So far I am totally wrong...

topos

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Shoot, as a team, over 40% from the floor and 38%+ from three. For the season.
If we are a volume 3pt shooting team above 38%, we will knock off a big dog or two; even in games where we are dominated down low. However, on nights shots aren't falling; we could lose by 30+. Pretty much on par with the Pitino era, in all honesty...
 

Dakota2

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I think it's still a finish in the bottom 3 of the BIG. Very short bench, apparently can't hit FT's, scary vs the press. With that said, I've enjoyed the effort of the team thus far. I was happy when they got Battle and he's even better than I expected. So smooth (although maybe careless at times). Imagine how good he'd be as the 3rd option on a good team? Willis looking solid. Sutherlin is intriguing. A bit surprised Thompson and Thiam have not seen the court much. Hopefully in time.
They will shoot and make free throws. Ben will teach them to improve on handling press. It will be a weakness (no point guard) but we will be coached up to be better than last night.
 

SanDiegoGopherFan

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Anyone want to bump the thread about win totals for the season? My expectations are changing
 

Gopher_In_NYC

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This team will overachieve. You can already see they believe in each other and the coaching staff and there are no egos. Thanks half the battle right there.
The other half is spelled J A M I S O N
 

BballJones

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They will shoot and make free throws. Ben will teach them to improve on handling press. It will be a weakness (no point guard) but we will be coached up to be better than last night.
I think you are right - it was extremely frustrating to watch them miss FT's over and over though. We do have some very solid FT shooters, at least based on previous years. Loewe, Battle, Stephens, Willis. I am sure they will be working hard to get better against the press, but like you said, it'll be more challenging without a true PG.
 


ethomasp31

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Wait what? I disagree completely. We have 3 solid recruits for the 2022 class already and they're all from Minnesota.

Saying that they can't recruit at all when it hasn't even been a year since CBJ got hired seems silly to me. Give it some time.

He doesn't follow recruiting very closely obviously. I can tell you that they know how to build relationships and have been very active at giving their recruiting targets attention. Will that translate to those players choosing to play basketball at the U? We will see, but the effort is there.
 

Juicer

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The thing that I absolutely loved about watching the Princeton game was the intensity of the coaching staff. You could hear both Ben and Thorson screaming encouragement on nearly every possession. This kind of energy and contagiousness is what was being begged for with the previous regime. People are making fun of the "grinders win" etc. but the reality is that you can be an excellent team with hard-nosed, tough players who in other ways are lacking. With time and the right players, the trajectory even after a small sample of 3 games is encouraging.

I am in no way saying the current team is the next Baylor, but if you look at the construction of their national championship team, they had an extremely short rotation (played 8 guys regularly), played suffocating defense, shot the 3 incredibly well (42% as a team last year), and their coaching staff modeled the intensity of their players.
 

ethomasp31

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I agree, but we never gave Pitino a pass on injuries either. (and rightly so) It totally sucks that they both went down, but its the coaches job to build a passable bench. Again, I think we all have low expectations for this year and Fox/Ihnen injuries aren't going to be the difference keeping us from the Final Four, but just pointing out that even talking Sam Freeman into staying would have made a huge difference.

On the other hand, it has been interesting and refreshing seeing how Ben and the team have been able to work around the lack of bigs so far. It will probably be brutal in the B10, but I love watching coaches who can turn a weakness into a strength, so I'm looking for that. (i.e. yes we are way too small on defense, but we play straight up and don't foul, and have slashers who can fly by your bigs on offense).

Maybe Freeman didn't fit what Ben Johnson wanted here. Maybe Freeman wanted a fresh start.

I agree it would be nice to have more big men who can give us minutes. Has anyone heard how close Parker Fox is to being able to play? I've heard he is ahead of schedule but there is no time table....just wondering if that might become an option come January.
 

Gopher_In_NYC

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This roster wasn't built to win this year, and then it was hamstrung even more when a couple of the bigger bodies on the roster went down with injuries before the season in Ihnen and Fox. This group with those two healthy would have been in a position to be competitive with a lot of teams in the Big Ten. Not challenge for the title or an NCAA bid but at least give teams a legit fight.

Still, it was very clear early on that this was going to be a tough year and the focus was not on winning this year but rather looking to next year and beyond. Which is why Johnson focused on one year guys with high basketball IQs and a desire to play at the Big Ten level.
The above bolded shows Bens bucket IQ. We get a good class next year and years 3-4 will be fun to watch! He’s building a PROGRAM so it’s takes 3-4 when it starts to really matter; they play like this for the first 2 people will understand/be okay with it for the most part, as long as they’re not 25 year season ticket holders = 🤣🤣🤣🤣
 
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Fan of Ray Christensen

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No, they are not as good as Pitino's tournament teams. Probably not close. Based on a small sample size, they are better at playing up to the level of talent they possess than Pitino's teams.

Oddly enough, I could envision this year's team giving any of Pitino's teams fits in a mythical matchup.
 

VolitileGopher

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Wait what? I disagree completely. We have 3 solid recruits for the 2022 class already and they're all from Minnesota.

Saying that they can't recruit at all when it hasn't even been a year since CBJ got hired seems silly to me. Give it some time.
You must be a "year zero" kind of guy. No offense, but Curry & Ihnen are the only two players who stayed for Johnson. And the talent he brought in, leads to 6 other guys who probably don't start at most places. Now, 2022, he is getting the midlevel guys. Cool. Last time I checked Battle, Willis, Sunderlin all "mid level ish" talent. Good, very helpful pieces, but difference makers like.... oh say, Tre Holloman or his ilk.
 

VolitileGopher

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The above bolded shows Bens bucket IQ. We get a good class next year and years 3-4 will be fun to watch! He’s building a PROGRAM so it’s tears 3-4 when it starts to really matter; they play like this for the first 2 people will understand/be okay with it for the most part, as long as they’re not 25 year season ticket holders = 🤣🤣🤣🤣
Sounds familiar. If Robbins is healthy for 20 Big Ten games, the gophers would have been a 7 seed. Pitino was hamstrung by injuries every year and we paid him money to leave. Here we are. New Coach, New roster (with open season on transfer recruiting), and here we are.... Same situation. If you think we are better off, you're lying to yourself. That said, IF Johnson someday gets to Pitino's level (and I give it a 50/50 coin flip), the upside is that Johnson isn't really going to be lured to another job. But that's a big if. Remember, Pitino got us to the second round, and again, 20 seconds into the game it was obvious that Murphy couldn't even jog up and down the court.
 

VolitileGopher

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a resounding no?

That is just ridiculous take
Exhibit A: Tre Holloman is NOT a gopher.
Exhibit B: Tre Holloman is NOT a ridiculous talent like Suggs or Holmgren. And yet, he is still NOT a gopher.
Exhibit C: Your level of excitement about a Braden Carrington versus Tre Holloman.
Didn't we fire Pitino for not keeping Minnesota Talent in Minnesota.
Sure. I'm being ridiculous.
 



VolitileGopher

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My expectations going forward is to enjoy watching a team that plays smart, plays their hearts out and plays defense. If they don't come in 14th in the B1G I'll be happy. If they indeed go 5-0 to start the season, I'll be thrilled. If they win 2 B1G games, I'll be thrilled. Anything more than that I'll be really excited. This team is way more fun to watch than any Pitino teams.
2 wins in the BIg 10 you will be thrilled.

Let me ask you this. What would you be thrilled with if Pitino was still here and you were looking at fresh season with: a pair of transfers plus Kalschuer, Carr, Robbins, Mashburn Jr, and maybe Johnson and Curry. If healthy, second round is realistic. But we ran that show into the ground and then out of town. We suck.

It is what it is, so onto a wasted "year zero" situation. I'm old enough to know the grass aint necessarily greener on the other side. I remember the joy of having a team that gave me hope with Glenn Mason versus a team that left me hopeless (thank you Tim Brewster).

The first 3 games give me hope that youngsters will want to play in Johnson's scheme, but just remember we the fans created this lost season.
 

howeda7

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2 wins in the BIg 10 you will be thrilled.

Let me ask you this. What would you be thrilled with if Pitino was still here and you were looking at fresh season with: a pair of transfers plus Kalschuer, Carr, Robbins, Mashburn Jr, and maybe Johnson and Curry. If healthy, second round is realistic. But we ran that show into the ground and then out of town. We suck.

It is what it is, so onto a wasted "year zero" situation. I'm old enough to know the grass aint necessarily greener on the other side. I remember the joy of having a team that gave me hope with Glenn Mason versus a team that left me hopeless (thank you Tim Brewster).

The first 3 games give me hope that youngsters will want to play in Johnson's scheme, but just remember we the fans created this lost season.
Gabe and Carr would both be gone if Pitino was still here. Robbins is still hurt and it sounds like he'll miss a significant % of the season.

We'll never know who Pitino would have gotten to replace them, but look how bad they were without Gabe/Robbins and then take away Carr too. Yikes. We'd probably be looking at another year of no NCAA's and THEN firing him. It would have only delayed the inevitable.
 

Gopher_In_NYC

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Sounds familiar. If Robbins is healthy for 20 Big Ten games, the gophers would have been a 7 seed. Pitino was hamstrung by injuries every year and we paid him money to leave. Here we are. New Coach, New roster (with open season on transfer recruiting), and here we are.... Same situation. If you think we are better off, you're lying to yourself. That said, IF Johnson someday gets to Pitino's level (and I give it a 50/50 coin flip), the upside is that Johnson isn't really going to be lured to another job. But that's a big if. Remember, Pitino got us to the second round, and again, 20 seconds into the game it was obvious that Murphy couldn't even jog up and down the court.
If its and buts we’re candy and nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas Rick or Bamboo Boi's burner account.

BTW maybe you should have taught Richard this life lesson instead of how to cheat to win championships!

 
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jamiche

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Sounds familiar. If Robbins is healthy for 20 Big Ten games, the gophers would have been a 7 seed. Pitino was hamstrung by injuries every year and we paid him money to leave. Here we are. New Coach, New roster (with open season on transfer recruiting), and here we are.... Same situation. If you think we are better off, you're lying to yourself. That said, IF Johnson someday gets to Pitino's level (and I give it a 50/50 coin flip), the upside is that Johnson isn't really going to be lured to another job. But that's a big if. Remember, Pitino got us to the second round, and again, 20 seconds into the game it was obvious that Murphy couldn't even jog up and down the court.
Based on the small sample size, I think we are better off, if not much better off. It starts with the ability to coach and the ability to assess competence. If the sample size is legit, it looks like he is better at working with his players than Pitino was.
I'm sure that when Ben took the job he didn't plan for ten players walking out the door. I'm also sure he counted on some players coming (e.g. Race Thompson) who didn't. He obviously had to improvise, but there appeared to be some structure to the improv. Most of the players had a MN connection and all were experienced. The team isn't very talented and the deficits are obvious. However, the players look competent and the team looks competent. I don't think it will be embarrassed in B1G play.
Johnson didn't get Holloman for the same reason that Pitino didn't get Jones when he first arrived. It takes time to build relationships in recruiting. The three guys he got are a very good start and will give him traction locally.
 

minnyrules11

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Exhibit A: Tre Holloman is NOT a gopher.
Exhibit B: Tre Holloman is NOT a ridiculous talent like Suggs or Holmgren. And yet, he is still NOT a gopher.
Exhibit C: Your level of excitement about a Braden Carrington versus Tre Holloman.
Didn't we fire Pitino for not keeping Minnesota Talent in Minnesota.
Sure. I'm being ridiculous.
Tre Holloman not a ridiculous talent but you sure seems to be hung up on him. Payne is a top 100 player. Battle and Willis sure seem to be difference makers but there is no proof Tre will be one. Lou Rawls “Tum Tum” Narin one the last point guard recruits similar in ranking did nothing for Sparty.

I’ll take the class of Minnesota kids and bring in a grad transfer point guard and go get one in 2023.
 

Juicer

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Exhibit A: Tre Holloman is NOT a gopher.
Exhibit B: Tre Holloman is NOT a ridiculous talent like Suggs or Holmgren. And yet, he is still NOT a gopher.
Exhibit C: Your level of excitement about a Braden Carrington versus Tre Holloman.
Didn't we fire Pitino for not keeping Minnesota Talent in Minnesota.
Sure. I'm being ridiculous
Exhibits of your ridiculousness:

Exhibit A: A HOF coach had a multi-year lead in recruiting Holloman vs. Ben.
Exhibit B: Holloman is not a ridiculous talent but MSU is really hard to pass up (Izzo is the man IMO).
Exhibit C: He got 3 top 10 kids in the state to sign when he'd been in the job for 4 months. Last time Pitino did that we were pretty happy with him (Oturo, Gabe, Jarvis) and he'd been in the job for... longer than that.
Exhibit D: Pitino was not fired because he didn't keep talent in MN. He was fired because they were mediocre at best and didn't win consistently enough, didn't have an identity, etc.
 

salzie

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Exhibit A: Tre Holloman is NOT a gopher.
Exhibit B: Tre Holloman is NOT a ridiculous talent like Suggs or Holmgren. And yet, he is still NOT a gopher.
Exhibit C: Your level of excitement about a Braden Carrington versus Tre Holloman.
Didn't we fire Pitino for not keeping Minnesota Talent in Minnesota.
Sure. I'm being ridiculous.
I mean, he went to Michigan State where the most decorated coach in B1G currently resides

Some kids just want to leave
 

Holy Man

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I mean, he went to Michigan State where the most decorated coach in B1G currently resides

Some kids just want to leave
True, but eventually Ben has to convince a headline grabbing local recruit to stay home. All of what sympathetic posters say is true about timing, relationships, etc. The concern I have is that fan bases, and I think players and their families, have a much shorter time horizon they work on now than they used to. I don't think Ben has a lot of time to demonstrate he and the Gophers are an excellent option for high level talent locally or nationally before he is written off as a real possibility. That isn't on Ben. It's on the short attention span and short sightedness of the population he is dealing with.

He is off to a good start, but I would argue not an outstanding start on the floor and in recruiting. I would give it a 4 on a 5 point scale. My concern from Day One has been that windows for success are much more narrow than they were even a decade ago. Getting Tre would have been the splash to grab attention locally. The local recruits are good, but not immediate difference makers on paper. I am with the vast majority that I wish Ben the best, but the hill to success is steep and far from guaranteed. I'll be in the arena on Friday, and as often as I can to show that support.
 

salzie

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True, but eventually Ben has to convince a headline grabbing local recruit to stay home. All of what sympathetic posters say is true about timing, relationships, etc. The concern I have is that fan bases, and I think players and their families, have a much shorter time horizon they work on now than they used to. I don't think Ben has a lot of time to demonstrate he and the Gophers are an excellent option for high level talent locally or nationally before he is written off as a real possibility. That isn't on Ben. It's on the short attention span and short sightedness of the population he is dealing with.

He is off to a good start, but I would argue not an outstanding start on the floor and in recruiting. I would give it a 4 on a 5 point scale. My concern from Day One has been that windows for success are much more narrow than they were even a decade ago. Getting Tre would have been the splash to grab attention locally. The local recruits are good, but not immediate difference makers on paper. I am with the vast majority that I wish Ben the best, but the hill to success is steep and far from guaranteed. I'll be in the arena on Friday, and as often as I can to show that support.
If we're going to judge him on his first year recruiting cycle and hinge on one recruit


I would've loved Tre, staff too, but it doesn't always happen. Wisconsin loses out on top Wi kids all the time.

The key is to get enough to stay, coach them up, and find the right kids from whereever

Lets be honest, if Gophers win with a roster solely from international players, no one will say boo. But MN has produced plenty of quality talent in recent years that left, we need to do better. We'll never do 100%, but we need to do better than Pitino's dismal recruiting and W/L record
 


Wally

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If we are a volume 3pt shooting team above 38%, we will knock off a big dog or two; even in games where we are dominated down low. However, on nights shots aren't falling; we could lose by 30+. Pretty much on par with the Pitino era, in all honesty...
Did we have 3pt shooters in the Pitino era?
 

Gopher_In_NYC

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Exhibits of your ridiculousness:

Exhibit A: A HOF coach had a multi-year lead in recruiting Holloman vs. Ben.
Exhibit B: Holloman is not a ridiculous talent but MSU is really hard to pass up (Izzo is the man IMO).
Exhibit C: He got 3 top 10 kids in the state to sign when he'd been in the job for 4 months. Last time Pitino did that we were pretty happy with him (Oturo, Gabe, Jarvis) and he'd been in the job for... longer than that.
Exhibit D: Pitino was not fired because he didn't keep talent in MN. He was fired because they were mediocre at best and didn't win consistently enough, didn't have an identity, etc.
💅 it
 


MNVCGUY

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Did we have 3pt shooters in the Pitino era?
Depends on how you define a shooter. Late in Pitino's run we had lots of guys that liked to shoot lots and lots and lots of 3s. I mean they didn't make very many of them but they took a lot of them. So by definition they could probably be called 3 point shooters just not 3 point makers :)
 



Face The Facts

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This team is off to a nice start, but the Princeton game was concerning even though they got the win.

Team is paper thin from a depth perspective.
 




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