabe had the prettiest misses I have ever seen. *I am hopeful this is not the case*

Thompson- Strengths: Ability to stretch the floor and pull the opposing team's center away from the hoop to open driving lanes, shooting for a 7fter, Vision has a 3-1 assist to turnover ratio (6-2). Microwave ability / when he gets hot it creates a buzz within the arena (which is rare) - good for team momentum. Weaknesses: Boxing out / defensive rebounding. He has a complete disregard for this aspect of the game and it keeps him off the floor. Extremely thin frame means he typically gives up 40+ lbs to who he guards on the defensive end night-in / night-out Overall: He needs to get the mentality of an NBA player on a 10-day contract...meaning if he doesn't have the aggressive play he is cut / out of the league. He can't play without being aggressive, especially with another 7 footer coming in. If he can be aggressive, rebound, and stretch the floor with his shooting while energizing the barn...it will be to everyone's advantage Long-Term: 50/50 if he makes it 4 years with the program as he easily could transfer with Evans coming in and two other bigs (Payne and Garcia taking the majority of the minutes) GRADE C

Samuels
- don't need to spend to much time on him, I think the B10 will destroy him. Incredibly out of shape for this level of basketball

Ramberg - Shouldn't be playing, but I will say this...This kid is a warrior. He is 3rd in minutes on the team and while he is only 6'5" and no where near the tallest Gopher on the court at any point in time, he is second on the team in rebounds this season with 23 (only Garcia has more with 28). Kid has heart. But, he has 2 assists and 2 turnovers in 113 min because he can't create for himself or his teammates at this level of play (and we are not playing high level basketball until December even). Even though he has 113 minutes of play, he's only shot the ball 14 times all season and + going 40% on free throws (2-5)...so he's out there for heart and rebounds... GRADE B- but shouldn't be playing

Coaching Staff:

  • Starting with the Ramberg situation as it is immediately above: I assume your attempting to show your young players that if you have heart you will play...but that is a bad message to send as there are a lot of players in this world who have a ton of heart but at the end of the day don't have the talent to compete at the level of major college basketball (and hopefully Ben isn't looking for bottom of the B10). I get it if he wants to showcase Ramberg's heart / hustle in practice and occasionally in games, but starting him every game and playing him the 3 most minutes on the team so far this season is egregious. (maybe this is coupled with the Carrington injury...we will see how the minutes start to shift) but come on, start playing for the future of the program with the young guys who we need to evaluate if they have the juice or not

  • Maybe I have a different philosophy then our current Coaching Staff, but the style of offense we play does not match our personal. I think we out team is geared to a run and gun / up-temp (Memphis Dribble Drive - Memphis Dribble Drive Motion Offense Film Study) style of play. Our bigs are not that big (Payne is only 6'9" and in the B10 that is not concerned large) + Garcia while 6'11" is not a true post / bruiser and Treyton is really a perimeter player...
    • We have all of these bigs (Treyton, Garcia, Battle) who can run and handle the ball / space the floor / shoot treys / drive and kick plus we have a big (Payne) who can sit on the block and wait for a drive man to kick it to him for a dunk ...
    • We have an elite athlete (JoJ) on the wing along
    • We have shooters in Carrington (fingers crossed), Cooper
  • Rebounding has been terrible (if you can call what we do rebounding) - this should be a non-negotiable if you want to see the court
  • FT shooting % - woof - get a team sports head shrink and however much time you are spending on this, double it, then double it again
  • Scoring - through 4 games (and our creampuff opponents) we only average 60.8 points per game - this is dare I say pathetic especially when we are a B10 team competing against sisters-of-the-poor. Push the pace and crush them into submission with our depth and talent. Not everything needs to be an x's and o's battle. Recruits may be turned off by seeing a team gut out 60 points against bad competition as it isn't the sexiest brand of basketball - one could argue Michigan State is known as a really gritty / blue collar team ...but their lowest scoring game of the season was 63 points and that was against some bad team called Gonzaga
COACHING GRADE C+
Too young of a team to push the pace. If Battle was healthy I could see us averaging 66-68 peg so far. Team is long but slow. JOJ and Henley are the only players with above average lateral quickness. That being said the fr class looks talented amd I will try and be patient with the youth movement. Ben needs to get at least 2 guards with lateral quickness. Mich st has 3 we won't be able to keep out of the lane.
 

UpAndUnder43

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I’m just glad OP told us who Dickinson and Edey were…even if he got one of their names wrong.

Also bizarre analysis of battle because not having steals doesn’t mean he isn’t in passing lanes or tipping passes. If he tips a pass and a teammate grabs it—battle doesn’t get a stat for it.
 

Gophs24

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This is not true. Henley has been starting for Battle, Ramberg has been starting at the 2 so far, and JOJ even replaces him off the bench at times.
maybe i wasnt following real well in the 2 games i have watched. But i thought Henley was typically guarding one of the others teams guards almost all the time.
but regardless Henley is a guard/wing. He will never battle Garcia or Evans for minutes. And Battle will continue to get 36 plus minutes a game for as long as he is here so im not really sure we can call that a "battle" either.

regardless....nice write up. And i do really hope we can get the rebounding/free throws figured out tonight and get a W
 

Gopherfan84

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I caveat this thread and make the assumption that all underclassmen stay and play their for the duration of their college eligibility *unless otherwise noted below*

JoJ - Strengths: Possesses a strong B10 body and could be one of the most athletic players the gophers have had in the last 15 years. His bigger build is suited for the B10 and he should grow and develop over these next 4 years. . Weaknesses: Needs to work on tightening up his dribble. Overall: Impressed through 4 games. I believe he will be a player who plays up to his competition and we will not see who he truly is until he plays real competition....maybe he turns into the next OG Anunoby (player comparison) Grade B

Payne
- Strengths: Possesses a strong B10 body albeit and hopefully can add another 15-20 pounds of muscle over the next 1-2.5 years to combat the size of bigger Centers in the B10 . Weaknesses: Only 6'9" for a true Center who can't stretch the floor to take his opponent away from the hoop to open driving lanes for his teammates to attack. Passing (but I chalk this up to Freshman mistakes and this will be sorted out) Overall: Impressed through for games (outside of his freshman mistakes). This years B10 season will be hard on Payne but with hopefully another 10-15 LBs and a year of seasoning (learning the trade) he will become a steady double double guy who can stay out of foul trouble while slowing down the likes of Dickenson and Edey (other B10 centers) - Long-Term: he will need to develop a face-up game along with the ability to space the floor as Evans will be the primary center who anchors our defense and plays close to the basket. GRADE B

Battle
- Strengths: ability to create his own offense when needed, pre-season B10 all-conference pick, ability to guard multiple positions due to combo of size & agility . Weaknesses: *maybe this is an error in the data on the U's 2021-22 stats page, but it says in 29 games last year he had 11 Steals and 28 assists all season, in which he started 29 games (playing over 1062 minutes)* - clearly a weakness is creating easy buckets for his teammates along with deflecting passes and generating steals (by being in the passing lanes *potentially conditioning related*) Overall: N/A Long-Term: He is the straw that stirs the drink and the key cog for the gophers GRADE N/A

Garcia
- Strengths: 6'11" body who can stretch the floor and is mobile enough to guard small forwards, has an ability for getting to the free throw line (average 7 per game - Harden'esque) Weaknesses: For being 6'11" is he absolutely not a banger and looks like he is soft / avoids contact. His shooting percentage on 2 pointers is 44% (and when he gets contact he struggles) and while he gets to the free throw line a lot (a positive) he is only shooting 69%. Additionally, he has a negative assist / turnover ration (7 assists and 8 turnovers) along with only 2 blocks on the season (how does someone 6'11" only have 2 blocks through 4 games against our level of competitions so far? Overall: He has shown the ability to stretch the floor, but he is not a creator and so far plays soft - Long-Term: With his mobility, he will need to work on his drive and kicks since he should be able to blow by other near 6'10" with his talent + speed, but he needs to look for his teammates. Paired with Battle and Evans he'll mesh nicely as a stretch 4, but an absolute focus needs to be put on assist to turnover ratio & free throws GRADE C+

Cooper
- Strengths: Assist to turnover ration 3 to 1, Size (bigger build *not height*) which will be good for the B10, 3pt shooting 58% on 7-12 Weaknesses: Not quick so it will be hard to stay in front of speedy guards and we've already seen this at lower level competition, Free throw shooting 48% (main ball handler at end of games is a horrendous ft shooter) . Overall: The 3pt % will come back to reality, but if it is around 40%+ that is fantastic and we need a PG who has the ability to generate a 2.0 assist to turnover ration....while I can get past the lack of footspeed, I can't get past the abysmal ft shooting and the risk that is at end of close games (how do you play him when we don't really have any other true ball handlers) GRADE B-

Henley
- Strengths: Good b10 body, 40% on treys Weaknesses: 2pt shot selection he is shooting 33% so its a combo of he's a bad shooter and he's taking bad shots. Doesn't have a nose for the ball in regards to rebounding (in 104 minutes of play he has 6 total rebounds). Negative assist to turnover ration 4 assists / 11 Turnovers (chalk some up to being a freshman) Overall: He needs to work on getting aggressive as he could be a nice rotation piece for this team over the next four years. Fix the assists to turnover ration (seasoning will help) but shot selection and rebounding will go a long way: Long-Term: Rotation player until at least a junior behind (evans, battle, garcia, JoJ *from current roster) GRADE C+

Carrington
- Incomplete due to injury but I have concerns about how he is getting blown by every time he is the on ball defender GRADE Incomplete (but leaning towards a C as he has 2 games at this point) *he may end up being like Gabe in which we were told his shot is amazing but in reality the data doesn't align...Gabe had the prettiest misses I have ever seen. *I am hopeful this is not the case*

Thompson- Strengths: Ability to stretch the floor and pull the opposing team's center away from the hoop to open driving lanes, shooting for a 7fter, Vision has a 3-1 assist to turnover ratio (6-2). Microwave ability / when he gets hot it creates a buzz within the arena (which is rare) - good for team momentum. Weaknesses: Boxing out / defensive rebounding. He has a complete disregard for this aspect of the game and it keeps him off the floor. Extremely thin frame means he typically gives up 40+ lbs to who he guards on the defensive end night-in / night-out Overall: He needs to get the mentality of an NBA player on a 10-day contract...meaning if he doesn't have the aggressive play he is cut / out of the league. He can't play without being aggressive, especially with another 7 footer coming in. If he can be aggressive, rebound, and stretch the floor with his shooting while energizing the barn...it will be to everyone's advantage Long-Term: 50/50 if he makes it 4 years with the program as he easily could transfer with Evans coming in and two other bigs (Payne and Garcia taking the majority of the minutes) GRADE C

Samuels
- don't need to spend to much time on him, I think the B10 will destroy him. Incredibly out of shape for this level of basketball

Ramberg - Shouldn't be playing, but I will say this...This kid is a warrior. He is 3rd in minutes on the team and while he is only 6'5" and no where near the tallest Gopher on the court at any point in time, he is second on the team in rebounds this season with 23 (only Garcia has more with 28). Kid has heart. But, he has 2 assists and 2 turnovers in 113 min because he can't create for himself or his teammates at this level of play (and we are not playing high level basketball until December even). Even though he has 113 minutes of play, he's only shot the ball 14 times all season and + going 40% on free throws (2-5)...so he's out there for heart and rebounds... GRADE B- but shouldn't be playing

Coaching Staff:

  • Starting with the Ramberg situation as it is immediately above: I assume your attempting to show your young players that if you have heart you will play...but that is a bad message to send as there are a lot of players in this world who have a ton of heart but at the end of the day don't have the talent to compete at the level of major college basketball (and hopefully Ben isn't looking for bottom of the B10). I get it if he wants to showcase Ramberg's heart / hustle in practice and occasionally in games, but starting him every game and playing him the 3 most minutes on the team so far this season is egregious. (maybe this is coupled with the Carrington injury...we will see how the minutes start to shift) but come on, start playing for the future of the program with the young guys who we need to evaluate if they have the juice or not

  • Maybe I have a different philosophy then our current Coaching Staff, but the style of offense we play does not match our personal. I think we out team is geared to a run and gun / up-temp (Memphis Dribble Drive - Memphis Dribble Drive Motion Offense Film Study) style of play. Our bigs are not that big (Payne is only 6'9" and in the B10 that is not concerned large) + Garcia while 6'11" is not a true post / bruiser and Treyton is really a perimeter player...
    • We have all of these bigs (Treyton, Garcia, Battle) who can run and handle the ball / space the floor / shoot treys / drive and kick plus we have a big (Payne) who can sit on the block and wait for a drive man to kick it to him for a dunk ...
    • We have an elite athlete (JoJ) on the wing along
    • We have shooters in Carrington (fingers crossed), Cooper
  • Rebounding has been terrible (if you can call what we do rebounding) - this should be a non-negotiable if you want to see the court
  • FT shooting % - woof - get a team sports head shrink and however much time you are spending on this, double it, then double it again
  • Scoring - through 4 games (and our creampuff opponents) we only average 60.8 points per game - this is dare I say pathetic especially when we are a B10 team competing against sisters-of-the-poor. Push the pace and crush them into submission with our depth and talent. Not everything needs to be an x's and o's battle. Recruits may be turned off by seeing a team gut out 60 points against bad competition as it isn't the sexiest brand of basketball - one could argue Michigan State is known as a really gritty / blue collar team ...but their lowest scoring game of the season was 63 points and that was against some bad team called Gonzaga
COACHING GRADE C+
Michigan State is known for transition and fast offense. Wisconsin is a slower paced team and a better offensive comparison to what we do. Limiting possessions favors the lesser team. While it may hurt us in the non con, it might prove beneficial in conference play.
 

Wet_Blanket_Guy

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Michigan State is known for transition and fast offense. Wisconsin is a slower paced team and a better offensive comparison to what we do. Limiting possessions favors the lesser team. While it may hurt us in the non con, it might prove beneficial in conference play.
I’m just glad OP told us who Dickinson and Edey were…even if he got one of their names wrong.

Also bizarre analysis of battle because not having steals doesn’t mean he isn’t in passing lanes or tipping passes. If he tips a pass and a teammate grabs it—battle doesn’t get a stat for it.
Battle had ~ 1100 minutes last year and 11 steals…I think one can safely conclude he isn’t actively in passing lanes enough.

Personally, I don’t care if he is a defensive stalwart…as long as he can come back and score 15+pts and greatly increasing his assist rate from last year.
 

bga1

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Player ratings I agree for the most part. Ramberg has to play due to the injuries, but I agree his minutes will go down when battle is back and as Carrington continues to grow. I think Ramberg is more to keep guys in positions for when Battle is back and can just be slotted in.

I disagree with style of play. I don't think we are athletic enough and would get run out of the gym by many teams. Watching Texas, MSU, Gonzaga, etc. play, it's 100 mph. all game and that is not us.
Unfortunately the coaches put speedy forwards together with slow guards. What style of play does that fit?
 

bga1

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I caveat this thread and make the assumption that all underclassmen stay and play their for the duration of their college eligibility *unless otherwise noted below*

JoJ - Strengths: Possesses a strong B10 body and could be one of the most athletic players the gophers have had in the last 15 years. His bigger build is suited for the B10 and he should grow and develop over these next 4 years. . Weaknesses: Needs to work on tightening up his dribble. Overall: Impressed through 4 games. I believe he will be a player who plays up to his competition and we will not see who he truly is until he plays real competition....maybe he turns into the next OG Anunoby (player comparison) Grade B

Payne
- Strengths: Possesses a strong B10 body albeit and hopefully can add another 15-20 pounds of muscle over the next 1-2.5 years to combat the size of bigger Centers in the B10 . Weaknesses: Only 6'9" for a true Center who can't stretch the floor to take his opponent away from the hoop to open driving lanes for his teammates to attack. Passing (but I chalk this up to Freshman mistakes and this will be sorted out) Overall: Impressed through for games (outside of his freshman mistakes). This years B10 season will be hard on Payne but with hopefully another 10-15 LBs and a year of seasoning (learning the trade) he will become a steady double double guy who can stay out of foul trouble while slowing down the likes of Dickenson and Edey (other B10 centers) - Long-Term: he will need to develop a face-up game along with the ability to space the floor as Evans will be the primary center who anchors our defense and plays close to the basket. GRADE B

Battle
- Strengths: ability to create his own offense when needed, pre-season B10 all-conference pick, ability to guard multiple positions due to combo of size & agility . Weaknesses: *maybe this is an error in the data on the U's 2021-22 stats page, but it says in 29 games last year he had 11 Steals and 28 assists all season, in which he started 29 games (playing over 1062 minutes)* - clearly a weakness is creating easy buckets for his teammates along with deflecting passes and generating steals (by being in the passing lanes *potentially conditioning related*) Overall: N/A Long-Term: He is the straw that stirs the drink and the key cog for the gophers GRADE N/A

Garcia
- Strengths: 6'11" body who can stretch the floor and is mobile enough to guard small forwards, has an ability for getting to the free throw line (average 7 per game - Harden'esque) Weaknesses: For being 6'11" is he absolutely not a banger and looks like he is soft / avoids contact. His shooting percentage on 2 pointers is 44% (and when he gets contact he struggles) and while he gets to the free throw line a lot (a positive) he is only shooting 69%. Additionally, he has a negative assist / turnover ration (7 assists and 8 turnovers) along with only 2 blocks on the season (how does someone 6'11" only have 2 blocks through 4 games against our level of competitions so far? Overall: He has shown the ability to stretch the floor, but he is not a creator and so far plays soft - Long-Term: With his mobility, he will need to work on his drive and kicks since he should be able to blow by other near 6'10" with his talent + speed, but he needs to look for his teammates. Paired with Battle and Evans he'll mesh nicely as a stretch 4, but an absolute focus needs to be put on assist to turnover ratio & free throws GRADE C+

Cooper
- Strengths: Assist to turnover ration 3 to 1, Size (bigger build *not height*) which will be good for the B10, 3pt shooting 58% on 7-12 Weaknesses: Not quick so it will be hard to stay in front of speedy guards and we've already seen this at lower level competition, Free throw shooting 48% (main ball handler at end of games is a horrendous ft shooter) . Overall: The 3pt % will come back to reality, but if it is around 40%+ that is fantastic and we need a PG who has the ability to generate a 2.0 assist to turnover ration....while I can get past the lack of footspeed, I can't get past the abysmal ft shooting and the risk that is at end of close games (how do you play him when we don't really have any other true ball handlers) GRADE B-

Henley
- Strengths: Good b10 body, 40% on treys Weaknesses: 2pt shot selection he is shooting 33% so its a combo of he's a bad shooter and he's taking bad shots. Doesn't have a nose for the ball in regards to rebounding (in 104 minutes of play he has 6 total rebounds). Negative assist to turnover ration 4 assists / 11 Turnovers (chalk some up to being a freshman) Overall: He needs to work on getting aggressive as he could be a nice rotation piece for this team over the next four years. Fix the assists to turnover ration (seasoning will help) but shot selection and rebounding will go a long way: Long-Term: Rotation player until at least a junior behind (evans, battle, garcia, JoJ *from current roster) GRADE C+

Carrington
- Incomplete due to injury but I have concerns about how he is getting blown by every time he is the on ball defender GRADE Incomplete (but leaning towards a C as he has 2 games at this point) *he may end up being like Gabe in which we were told his shot is amazing but in reality the data doesn't align...Gabe had the prettiest misses I have ever seen. *I am hopeful this is not the case*

Thompson- Strengths: Ability to stretch the floor and pull the opposing team's center away from the hoop to open driving lanes, shooting for a 7fter, Vision has a 3-1 assist to turnover ratio (6-2). Microwave ability / when he gets hot it creates a buzz within the arena (which is rare) - good for team momentum. Weaknesses: Boxing out / defensive rebounding. He has a complete disregard for this aspect of the game and it keeps him off the floor. Extremely thin frame means he typically gives up 40+ lbs to who he guards on the defensive end night-in / night-out Overall: He needs to get the mentality of an NBA player on a 10-day contract...meaning if he doesn't have the aggressive play he is cut / out of the league. He can't play without being aggressive, especially with another 7 footer coming in. If he can be aggressive, rebound, and stretch the floor with his shooting while energizing the barn...it will be to everyone's advantage Long-Term: 50/50 if he makes it 4 years with the program as he easily could transfer with Evans coming in and two other bigs (Payne and Garcia taking the majority of the minutes) GRADE C

Samuels
- don't need to spend to much time on him, I think the B10 will destroy him. Incredibly out of shape for this level of basketball

Ramberg - Shouldn't be playing, but I will say this...This kid is a warrior. He is 3rd in minutes on the team and while he is only 6'5" and no where near the tallest Gopher on the court at any point in time, he is second on the team in rebounds this season with 23 (only Garcia has more with 28). Kid has heart. But, he has 2 assists and 2 turnovers in 113 min because he can't create for himself or his teammates at this level of play (and we are not playing high level basketball until December even). Even though he has 113 minutes of play, he's only shot the ball 14 times all season and + going 40% on free throws (2-5)...so he's out there for heart and rebounds... GRADE B- but shouldn't be playing

Coaching Staff:

  • Starting with the Ramberg situation as it is immediately above: I assume your attempting to show your young players that if you have heart you will play...but that is a bad message to send as there are a lot of players in this world who have a ton of heart but at the end of the day don't have the talent to compete at the level of major college basketball (and hopefully Ben isn't looking for bottom of the B10). I get it if he wants to showcase Ramberg's heart / hustle in practice and occasionally in games, but starting him every game and playing him the 3 most minutes on the team so far this season is egregious. (maybe this is coupled with the Carrington injury...we will see how the minutes start to shift) but come on, start playing for the future of the program with the young guys who we need to evaluate if they have the juice or not

  • Maybe I have a different philosophy then our current Coaching Staff, but the style of offense we play does not match our personal. I think we out team is geared to a run and gun / up-temp (Memphis Dribble Drive - Memphis Dribble Drive Motion Offense Film Study) style of play. Our bigs are not that big (Payne is only 6'9" and in the B10 that is not concerned large) + Garcia while 6'11" is not a true post / bruiser and Treyton is really a perimeter player...
    • We have all of these bigs (Treyton, Garcia, Battle) who can run and handle the ball / space the floor / shoot treys / drive and kick plus we have a big (Payne) who can sit on the block and wait for a drive man to kick it to him for a dunk ...
    • We have an elite athlete (JoJ) on the wing along
    • We have shooters in Carrington (fingers crossed), Cooper
  • Rebounding has been terrible (if you can call what we do rebounding) - this should be a non-negotiable if you want to see the court
  • FT shooting % - woof - get a team sports head shrink and however much time you are spending on this, double it, then double it again
  • Scoring - through 4 games (and our creampuff opponents) we only average 60.8 points per game - this is dare I say pathetic especially when we are a B10 team competing against sisters-of-the-poor. Push the pace and crush them into submission with our depth and talent. Not everything needs to be an x's and o's battle. Recruits may be turned off by seeing a team gut out 60 points against bad competition as it isn't the sexiest brand of basketball - one could argue Michigan State is known as a really gritty / blue collar team ...but their lowest scoring game of the season was 63 points and that was against some bad team called Gonzaga
COACHING GRADE C+
Good stuff! I would give the coaching staff a D so far. No blocking out, no defense and not much organization on offense. I like the potential of our players a lot and the coaching staff can and I hope will, dramatically improve their own grade so far by getting this team to improve through the year. It's been ugly so far.
 

formerlybis

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Michigan State is known for transition and fast offense. Wisconsin is a slower paced team and a better offensive comparison to what we do. Limiting possessions favors the lesser team. While it may hurt us in the non con, it might prove beneficial in conference play.
This is a common misperception. If you put tempo on one axis and offensive efficiency on the other, and plot every team on that graph, there is no correlation. You can be efficient being "fast" (Iowa) or "slow" (Houston is currently the #1 overall team on t-rank and is 357th in tempo; Virginia is notoriously slow and won a national championship). You can be inefficient in both extremes of tempo, too. The point is that tempo doesn't really matter in W's and L's.

However, efficiency does. It's mathematically impossible to win when you are less efficient (meaning points per possession) than your opponent. There are many ways to achieve efficiency, though. A fast team might try to create turnovers leading to transition baskets, and a slow team aims to prevent them.

It is typically harder to speed up a slow team than the reverse, though, and that can be an advantage for the slow team.
 

UpAndUnder43

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Battle had ~ 1100 minutes last year and 11 steals…I think one can safely conclude he isn’t actively in passing lanes enough.

Personally, I don’t care if he is a defensive stalwart…as long as he can come back and score 15+pts and greatly increasing his assist rate from last year.
No doubt. 11 steals isn’t a lot. But doesn’t mean he isn’t in passing lanes.
 

Gopherfan84

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This is a common misperception. If you put tempo on one axis and offensive efficiency on the other, and plot every team on that graph, there is no correlation. You can be efficient being "fast" (Iowa) or "slow" (Houston is currently the #1 overall team on t-rank and is 357th in tempo; Virginia is notoriously slow and won a national championship). You can be inefficient in both extremes of tempo, too. The point is that tempo doesn't really matter in W's and L's.

However, efficiency does. It's mathematically impossible to win when you are less efficient (meaning points per possession) than your opponent. There are many ways to achieve efficiency, though. A fast team might try to create turnovers leading to transition baskets, and a slow team aims to prevent them.

It is typically harder to speed up a slow team than the reverse, though, and that can be an advantage for the slow team.
Totally agree on tempo and how it equates to wins and losses. What is a misconception I’m stating? Limiting possessions favor the bad team? Mathematically that is true when you go by percentages as it requires a bad team to win more possessions. That being said some bad teams are more equipped to employ it that way vs. slower play.
Obviously offensive efficiency isn’t exclusive to own style vs the other and is more about doing whatever you do well.
 




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