STrib: Ben Johnson's first summer as Gophers coach short on practices, long on team building; Johnson expects Daniels and Curry to rotate at center

BleedGopher

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per Marcus:

The Gophers have one scholarship left for the 2021-22 season, but Johnson said they are not likely to sign anyone else.

"Unless something really significant pops up," he said. "This will be the crew we got. I'm excited to get to work with them."

Grad transfers Charlie Daniels (Stephen F. Austin) and Danny Ogele (Division II Mercyhurst) joined the team later this summer. The 6-9, 230-pound Daniels and the 6-7, 220-pound Ogele are athletic and physical bodies expected to add depth at center and power forward, respectively.

"Charlie knows how to play, knows how to work and wants to prove himself," Johnson said. "Having that older presence helps, especially defensively. Danny's athletic, strong and he's got a motor. Eager learner. He wants to get better. He wants to help this program. His athleticism is what we wanted and needed to have at this level."

Johnson expects Daniels and returning fifth-year senior Eric Curry to rotate at center. Unlike last season's 7-foot starter Liam Robbins, who transferred to Vanderbilt, they're both undersized. That could give 6-11 freshman Treyton Thompson more of an opportunity.


Go Gophers!!
 

GopherOhana

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I'd be surprised if Curry and Daniels together can average more than 30 minutes per game at C. Curry too broken down, Daniels too foul proned
 

Spaulding!No!

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Hmmm, less practicing to be a better team. Well, that’s different.
 

fan of Ray Williams

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“That could give 6-11 freshman Treyton Thompson more of an opportunity”
Yeah, probably so.
 



GopherBlood666

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Curry might surprise us. He is another year away from his injury. Another year of confidence in his body. People do come back from knee injuries.
Key word being might. He could look even worse than last year as well, although it is unlikely he would get worse. Not sure what his mental frame is, he had already declared he was hanging it up.
 


gopher1more

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I think it's a minor disgrace that Ben didn't add another front court player.
It takes both parties to get a player here. Maybe he did not have someone he was interested in that had interest back.
 

short ornery norwegian

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I think it's a minor disgrace that Ben didn't add another front court player.
FWIW - if Johnson would have given a scholarship to Joe Nobody just because Joe is 6'10" and 260 lbs, the critics would all be posting that "here's another guy who doesn't belong on a B1G roster."

Of all the things you can blame on Johnson, the injuries to Fox and Ihnen are not among them - and those injuries helped make front-court depth a bigger issue.

If the Gophs could have found a legitimate big man who wanted to come to MN, he would be in uniform. But, a lot of D1 teams could say the same thing. You can't just go down to the "big men" store at the mall and order one off the shelf.
 



Bob_Loblaw

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I think it's a minor disgrace that Ben didn't add another front court player.
It is kind of shocking.

On the bright side, I hope that Curry gets to go out on a high note. Even if the year is bad, if Eric Curry is able to play most of the year and be a productive Big 10 post-player, that would be a silver lining for me.

The other bright side, we should be able to get Thompson some run.
 

GopherBlood666

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It is kind of shocking.

On the bright side, I hope that Curry gets to go out on a high note. Even if the year is bad, if Eric Curry is able to play most of the year and be a productive Big 10 post-player, that would be a silver lining for me.

The other bright side, we should be able to get Thompson some run.
Thompson should hopefully get any minutes they say are going to Daniels. If they are truly building for the future and record doesn't matter, those with one year left should not get many minutes unless really needed. If you want to start Curry fine, but let's get the future on the court to see what we have.
 


Bob_Loblaw

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FWIW - if Johnson would have given a scholarship to Joe Nobody just because Joe is 6'10" and 260 lbs, the critics would all be posting that "here's another guy who doesn't belong on a B1G roster."

Of all the things you can blame on Johnson, the injuries to Fox and Ihnen are not among them - and those injuries helped make front-court depth a bigger issue.

If the Gophs could have found a legitimate big man who wanted to come to MN, he would be in uniform. But, a lot of D1 teams could say the same thing. You can't just go down to the "big men" store at the mall and order one off the shelf.

While I agree with you, we did take bench players from Mercyhurst and Stephen F Austin. I agree some people would have mocked it (maybe rightfully so), but I still think it's surprising that we didn't add SOMEBODY with the scholarship.
 



Bob_Loblaw

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Thompson should hopefully get any minutes they say are going to Daniels. If they are truly building for the future and record doesn't matter, those with one year left should not get many minutes unless really needed. If you want to start Curry fine, but let's get the future on the court to see what we have.
I do get worried that you can sometimes give people too much too soon. Thompson might be the kind of player that needs to play a certain niche to be effective and some guys can kind of struggle if they aren't allowed to play to that niche. But yeah, I generally agree with you.
 

GopherOhana

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Don’t they have 2 scholarships available, since curry doesn’t count against the 13 limit?. Unless…omersa just re-entered the transfer portal…
 


cjbfbp

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It takes both parties to get a player here. Maybe he did not have someone he was interested in that had interest back.

Thanks for the info, Captain Obvious. If you don't count Battle, there are four front court players. One is a skinny freshman who might be good next year but who knows. Another is a veteran player who showed noticeable physical limitations last year. A third is a guy who averaged 14 minutes a game during his two year career in the Southland Conference. The fourth had a decent year at one of the better DII programs but he averaged 10 minutes a game as a soph for a 12-19 Navy team three seasons ago. Of course, if one of those luminaries goes down, we're in even worse shape.

Fox went down in May and Ihnen around the middle of July. During that period until now I've seen numerous front court players with potential go to lesser programs than ours. At least five players from the upcoming team will be gone after this year. Ben could have taken a chance on someone. I thought he did a reasonably good job recruiting the guards but he gets a tentative "D" grade for the front court recruiting.
 
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Gopherfan84

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Thanks for the info, Captain Obvious. If you don't count Battle, there are four front court players. One is a skinny freshman who might be good next year but who knows. Another is a veteran player who showed noticeable physical limitations last year. A third is a guy who averaged 14 minutes a game during his two year career in the Southland Conference. The fourth had a decent year at one of the better DII programs but he averaged 10 minutes a game as a soph for a 12-19 Navy team three seasons ago. Of course, if one of those luminaries goes down, we're in even worse shape.

Fox went down in May and Ihnen around the middle of July. During that period until now I've seen numerous front court players with potential go to lesser programs than ours. At least five players from the upcoming team will be gone after this year. Ben could have taken a chance on someone. I thought he did a reasonably good job recruiting the guards but he gets a tentative "D" grade for the front court recruiting.
I hear ya but it’s pretty obvious that Ben wanted fit over anything this year. He was not going to sacrifice culture for talent. That being said, he seemed to be in it on Manley who choose pro (be interesting to see if he can make money). Also by July it also seems this staff was pretty much moved on 2022 recruiting. It’s a fair discussion whether that was the right play or not.
 

xxxdog

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Ben Johnson made numerous attempts to land realistic frontcourt help, but the rejection rate was mind-boggling for a team playing in the Big Ten....If you are expecting meaningful results from 3- players who could barely even get off the bench last year, one who was a backup center on high school team to challenge 4 & 5 star talent on several big ten teams in the frontcourt. I hope you do not gamble for a living ...
 

gopher1more

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Thanks for the info, Captain Obvious. If you don't count Battle, there are four front court players. One is a skinny freshman who might be good next year but who knows. Another is a veteran player who showed noticeable physical limitations last year. A third is a guy who averaged 14 minutes a game during his two year career in the Southland Conference. The fourth had a decent year at one of the better DII programs but he averaged 10 minutes a game as a soph for a 12-19 Navy team three seasons ago. Of course, if one of those luminaries goes down, we're in even worse shape.

Fox went down in May and Ihnen around the middle of July. During that period until now I've seen numerous front court players with potential go to lesser programs than ours. At least five players from the upcoming team will be gone after this year. Ben could have taken a chance on someone. I thought he did a reasonably good job recruiting the guards but he gets a tentative "D" grade for the front court recruiting.
Sorry you are a little butt hurt when someone points out something obvious to you that you missed
 

short ornery norwegian

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Bet you thought that was a really cute line, yokel.
Waaah. my feelings are hurt. I'm never going to post here again.

Seriously - did that insult make you feel better?

Does putting other people down feed your sense of self-esteem?

or, to put it another way, just how big of an *sshole are you?
 

TNGophfan

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I hear ya but it’s pretty obvious that Ben wanted fit over anything this year. He was not going to sacrifice culture for talent. That being said, he seemed to be in it on Manley who choose pro (be interesting to see if he can make money). Also by July it also seems this staff was pretty much moved on 2022 recruiting. It’s a fair discussion whether that was the right play or not.
Agree 100%. Like you, not sure who else he was trying to bring in but he was not going to compromise on culture or fit, and I agree with that. It probably means a poor year, but once you start compromising on the fit and culture you want, you're done. Like Fleck recruits to his culture with no compromises. Seems like football team is all in on him.
 

Spaulding!No!

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PJ is the real deal. Ben might be a phoney in the world of college basketball head coaching. You should avoid comparing the 2.
 

TNGophfan

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PJ is the real deal. Ben might be a phoney in the world of college basketball head coaching. You should avoid comparing the 2.
He might turn out to be a poor head coach, true. Wasn't making that comparison. Just saying, like Fleck, he needs to recruit to his culture, no compromises, whatever that is.
 

salzie

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21-22 w/l record will have no baring on my opinion of Johnson as a coach.

What I hope to see is improvement from team, commitment to defense, commitment to ball movement and spacing, and working as a team
 

salzie

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(and no off court scandals, commitment to academics, I just assume that's a given)
 

MennoSota

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Waaah. my feelings are hurt. I'm never going to post here again.

Seriously - did that insult make you feel better?

Does putting other people down feed your sense of self-esteem?

or, to put it another way, just how big of an *sshole are you?
You gotta ignore alphabet soup.
 

hungan1

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FWIW - if Johnson would have given a scholarship to Joe Nobody just because Joe is 6'10" and 260 lbs, the critics would all be posting that "here's another guy who doesn't belong on a B1G roster."

Of all the things you can blame on Johnson, the injuries to Fox and Ihnen are not among them - and those injuries helped make front-court depth a bigger issue.

If the Gophs could have found a legitimate big man who wanted to come to MN, he would be in uniform. But, a lot of D1 teams could say the same thing. You can't just go down to the "big men" store at the mall and order one off the shelf.
Fox and Ihnen will be back next season. This season is anybody's guess.
 




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