Taurus Samuels Commits to Gophers!!

bga1

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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.
We are talking as if we already have an all star lineup. We have some nice players but the reality of this is that we would all jump for joy if this club was .500 this year in the Big Ten. A good player should be able to get shots and playing time on this club. The second part of your post is probably pretty accurate though- right now we lack the appeal and the NIL to attract the type of guy we need to bring us up a notch at the guard position.

I am with Ben on this. If we can't get a player that is significantly better than he judges Carrington to be or Henley to be, then call it a day and let the frosh work it out on the court. It seems as though they have looked around and determined that we just aren't getting that guy this year.
 

GopherPlaya

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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.
What teams? Baylor last year played 6'8 Kendall Brown at the 2 and focused on their length. Arkansas started mostly 6'6+ guys last year. I see more teams focused on recruiting taller wings who are versatile compared to 6'0-6'4 guards.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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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

Scoring 9 points a game in the Ohio Valley is different than scoring 9 in the B1G. You need guards who can score to be successful. What tournament teams from a major conference didn't have a guard as one of their top scorers?
 

GopherPlaya

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We are talking as if we already have an all star lineup. We have some nice players but the reality of this is that we would all jump for joy if this club was .500 this year in the Big Ten. A good player should be able to get shots and playing time on this club. The second part of your post is probably pretty accurate though- right now we lack the appeal and the NIL to attract the type of guy we need to bring us up a notch at the guard position.

I am with Ben on this. If we can't get a player that is significantly better than he judges Carrington to be or Henley to be, then call it a day and let the frosh work it out on the court. It seems as though they have looked around and determined that we just aren't getting that guy this year.
I definitely understand what you're saying, but here is an honest question did we think we were going to roll out a Big Ten championship lineup in year 2 with Ben. If that's the case, fans are becoming way too unrealistic. We are a fast fix type program. We have to grow, develop and build for us to be successful. Once we change the narrative of this program, I can understand those expectations. For me personally, I don't expect an upper half of the Big Ten finish but I think it is definitely realistic of these guys to develop similar chemistry to what they had last year. I like the versatility on both sides of the ball
 

GopherPlaya

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Scoring 9 points a game in the Ohio Valley is different than scoring 9 in the B1G. You need guards who can score to be successful. What tournament teams from a major conference didn't have a guard as one of their top scorers?
Are you referring to PG or Wing?
 


MNVCGUY

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We are talking as if we already have an all star lineup. We have some nice players but the reality of this is that we would all jump for joy if this club was .500 this year in the Big Ten. A good player should be able to get shots and playing time on this club. The second part of your post is probably pretty accurate though- right now we lack the appeal and the NIL to attract the type of guy we need to bring us up a notch at the guard position.

I am with Ben on this. If we can't get a player that is significantly better than he judges Carrington to be or Henley to be, then call it a day and let the frosh work it out on the court. It seems as though they have looked around and determined that we just aren't getting that guy this year.
I still find it amusing that we had people griping about not playing freshman more last year and now we have people desperate to find ways not to have to play freshman next year when it looks like Johnson plans to use them. :)

I'm excited to see this team in action. We have a number of really intriguing pieces (Fox, Garcia, Ihnen, Cooper) that we haven't seen in action together but could be a lot of fun to watch if things come together.
 

MNVCGUY

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I definitely understand what you're saying, but here is an honest question did we think we were going to roll out a Big Ten championship lineup in year 2 with Ben. If that's the case, fans are becoming way too unrealistic. We are a fast fix type program. We have to grow, develop and build for us to be successful. Once we change the narrative of this program, I can understand those expectations. For me personally, I don't expect an upper half of the Big Ten finish but I think it is definitely realistic of these guys to develop similar chemistry to what they had last year. I like the versatility on both sides of the ball
Yep, we are in a much much much better position right now than we were heading into last season. I don't see how this team doesn't improve significantly over last year but just how much will hinge a lot on how the young guys play and how the new pieces all fit together.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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What teams? Baylor last year played 6'8 Kendall Brown at the 2 and focused on their length. Arkansas started mostly 6'6+ guys last year. I see more teams focused on recruiting taller wings who are versatile compared to 6'0-6'4 guards.

Kendall Brown started with two other guys under 6'3". When Baylor won the national championship they were guard heavy. Villanova is always 4 guards and a post. Iowa St started 3 guards 6'4" and under. UNC started 3 guards 6'4" and under. There are many more, those are just off the top of my head.

Are you referring to PG or Wing?

I'm referring to a guard. Not all guards are wings. The majority of today's guards are combo guards not just PGs. Many teams run multiple combo guards as I just mentioned. They're typically the most successful.
 

bga1

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I definitely understand what you're saying, but here is an honest question did we think we were going to roll out a Big Ten championship lineup in year 2 with Ben.
No. I am simply attempting to point out the reality of the situation. It's not that we have this stellar lineup that no one could break into. We have a much better team than last year on paper and a great guard would probably give us a chance at above .500 this year. It looks like Ben doesn't think we can attract that guy at the moment.
If that's the case, fans are becoming way too unrealistic. We are a fast fix type program. We have to grow, develop and build for us to be successful. Once we change the narrative of this program, I can understand those expectations. For me personally, I don't expect an upper half of the Big Ten finish but I think it is definitely realistic of these guys to develop similar chemistry to what they had last year. I like the versatility on both sides of the ball
This will be a fun year to watch. My feeling all along was that we should be probably developing the frosh unless we could get some great transfers. We got one in Garcia which led people to think, hey we might be able to do the quick fix if we can get a scoring guard. Obviously we are not getting that guy and Ben realizes that and has settled into developing what he has. It's going to be a big improvement.
 



cjbfbp

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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.

If Ben really does decide to stay put with the current roster and not try to recruit an established shooter, I will be a bit disappointed as well. You know, Musselman seems to be the person who was regarded around here as the dream coach. I don't know that much about him but looking over his overall head coaching career and his most recent time at Arkansas I would make two observations:

1) The man really knows how to win (a 7 year head coaching career with every year having 20+ wins and 5 of those years having 25+ wins); and

2) He isn't at all bashful about recruiting over existing players on the roster and appears to welcome the opportunities to improve through the transfer portal. Musselman had 6 outbound transfers in 2021 and picked up 5 inbound transfers. He had 3 outbound transfers this offseason and picked up 4 inbound ones so far. It looks like he had one scholarship freshman on his team this past season (a Top 100 player) and that player played a grand total of 8 minutes on the season; he has since transferred to Missouri State.

Returning to our team for a moment, there are two notable facts from this past season:

1) we were, for the most part, a very good team when it came to taking care of the ball;

2) we were a horrible team when it came to rebounding, especially offensive rebounding.

It looks like we tried to maintain #1 while, hopefully, vastly improving #2. I'm happy about that but we lost two pretty good veteran outside shooters and didn't pick up a demonstrated veteran outside shooter (yes, I know Garcia is a pretty good outside shooter but he's only averaged 2.4 three point shots per game in his career and if we want to improve #2 a great deal, we can't have him out on the perimeter a good bit of the time).
 

Tucker32

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No. I am simply attempting to point out the reality of the situation. It's not that we have this stellar lineup that no one could break into. We have a much better team than last year on paper and a great guard would probably give us a chance at above .500 this year. It looks like Ben doesn't think we can attract that guy at the moment.

This will be a fun year to watch. My feeling all along was that we should be probably developing the frosh unless we could get some great transfers. We got one in Garcia which led people to think, hey we might be able to do the quick fix if we can get a scoring guard. Obviously we are not getting that guy and Ben realizes that and has settled into developing what he has. It's going to be a big improvement.
There weren't a lot of great guards available, and Ben likely just doesn't agree with people on GopherHole that some of the guys available in the portal were really better than Battle, Ihnen, Carrington, Garcia, Cooper, and Henley will be playing primarily four perimeter spots. He doesn't look for a scoring "guard", he looks for perimeter players who can score and guard. Battle will score the ball playing on the perimeter, Garcia shoots the ball well, Ihnen will surprise people, and Ben is likely expecting a lot more, and sees more potential, from Carrington and Henley than people here and what he saw in players in the portal. Also, he clearly expects a lot from Ihnen playing on the perimeter - I think he knows more than anyone here with that as he saw him play all last summer and again now coming back from the injury. Fox can also guard on the perimeter, as well Ola-Joseph if he has to go deeper on the bench. Ben has length and flexibility, and is counting on Carrington, Henley, and Ihnen to develop, just like most college programs.
 
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Gopherfan84

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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.
Battle will likely be a 2nd team all preseason B1G guy. Shooting 36% from 3 while being to focal point of all defenses is good regardless of him being streaky or consistent. Do you not believe Dawson can't replace Willis's scoring? Having 2 quality scorers kept us in plenty of games last year. This year we will and some more depth which will hopefully lead to improved defense. I didn't think offense was why we in last place last year.
 




Gopherfan84

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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.
How many shots do you think the 3rd scoring option gets? Your worries on defense are valid imo and where I worry too. I'm hoping adding depth will cure some of those issues.
 

USAF

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Battle will likely be a 2nd team all preseason B1G guy. Shooting 36% from 3 while being to focal point of all defenses is good regardless of him being streaky or consistent. Do you not believe Dawson can't replace Willis's scoring? Having 2 quality scorers kept us in plenty of games last year. This year we will and some more depth which will hopefully lead to improved defense. I didn't think offense was why we in last place last year.
MN finished 13th in scoring average in the B1G last year.

9th in average points allowed, FWIW.

Scoring was the primary issue for the Gophers. They simply didn't have enough players who could put the ball through the hoop. And that was with Willis.

Offense is going to limit them this year too, IMO.
 

Gopherfan84

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We are talking as if we already have an all star lineup. We have some nice players but the reality of this is that we would all jump for joy if this club was .500 this year in the Big Ten. A good player should be able to get shots and playing time on this club. The second part of your post is probably pretty accurate though- right now we lack the appeal and the NIL to attract the type of guy we need to bring us up a notch at the guard position.

I am with Ben on this. If we can't get a player that is significantly better than he judges Carrington to be or Henley to be, then call it a day and let the frosh work it out on the court. It seems as though they have looked around and determined that we just aren't getting that guy this year.
I am expecting this team to be a .500 B1G club with what we have right now. College basketball line ups can only be so deep. Look at Wisconsin's team last year. They had a lottery pick and the other 4 were on the same level we had. I don't think we have an all star line up and of course I'm down with adding a guy, but it has to fit and be worth losing some quality developmental time for Carrington and Henley. Right now they have the opportunity to get big minutes as the 5th starter. That's perfect for a freshman.
 

Gopherfan84

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MN finished 13th in scoring average in the B1G last year.

9th in average points allowed, FWIW.

Scoring was the primary issue for the Gophers. They simply didn't have enough players who could put the ball through the hoop. And that was with Willis.

Offense is going to limit them this year too, IMO.
Yeah I use KenPom as my barometer for rating offense and defense. Last year they were 93rd in offense and 153rd in D. The points score and allowed stat can be skewed too much by pace and number of possessions. I agree we need to improve offensively, but I didn't find it to be the largest issue. Most teams don't have more than 2 true scorers. The rest are guys who can fill roles. We have 2 high level offensive guys in Dawson and Battle, a creator in Cooper, and Fox, Payne, and Carrington can fill roles offensively. I'm not even counting Ihnen as I don't know what the plan for him is.
 

Gopherfan84

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I'm referring to a guard. Not all guards are wings. The majority of today's guards are combo guards not just PGs. Many teams run multiple combo guards as I just mentioned. They're typically the most successful.
I get what your saying to a point, but in pretty much all modern offenses there is no difference in the a wing and a guard. They do the same actions and motions and they are dependent on match ups and the defensive concept being used (switching screens, pack line, no middle, etc...). I think coaches like to play wings who can handle the point because of versatility, but I don't see how it's a definitively different position.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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I get what your saying to a point, but in pretty much all modern offenses there is no difference in the a wing and a guard. They do the same actions and motions and they are dependent on match ups and the defensive concept being used (switching screens, pack line, no middle, etc...). I think coaches like to play wings who can handle the point because of versatility, but I don't see how it's a definitively different position.

I disagree. There's a big difference in height, speed, skills, and ability.

We've seen these tall, wing heavy, lineups with a lack of guard depth under both Tubby and Pitino. They didn't work at a high level.
 

Holy Man

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How many shots do you think the 3rd scoring option gets? Your worries on defense are valid imo and where I worry too. I'm hoping adding depth will cure some of those issues.
The difference between being able to win in the B1G consistently and not is having a third and/or fourth guy who can score if needed. Most good B1G teams can neutralize one or two scorers and hardly any can stop a third. While the third guy might not get the high volume of shots the first two get, his ability to score when needed or when ignored is very important to success.

Too many unanswered questions yet for me to declare them a .500 B1G team. I would be ecstatic with that. I'm not giving up my mantra of this team being one good shooter from being a really good team. Without that piece, I just don't know.
 
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Holy Man

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I am expecting this team to be a .500 B1G club with what we have right now. College basketball line ups can only be so deep. Look at Wisconsin's team last year. They had a lottery pick and the other 4 were on the same level we had. I don't think we have an all star line up and of course I'm down with adding a guy, but it has to fit and be worth losing some quality developmental time for Carrington and Henley. Right now they have the opportunity to get big minutes as the 5th starter. That's perfect for a freshman.
I think you are overstating our line-up and understating the Badgers. They had a few more proven B1G players than we did. Wisconsin also proved the adage that in college basketball, it always helps to have the best player on the court on your team in crunch time. Undermanned teams can hang in, but the stars frequently make the difference in the end.
 

GophersInIowa

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Yeah I use KenPom as my barometer for rating offense and defense. Last year they were 93rd in offense and 153rd in D. The points score and allowed stat can be skewed too much by pace and number of possessions. I agree we need to improve offensively, but I didn't find it to be the largest issue. Most teams don't have more than 2 true scorers. The rest are guys who can fill roles. We have 2 high level offensive guys in Dawson and Battle, a creator in Cooper, and Fox, Payne, and Carrington can fill roles offensively. I'm not even counting Ihnen as I don't know what the plan for him is.
Yep. They ranked 314th out of 358 teams in possessions per game. They were right around average for points per possession.
 

Blackhammer

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Battle will likely be a 2nd team all preseason B1G guy. Shooting 36% from 3 while being to focal point of all defenses is good regardless of him being streaky or consistent. Do you not believe Dawson can't replace Willis's scoring? Having 2 quality scorers kept us in plenty of games last year. This year we will and some more depth which will hopefully lead to improved defense. I didn't think offense was why we in last place last year.
Who are Garcia and Battle going to guard? Not athletic wings with any success. Your problem with a bigger lineup is are they quick enough to guard multiple positions, not offense.
 

Johnnyboy18

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I think you are overstating our line-up and understating the Badgers. They had a few more proven B1G players than we did. Wisconsin also proved the adage that in college basketball, it always helps to have the best player on the court on your team in crunch time. Undermanned teams can hang in, but the stars frequently make the difference in the end.
Who were the proven B1G players on WI outside of Davison and Davis?
 

Holy Man

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Who were the proven B1G players on WI outside of Davison and Davis?
Crowl and Wahl. Not stars but consistent B1G players within their system. Better than what we had. The fact that they out talented us and we had them late in the game both times says a lot about the coaching and heart of the team last year.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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Crowl and Wahl. Not stars but consistent B1G players within their system. Better than what we had. The fact that they out talented us and we had them late in the game both times says a lot about the coaching and heart of the team last year.

Hepburn was pretty good as a freshman too.

Wahl averaged 11 and 6 last season, which is the same as Dawson Garcia's current career average.
 

Johnnyboy18

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Crowl and Wahl. Not stars but consistent B1G players within their system. Better than what we had. The fact that they out talented us and we had them late in the game both times says a lot about the coaching and heart of the team last year.
Crowley played in 12 games the year prior and averaged .7. Wahl played in 24 and averaged 5. That's not a proven player.
 

Holy Man

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Hepburn was pretty good as a freshman too.

Wahl averaged 11 and 6 last season, which is the same as Dawson Garcia's current career average.
I was trying to remember Hepburn. The guy could play and was a crunch time guy. His injury really damaged the Badgers post season hopes. Thanks for the lost detail.
 

Holy Man

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Crowley played in 12 games the year prior and averaged .7. Wahl played in 24 and averaged 5. That's not a proven player.
In a system that is well known for the development of players, I think it is. Wisconsin seemingly always has one or two limited role players step up to the next level each year. We don't always know who it will be, but until that doesn't happen, we better assume it will. Thus, players who will prove themselves after limited time the previous year.

The post I was responding to suggested that after Davis, the Badgers line-up was a wash with ours last year. Very hard for me to see that.
 

Gopherfan84

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Who are Garcia and Battle going to guard? Not athletic wings with any success. Your problem with a bigger lineup is are they quick enough to guard multiple positions, not offense.
Garcia, Battle, and Fox can interchanged depending on who the other team has. Battle isn't a stahlwart, but if our team defense is better, then he doesn't need to be. He just needs to be competent and stay in front of guys. There are not enough Jaden Ivey's or Davis's to make it a deal breaker to be a .500 B1G team that can make the tournament. Of course if we want to win the B1G we are having a different discussion.
 




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