Taurus Samuels Commits to Gophers!!

Dakota2

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You always need a balanced roster with guards who can shoot/score. If you don't have them, you'll finish near the bottom of the conference.
Once again not true if you mean shoot and score like Willis. There is nothing to suggest Cooper will never score. And since Battle will often be in a lineup where he could be considered a guard, your theme here is doubly wrong.
 

Dakota2

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some fans can always find a reason to be optimistic.

and some fans can always find a reason to be pessimistic.

in the end, the coaching staff recruits the players and coaches the players.

we will see what the result looks like when they start playing games.

I hope the team does well.
The reasons to be pessimistic about this team are few. The reasons to be optimistic are many.
 

RockChalk

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The add Garcia to this years team (Battle was out 4 man last year) and take off Samuels or Carrington. Which one is better? It’s not a stretch what I did comparison wise. Which one do you like better? Garcia and Battle are the two best players in that group. This years team is already remarkably deeper and more talented as a whole than last year.
The OP we were discussing had to do with which backcourt was better. So with Battle in both of your groups which one do you like better?
 

Gopherfan84

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The OP we were discussing had to do with which backcourt was better. So with Battle in both of your groups which one do you like better?
If you count Battle in the first group, then you get Garcia in the second one. I choose the one with Battle and Garcia. Battle will have significantly different role this year because of Garcia, Fox, and Payne where last year they had Curry and Daniels and Battle had to play more in the front court. Would you count Stephens or Loewe if we were discussing front courts?
 

ethomasp31

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Ben's objective with his roster is to have versatile players that are not really defined by 1, 2, 3, 4
He has a large group of players that can interchange between the 1- 4 spots as they play, so how do you know will be playing "front court" or 'back court". He said he was going to give Battle some time as the PG.....
Too many people on this board are way to concerned about putting players into specific positions. It’s not going to be like that…your point about versatility goes over half the posters heads.
 


GopherWeatherGuy

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Once again not true if you mean shoot and score like Willis. There is nothing to suggest Cooper will never score. And since Battle will often be in a lineup where he could be considered a guard, your theme here is doubly wrong.

So Battle was playing out of position all year at the 4 last season, and now we’re going to be ok playing him out of position at the 2? I’m not arguing that’s what could happen, I’m arguing that it’s a bad decision. He’s not a guard.
 

Gopherfan84

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So Battle was playing out of position all year at the 4 last season, and now we’re going to be ok playing him out of position at the 2? I’m not arguing that’s what could happen, I’m arguing that it’s a bad decision. He’s not a guard.
What is the difference between and guard and a wing?
 


Holy Man

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Too many people on this board are way to concerned about putting players into specific positions. It’s not going to be like that…your point about versatility goes over half the posters heads.
I'm not sure I care about what position they play, but I still would like to add another high quality shooter to the mix. We have brought in two guards who appear sound in handling the ball but not great shooters. We know Battle can be outstanding from long range. Beyond that, I'm not seeing much shooting. Perhaps Garcia.

The versatility will make us better defensively. The size will help rebounding. But I am not seeing a great leap forward on offense with the reconfigured roster. Without a perimeter game, clogging the middle becomes an option for opponents.
 



BarnBurner

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some fans can always find a reason to be optimistic.

and some fans can always find a reason to be pessimistic.

in the end, the coaching staff recruits the players and coaches the players.

we will see what the result looks like when they start playing games.

I hope the team does well.
And very few can be realistic.
 

Johnnyboy18

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I'm not sure I care about what position they play, but I still would like to add another high quality shooter to the mix. We have brought in two guards who appear sound in handling the ball but not great shooters. We know Battle can be outstanding from long range. Beyond that, I'm not seeing much shooting. Perhaps Garcia.

The versatility will make us better defensively. The size will help rebounding. But I am not seeing a great leap forward on offense with the reconfigured roster. Without a perimeter game, clogging the middle becomes an option for opponents.
Carrington and Henley were good three point shooters in high school we'll see how it translates to college. Dawson was north of 35% both years. Cooper seems like a decent shooter. Think there will be plenty of spacing.
 

GopherPlaya

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See how they got Battle the ball and see where they got Battle the ball. Offensively much of the action and plays called for him are what you see for a two guard…
I don’t get what he doesn’t understand about that. Basketball now is basically 3 positions PG Wing Post. Some teams like Villanova play a point guard with 3 wings & a post. Positions truly don’t matter
 

Dakota2

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So Battle was playing out of position all year at the 4 last season, and now we’re going to be ok playing him out of position at the 2? I’m not arguing that’s what could happen, I’m arguing that it’s a bad decision. He’s not a guard.
He's going to be playing all over the floor on offense. He was not then nor will he be this year playing out of position.
 



Slim Tubby

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You always need a balanced roster with guards who can shoot/score. If you don't have them, you'll finish near the bottom of the conference.
You might very well be proven to be right. I agree that guard play in college basketball is necessary for success.

However, with the intense infusion of front court help, including what we have returning, it’s possible to overcome weaknesses at guard and inexperience. The season will tell the story.
 

alchemy2u

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I have been a Gopher fan for 30 years. I've been a season ticket holder for a decade and dumped thousands of hours and dollars into my Gopher fandom. I want the Gophers to win. You think I would prefer the Gophers to lose just to win some meaningless bickering contest with a group of online mouthbreathers? LOL. Yep, that checks out!

I support Ben. Do you need me to find tons of posts over the last 6 months where I support Ben Johnson? They wouldn't matter to you. You have it in your head that any person who EVER says anything negative about Ben suddenly hates him and hates everything about him. It's skinned knee chick shit hysteria. You ignore (clearly) all posts of support and because you're all flustered that ANYONE could find any criticism of your sacred cow.

The truth is (whether you are capable of putting your emotions aside or not), I support Ben and I think he's a good coach. I will disagree with him on a ton of stuff, like I do any coach, but at the end of the day, I hope they're right and I'm wrong. I'd rather have the Gophers win than "win" some argument with you. I don't think enough of you to care to care about our perceived disagreement.

I actually didn't have a dream pick. I guess I would have preferred Craig Smith, maybe Gates or Medved. I wasn't one of those people who thought we could still get Muss.
I did not say that you wanted the Gophers to lose.

I was responding to your comment saying you were hoping that you were wrong about saying the following comment criticizing the signing of Samuels:
If Ben's plan to fix our issues at wing was to add a 6 footer who shoots under 30% from 3 and has a close to 1:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, that is more problematic than if we just missed on people.

Everyone knew we were going after Samuels, the idea that it was the "solution" is what worries folks.
I just do not believe that you hope you are wrong. If so, you will never admit it.

And again, you just make assumptions about my motives which are completely false. Ben wasn't my first or second choice, but he is quickly showing why he was hired.

People are free to critic the coach, but it gets quite tiresome to hear the same few having problems with almost every move that Ben makes. Especially when they know absolutely nothing about the details of the situation.

I know at times I have erroneously accused you of comments that you have not made directly, for that I apologize. I can get caught up responding to a series of messages by just replying to the last one I read.

By the way, real classy move with the personal insults.
 

EG#9

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Samuels was visiting Drexel before he visited Minnesota. Drexel. There is one tweet out there suggesting some good schools (Florida, Duke) had interest in him as a backup PG as well, which would be much more encouraging. Personally, I am fine with Samuels if he's only expected to be a caretaker type who spells more talented players for ~10 minutes a game. If he's asked to do more than that, I don't think you can point to anything in his profile that suggests he would/could be successful at the high major level in a significant role.

I do think it's interesting that Samuels is a small guard that doesn't shoot it well. In many interviews with Coach Johnson since he's been hired, I've heard him talk about the importance of shooting and a preference for length in the backcourt. Cooper is not a shooter and Samuels has neither length or shooting ability. Doesn't mean you cannnot win another way, but these guys are a far cry from Willis as a shooter who I believe lead the Big Ten (or Big Ten guards) in three point percentage.

It wasn't that long ago (maybe 2 weeks?) that Andy Katz put out a video saying Ben Johnson was looking for a scorer for his backcourt. I wonder what changed between now and then besides another scholarship opening up? I personally have a hard time believing that the plan is/was to add the guys they've added and not add another more skilled scorer to the backcourt.

Maybe I should make another thread on this, but would any of you who are attacking Bob Loblaw (or others with a similar point of view) take over 9.5 conference wins? What if I gave you +120 on that? If Coach Johnson (who I agree knows his roster better than any of us) is content with this roster for '22-23, then he clearly believes he has more than enough to be above .500 in conference play. If he didn't, I think we'd all agree it would be malpractice to not be turning over every stone possible looking for talent with 2 open scholarships. Coach Johnson could be slightly off with his view of the roster and you'd still cash this bet at plus money.
 


eker0016

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Samuels was visiting Drexel before he visited Minnesota. Drexel. There is one tweet out there suggesting some good schools (Florida, Duke) had interest in him as a backup PG as well, which would be much more encouraging. Personally, I am fine with Samuels if he's only expected to be a caretaker type who spells more talented players for ~10 minutes a game. If he's asked to do more than that, I don't think you can point to anything in his profile that suggests he would/could be successful at the high major level in a significant role.

I do think it's interesting that Samuels is a small guard that doesn't shoot it well. In many interviews with Coach Johnson since he's been hired, I've heard him talk about the importance of shooting and a preference for length in the backcourt. Cooper is not a shooter and Samuels has neither length or shooting ability. Doesn't mean you cannnot win another way, but these guys are a far cry from Willis as a shooter who I believe lead the Big Ten (or Big Ten guards) in three point percentage.

It wasn't that long ago (maybe 2 weeks?) that Andy Katz put out a video saying Ben Johnson was looking for a scorer for his backcourt. I wonder what changed between now and then besides another scholarship opening up? I personally have a hard time believing that the plan is/was to add the guys they've added and not add another more skilled scorer to the backcourt.

Maybe I should make another thread on this, but would any of you who are attacking Bob Loblaw (or others with a similar point of view) take over 9.5 conference wins? What if I gave you +120 on that? If Coach Johnson (who I agree knows his roster better than any of us) is content with this roster for '22-23, then he clearly believes he has more than enough to be above .500 in conference play. If he didn't, I think we'd all agree it would be malpractice to not be turning over every stone possible looking for talent with 2 open scholarships. Coach Johnson could be slightly off with his view of the roster and you'd still cash this bet at plus money.
Good post. I have also been a bit surprised by the guards with mediocre/bad shooting. It seemed like Loewe/Willis/Stephens were better shooters than we are used to at the expense of some athleticism, now it seems we are going the other way.

At least Ta'Lon Cooper has demonstrated some success at 3P (39% in each of his first 2 seasons). Samuels did shoot 50% from the field overall his sophomore year and 81% FT last year, but his 3P% his 3 seasons has been 30%, 28%, 31%. Hard to have a small guard off guard who can't shoot on the floor.

As far as Drexel vs. Florida etc, it's really hard to compare the grad transfer guys to HS recruiting. We have seen a lot of instances where 1 year guys are picking the smaller programs over bigger names for a chance to be "the man" while it seems 4 year guys nearly always pick the higher profile schools if there is a major difference. If we were recruiting Samuels out of HS and his only other offer was Drexel then yeah I would be worried.
 

Gopherfan84

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Samuels was visiting Drexel before he visited Minnesota. Drexel. There is one tweet out there suggesting some good schools (Florida, Duke) had interest in him as a backup PG as well, which would be much more encouraging. Personally, I am fine with Samuels if he's only expected to be a caretaker type who spells more talented players for ~10 minutes a game. If he's asked to do more than that, I don't think you can point to anything in his profile that suggests he would/could be successful at the high major level in a significant role.

I do think it's interesting that Samuels is a small guard that doesn't shoot it well. In many interviews with Coach Johnson since he's been hired, I've heard him talk about the importance of shooting and a preference for length in the backcourt. Cooper is not a shooter and Samuels has neither length or shooting ability. Doesn't mean you cannnot win another way, but these guys are a far cry from Willis as a shooter who I believe lead the Big Ten (or Big Ten guards) in three point percentage.

It wasn't that long ago (maybe 2 weeks?) that Andy Katz put out a video saying Ben Johnson was looking for a scorer for his backcourt. I wonder what changed between now and then besides another scholarship opening up? I personally have a hard time believing that the plan is/was to add the guys they've added and not add another more skilled scorer to the backcourt.

Maybe I should make another thread on this, but would any of you who are attacking Bob Loblaw (or others with a similar point of view) take over 9.5 conference wins? What if I gave you +120 on that? If Coach Johnson (who I agree knows his roster better than any of us) is content with this roster for '22-23, then he clearly believes he has more than enough to be above .500 in conference play. If he didn't, I think we'd all agree it would be malpractice to not be turning over every stone possible looking for talent with 2 open scholarships. Coach Johnson could be slightly off with his view of the roster and you'd still cash this bet at plus money.
I think 9.5 is where I would make the line as well. I think for +120 I probably take it. I think this is a tournament team. Other teams will add pieces (maybe us too), but with where we sit now, I'd probably take it. I don't think I'm one that is attacking Bob either though. I said earlier and I truly believe that we only add another wing if they are elite. Otherwise I'm ok rolling with Carrington, Henley, Cooper (when Samuels is in) at a wing spot with the other areas being as deep as they are. I also think Cooper is a better shooter than you are giving him credit for. He may not lead the B1G in shooting, but he will be plenty serviceable and he is only needed as our 3rd scorer vs. our 2nd or 1st.
 

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I guess not having many available shooters tells you the premium teams put on it. Hard to believe we can’t find a two guard who’s guaranteed shots.
 

Bayfieldgopher

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See how they got Battle the ball and see where they got Battle the ball. Offensively much of the action and plays called for him are what you see for a two guard…
Battle showed decent handles and dribble/drive last season. I was looking for more post up with back to the hoop type play last year. Nada. I guess he can't do it all!!!
 

Gopherfan84

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I guess not having many available shooters tells you the premium teams put on it. Hard to believe we can’t find a two guard who’s guaranteed shots.
How many shots do you think are available with Cooper, Garcia, and Battle around? They will take a majority of the shots and have the offense ran through them. The open spot isn't as appealing to high level guys as we think, plus we don't have an NIL money to offer that I am aware of. High end wings are getting 400K from Miami and other places.
 

goldenboy

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Battle showed decent handles and dribble/drive last season. I was looking for more post up with back to the hoop type play last year. Nada. I guess he can't do it all!!!
Battle only showed “adequate” handles and that was when being guarded by 4s. Now people think he can play the 2. I don’t even see him as a great 3, but we’ll need to play him there to get two of the big guys on the floor. Battle is also a streaky shooter for a volume gunner. We have to hope for some scoring from the other front court guys and the freshmen. Lots of ? About this roster.
 

MNVCGUY

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I don’t get what he doesn’t understand about that. Basketball now is basically 3 positions PG Wing Post. Some teams like Villanova play a point guard with 3 wings & a post. Positions truly don’t matter
Yep, way too many people hanging onto the traditional 1-5 player concept and trying really hard to make players fit into one of those specific roles. That just isn't how the game is played anymore.

This roster is short on what would be seen as traditional guards, but in today's game that isn't as big of an issue as it might have been in the past as long as you have a handful of players with the ability to dribble and lead the offense.
 

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How many shots do you think are available with Cooper, Garcia, and Battle around? They will take a majority of the shots and have the offense ran through them. The open spot isn't as appealing to high level guys as we think, plus we don't have an NIL money to offer that I am aware of. High end wings are getting 400K from Miami and other places.

Cooper didn't shoot or score that much at Morehead State, so I'm not sure why we would expect more of that from him here.
 

Blackhammer

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How many shots do you think are available with Cooper, Garcia, and Battle around? They will take a majority of the shots and have the offense ran through them. The open spot isn't as appealing to high level guys as we think, plus we don't have an NIL money to offer that I am aware of. High end wings are getting 400K from Miami and other places.
Not sure Cooper should get that many shots. Certainly wasn’t a great scorer or shooter at Moorhead. We have two forwards who can score no doubt. A little concerned if we have enough defense at guard or wing if that’s what want to you call it as well. That I think will depend if the freshman can play good defense. That’s probably asking a lot.
 

GopherPlaya

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Battle only showed “adequate” handles and that was when being guarded by 4s. Now people think he can play the 2. I don’t even see him as a great 3, but we’ll need to play him there to get two of the big guys on the floor. Battle is also a streaky shooter for a volume gunner. We have to hope for some scoring from the other front court guys and the freshmen. Lots of ? About this roster.
What makes you think we will need him to create off the dribble to play on the wing. 1 He is really good catch & shoot guy that knows how to utilize shot fakes to create space and advantages. 2 He is a streaky shooter on a bad team because he had to gun. I have watched him since high school and he is so much better as a complementary piece compared to having to be the creator. With Garcia here I don't see him needing to create so much off the dribble and can play to his strengths more
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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Yep, way too many people hanging onto the traditional 1-5 player concept and trying really hard to make players fit into one of those specific roles. That just isn't how the game is played anymore.

This roster is short on what would be seen as traditional guards, but in today's game that isn't as big of an issue as it might have been in the past as long as you have a handful of players with the ability to dribble and lead the offense.

I agree that basketball has become more positionless but there's still a big difference between guards and wings. It's wings and posts that have become more interchangeable. Guards are not wings.

Most of the highly successful teams are deep a guard, with a number of 6' - 6'4" guys who can handle the ball and score. They'll start 3 of those guys with two wings. That's the type of versatility you want. You don't want 6'8" - 6'10" wings guarding those guys. And that's sadly what we're going to see.
 

GopherPlaya

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Cooper didn't shoot or score that much at Morehead State, so I'm not sure why we would expect more of that from him here.
He still average 9 a game. I am not expecting Cooper to score much but 9 a game will definitely be great here. I also think we are overcomplicating this stuff in May. If Cooper can just get us 3-5 assist off drop offs to Fox, Payne, or whoever the other big will be, then we are in good shape. It feels like you are focusing on how much Cooper can score instead of how many points he can generate as a playmaker
 

MNVCGUY

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I agree that basketball has become more positionless but there's still a big difference between guards and wings. It's wings and posts that have become more interchangeable. Guards are not wings.

Most of the highly successful teams are deep a guard, with a number of 6' - 6'4" guys who can handle the ball and score. They'll start 3 of those guys with two wings. That's the type of versatility you want. You don't want 6'8" - 6'10" wings guarding those guys. And that's sadly what we're going to see.
Guess we will have to agree to disagree on this one and see how it all shakes out when the team takes the court.

Johnson seems to feel pretty good about what he has on the roster and doesn't seem to be scrambling to bring in a bunch of guards so he must feel he has guys on the roster that can dribble and defend guards on other teams.
 




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