Taurus Samuels Commits to Gophers!!

Johnnyboy18

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I messed up thinking Black was smaller for UNC, but he's still a guard. Villanova was a little more wing heavy this year, but 3 of their top 4 scorers were all 6'4" and under guards. Daniels was just the 6th man.

Our lineup will be bigger this season, but it still lacks athleticism, ball handling, and scoring from the guard position. All of those team have that.
They haven't played a game yet but they lack scoring. Makes sense
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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If you are talking about a top 3 scorer on a team, of course one of them will be perimeter oriented as that's 60% of your starting line and most teams play 4 guys that are on the wing so it's impossible to not have them be in that group. If you are talking top 2, then UCLA, Michigan State, Gonzaga, and Arizona come to mind. I will strongly disagree with you on Braun being that much more athletic than Battle. Battle will be able guard at least one wing/guard on most teams we play. He's very strong positionally and knows how to play through any limitations he has. Length also makes up for some lateral quickness issues. We also switch 90% of our screens anyways, so it doesn't matter who he starts out on anyhow.

I project our leading scorers next year will be: Battle, Garcia, and Cooper or Carrington. Those guys will play a ton out on the perimeter.

All of those teams you mentioned are loaded with 4* and 5* recruits. We're not. The way to beat the long, athletic, teams is with great guard play. You see it all of the time in the NCAA tournament.

The one thing I was optimistic about Ben last season is that he seemed to emphasize the guard position by recruiting a number of them who can shoot. We knew they lacked talent, but I liked that direction. Even if Fox/Ihnen played, they would have still been more guard oriented.

He appears to now have reversed course and is going with length as the #1 priority. The teams who get the top recruits always have the most length/athleticism. You can't beat those teams by building the same way with mid-lower tier length/athleticism. This is what Tubby and Pitino both tried to do, and both failed.

I'll also bet that Cooper scores less than Fox, Carrington, and probably Payne too.
 
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Gopherfan84

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All of those teams you mentioned are loaded with 4* and 5* recruits. We're not. The way to beat the long, athletic, teams is with great guard play. You see it all of the time in the NCAA tournament.

The one thing I was optimistic about Ben last season is that he seemed to emphasize the guard position by recruiting a number of them who can shoot. We knew they lacked talent, but I liked that direction. Even if Fox/Ihnen played, they would have still been more guard oriented.

He appears to now have reversed course and is going with length as the #1 priority. The teams who get the top recruits always have the most length/athleticism. You can't beat those teams by building the same way with mid-lower tier length/athleticism. This is what Tubby and Pitino both tried to do, and both failed.

I'll also bet that Cooper scores less than Fox, Carrington, and probably Payne too.
You think these athletic skilled guards you mention are not at least 4 star recruits? If they are that athletic then they aren’t as skilled or vice versa. Tubby and Pitino failed because they quit emphasizing relationships, were/got lazy recruiting, and wouldn’t commit to defending teams (Pitino on this one). Not because they didn’t recruit enough talented wings/guards. They both had tons of talented ones during their tenures. Perimeter play is important and a requirement to win, but it’s not isolated to “guards” now. Most teams play 4 or 5 out motions with ball screens so that you can isolate mismatches. This team has plenty of guys who can do that. Also if all those guys score more than Cooper than means one of these two things happened.
1. Garcia and Battle didn’t stay healthyAnd Carrington and Payne are way better and more than we thought.
2. Cooper leads the nation in assists and we are a one of the top 15 offenses in the country.
Cooper will have the ball in his hands to much to not score 9-11 points. He’s a year older but in a tougher conference. He also will not have better offensive weapons. Unless put pace drastically speeds up, there isn’t enough possessions for our 3rd scorer to add much more than that if Battle and Garcia both average 14-18 pts a game.
 

Jeremyp

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All of those teams you mentioned are loaded with 4* and 5* recruits. We're not. The way to beat the long, athletic, teams is with great guard play. You see it all of the time in the NCAA tournament.

The one thing I was optimistic about Ben last season is that he seemed to emphasize the guard position by recruiting a number of them who can shoot. We knew they lacked talent, but I liked that direction. Even if Fox/Ihnen played, they would have still been more guard oriented.

He appears to now have reversed course and is going with length as the #1 priority. The teams who get the top recruits always have the most length/athleticism. You can't beat those teams by building the same way with mid-lower tier length/athleticism. This is what Tubby and Pitino both tried to do, and both failed.

I'll also bet that Cooper scores less than Fox, Carrington, and probably Payne too.
Points,Rebounds, and Assists predictions:
Fox 7 pts/6 REB/1.3 Blocks (18-20 min per game)
Payne 6 pts/5reb/.9 Blocks (18-20)
Garcia 15pts/6 reb/1.2 assists (30-32)
Ihnen 6pts/6reb/.8 blocks (18-20)
Thompson 3pts/2reb/.6 blocks (6-8)
Battle 16 pts/6reb/1.3 assists (30-32)
Carrington 8 pts/2 reb/ 2.1 assists (18-22)
Henley 5 pts/2 reb/1 assist (10-14)
Samuel 5 pts/2 reb/1.5 assists (12-18)
Cooper 8 pts/3 reb/6.1 assists (28-32)

My guess assuming no impactful wing is added
 

BarnBurner

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Comment was tongue in cheek.....I get the sentiment people have. In a lot of ways this is the perfect situation for working in young players since they won't be counted on to be the stars with Battle and Garcia being the focal points of the offense.
Oh my. Can’t believe the attempt.
 


jovs

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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.
They had zero rebound baskets last year, I expect that to increase dramatically, just that is going to improve the offense.
 



Mulligan

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They haven't played a game yet but they lack scoring. Makes sense
I get what GH is for and there are really passionate Gopher fans which is great. However, I can't believe how many people are so damn sure that they know what Ben is thinking; what is wrong with his thinking; how effective those players are going to be; and what our record is going to be. It's may and I'll bet most people haven't seen half of these players in person, let alone how they'll play together.
 



goldenboy

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Points,Rebounds, and Assists predictions:
Fox 7 pts/6 REB/1.3 Blocks (18-20 min per game)
Payne 6 pts/5reb/.9 Blocks (18-20)
Garcia 15pts/6 reb/1.2 assists (30-32)
Ihnen 6pts/6reb/.8 blocks (18-20)
Thompson 3pts/2reb/.6 blocks (6-8)
Battle 16 pts/6reb/1.3 assists (30-32)
Carrington 8 pts/2 reb/ 2.1 assists (18-22)
Henley 5 pts/2 reb/1 assist (10-14)
Samuel 5 pts/2 reb/1.5 assists (12-18)
Cooper 8 pts/3 reb/6.1 assists (28-32)

My guess assuming no impactful wing is added
I’d take that. The team would average 10 more ppg than last year.
 



Dakota2

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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.
Nobody in Minnesota knows in May who will be the "third scoring option" this season. The coach has multiple lineup options in mind. They will all be tested thoroughly in practice and into the non-conference schedule.

Very likely the scoring behind Garcia and Battle will come from different guys on different nights.
 



Gopherfan84

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Nobody in Minnesota knows in May who will be the "third scoring option" this season. The coach has multiple lineup options in mind. They will all be tested thoroughly in practice and into the non-conference schedule.

Very likely the scoring behind Garcia and Battle will come from different guys on different nights.
He will have the highest usage and run the point and most likely play as many minutes as Battle and Garcia. That’s pretty much a guarantee. It’s why all the other transfer guards left when he got here or didn’t commit. Those are pretty easy tea leaves to read.

He isn’t a guarantee to be the 3rd leading scorer, but it’s very likely he will be by that alone. We are talking about a guy scoring 8-9 points. It’s not an outlandish take nor hard to grasp.
 

Dakota2

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I just don't see much in the portal that would give us serious consideration to just add 2 more guys who won't play. I get sh** happens but we have enough depth to get away with a couple of unplanned events such as injuries, suspensions, COVID, etc. I don't think Ben is resting or being complacent either. I think he is being realistic and focusing his energy on 2023 recruiting while focusing on developing and building with what he has now. Is that the right approach? In my opinion yes but I definitely understand why others don't agree. My view is if we can develop the players we have and build chemistry then we will have a good year this year and a great one next year. Also, focusing on 2023 recruiting will help us build a better class than what we put together last year. I have already heard from 2024s locally how much they love this coaching staff so I expect us to get a few top locals in that class.
Not sure how so many here think they know for sure Ben hasn't tried hard to get a great shooter or that he has given up on adding another quality player. Nobody here knows what he is doing, let alone what he is thinking.

Minnesota remains an unattractive destination for top portal players. Our best chance for impact players is high school recruits who buy into playing here several years and being part of a big turnaround.
 

Dakota2

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You're right, he's wrong.

Our offensive efficiency is way better than our defensive efficiency when adjusting for pace. Our PPG was so low because we played really slow. We were middle of the road NCAA team in adjusted offensive efficiency. Our allowed PPG was low because we played slow on offense. We were horrible (like 290 out of 350) in adjusted defensive efficiency - - that's just a metric on the number of points an average ncaa team would score in 100 possessions.

The numbers don't lie, we were MUCH more efficient at putting the ball in the hoop than keeping it out of the hoop.
Rebounding and interior defense.
 

Dakota2

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He will have the highest usage and run the point and most likely play as many minutes as Battle and Garcia. That’s pretty much a guarantee. It’s why all the other transfer guards left when he got here or didn’t commit. Those are pretty easy tea leaves to read.

He isn’t a guarantee to be the 3rd leading scorer, but it’s very likely he will be by that alone. We are talking about a guy scoring 8-9 points. It’s not an outlandish take nor hard to grasp.
Yes, Cooper will score 8-9 points a night. He will not be our third leading scorer.
 

Gopherfan84

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Yes, Cooper will score 8-9 points a night. He will not be our third leading scorer.
We will see. I don’t see us drastically picking up the pace offensively. If we play with a similar pace offensively and if Dawson and Battle score 14-18 a game, the third scorer would be around 9 points most likely with others very close behind.
 

Fleckoff

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All of those teams you mentioned are loaded with 4* and 5* recruits. We're not. The way to beat the long, athletic, teams is with great guard play. You see it all of the time in the NCAA tournament.

The one thing I was optimistic about Ben last season is that he seemed to emphasize the guard position by recruiting a number of them who can shoot. We knew they lacked talent, but I liked that direction. Even if Fox/Ihnen played, they would have still been more guard oriented.

He appears to now have reversed course and is going with length as the #1 priority. The teams who get the top recruits always have the most length/athleticism. You can't beat those teams by building the same way with mid-lower tier length/athleticism. This is what Tubby and Pitino both tried to do, and both failed.

I'll also bet that Cooper scores less than Fox, Carrington, and probably Payne too.
I'll definitely take the bet, just so we are clear all four of those guys have to average more PPG than Cooper next year?
 

Costa Rican Gopher

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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.

Samuels was not added to fix our problem at the wing.

By adding him though, we free up the 6'4" Cooper to take some minutes at the 2, along with Carrington, and perhaps Henley.

Also, an interesting tidbit is that Samuels got pretty sick with Covid last season. Someone on another site posted his pre & post Covid stats, if we get the pre Covid Samuels he should be a nice addition.
 

alchemy2u

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Yes, you did. If Samuels struggles, it will hurt the Gophers chances of winning. Why would I want him to struggle? I genuinely hope that 6 months from now Samuels is everything you hope he is and that you have this post bookmarked to make me eat crow. You know what, I'd never do it the other way because I also wouldn't gain any joy from being right if Samuels stinks. I don't think you could find a single post of mine last year when things went sideways of me celebrating the team's failures because I was critical of the hiring.

I like Ben Johnson and I want them to win. Occasionally on fan forums, people will complain and voice criticisms. It's really how they started

I will gladly eat every piece of crow that results comes from me underestimating the Gophers.
You just reenforced a point I was going to make, but I was trying to be nice.

You never think you are wrong. Therefore you never hope you are wrong.

Just like here.... The discussion was about your feeling that they needed wings and criticizing that Ben signed a guard (that happens to be Samuels). Another poster said they thought that Ben knew the teams needs better and they trusted Ben evaluations. You then said you hopped you were wrong. The being wrong is about if they needed a wing intends of a guard based upon your evaluations versus Ben's evaluation. You can go and try to rationalize that into wins and your worthiness as a Gopher fan if you want, but that is a tangent to this part of the discussion.

Oh, and thanks for not a personal attack this time.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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I'll definitely take the bet, just so we are clear all four of those guys have to average more PPG than Cooper next year?

I will bet that Cooper averages the least amount of PPG among the starting 5, whoever the starting 5 is, unless Ihnen is somehow in that starting 5.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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Points,Rebounds, and Assists predictions:
Fox 7 pts/6 REB/1.3 Blocks (18-20 min per game)
Payne 6 pts/5reb/.9 Blocks (18-20)
Garcia 15pts/6 reb/1.2 assists (30-32)
Ihnen 6pts/6reb/.8 blocks (18-20)
Thompson 3pts/2reb/.6 blocks (6-8)
Battle 16 pts/6reb/1.3 assists (30-32)
Carrington 8 pts/2 reb/ 2.1 assists (18-22)
Henley 5 pts/2 reb/1 assist (10-14)
Samuel 5 pts/2 reb/1.5 assists (12-18)
Cooper 8 pts/3 reb/6.1 assists (28-32)

My guess assuming no impactful wing is added

I don't think 9 will play more than 10 min per game unless injuries become a factor. It'll likely be a 7-8 man rotation of Fox, Payne, Garcia, Ihnen, Battle, Carrington, Cooper, and Samuel, with Samuel playing the least out of those 8.

The rest may get a few spot minutes but will be mostly on the bench.
 

GopherPlaya

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Samuels was not added to fix our problem at the wing.

By adding him though, we free up the 6'4" Cooper to take some minutes at the 2, along with Carrington, and perhaps Henley.

Also, an interesting tidbit is that Samuels got pretty sick with Covid last season. Someone on another site posted his pre & post Covid stats, if we get the pre Covid Samuels he should be a nice addition.
Do you have a link or can post those?
 

Bob_Loblaw

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You just reenforced a point I was going to make, but I was trying to be nice.

You never think you are wrong. Therefore you never hope you are wrong.

Just like here.... The discussion was about your feeling that they needed wings and criticizing that Ben signed a guard (that happens to be Samuels). Another poster said they thought that Ben knew the teams needs better and they trusted Ben evaluations. You then said you hopped you were wrong. The being wrong is about if they needed a wing intends of a guard based upon your evaluations versus Ben's evaluation. You can go and try to rationalize that into wins and your worthiness as a Gopher fan if you want, but that is a tangent to this part of the discussion.

Oh, and thanks for not a personal attack this time.
No one thinks they are wrong when they are predicting things, it'd be pretty weird to make a prediction.

That said, I hope I'm wrong on a TON of things that I think. I think the housing market might crash a little, I hope i'm wrong. I don't think the Vikings will ever win a Super Bowl, I really hope I'm wrong. Whether you believe it or not, I want the Gophers to win. I want every Gopher player to be WAY better than I thought they were going to be. People can accuse me of a lot of things, but no offense, to accuse me of not wanting the Gophers to win is missing the point. I want Samuels to be fantastic and an absolute perfect fit.

I never questioned anyone's worthiness of being a gopher fan. I'm saying that it's unreasonable to think that someone who has dumped thousands of hours and dollars into the Gophers doesn't want them to excel. It's a completely unreasonable take.

You don't think adding players who are a good fit leads to wins? Are you really pretending that was a bridge too far? I know you're pretending now, but here ya go. The better Samuels is, the better the team will be. I guess that concept is tangential for you, but it seems pretty direct to me.

You are accusing me of wanting to be right about my opinion of what the team needs. For me to be right, the team would have to be worse. It's really not complicated. For me to be wrong, the team would have to better.

I want them to be better. I want to be wrong.
 

Dakota2

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We will see. I don’t see us drastically picking up the pace offensively. If we play with a similar pace offensively and if Dawson and Battle score 14-18 a game, the third scorer would be around 9 points most likely with others very close behind.
Why would we not pick up the pace? We have 11 good athletes who belong on the floor. The starters will get periodic rest. Last year the slow pace was a strategy to protect the starters who played 35 or more minutes a game. Having a strong bench will lead to more offense and point production.

We will also have an average or slightly better rebounding team. This will limit opponent second, third, and fourth shots and give us more shots / points.

Finally we (especially Fox) will score off offensive rebounds. I expect Fox to score an average in double digits.

Significant scoring will be spread among everyone else who plays. We will have good balanced scoring off the bench. You will not need to look at one name in the box score -- Sutherlin -- for bench scoring.
 

fan of Ray Williams

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Do you have a link or can post those?
He missed a couple of games due to covid, Jan 2 and Jan 8th. He obviously had his big games against Georgetown and Stanford, pre covid. Not seeing any huge difference in the numbers.
 

Dakota2

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No one thinks they are wrong when they are predicting things, it'd be pretty weird to make a prediction.

That said, I hope I'm wrong on a TON of things that I think. I think the housing market might crash a little, I hope i'm wrong. I don't think the Vikings will ever win a Super Bowl, I really hope I'm wrong. Whether you believe it or not, I want the Gophers to win. I want every Gopher player to be WAY better than I thought they were going to be. People can accuse me of a lot of things, but no offense, to accuse me of not wanting the Gophers to win is missing the point. I want Samuels to be fantastic and an absolute perfect fit.

I never questioned anyone's worthiness of being a gopher fan. I'm saying that it's unreasonable to think that someone who has dumped thousands of hours and dollars into the Gophers doesn't want them to excel. It's a completely unreasonable take.

You don't think adding players who are a good fit leads to wins? Are you really pretending that was a bridge too far? I know you're pretending now, but here ya go. The better Samuels is, the better the team will be. I guess that concept is tangential for you, but it seems pretty direct to me.

You are accusing me of wanting to be right about my opinion of what the team needs. For me to be right, the team would have to be worse. It's really not complicated. For me to be wrong, the team would have to better.

I want them to be better. I want to be wrong.
Speaking for myself, the issue with some of your posts is certainly not that I think you are any less of a Gopher fan than I am (I'm very sure our sentiments are similar), it's that your writing seems always tinged with the idea that Ben isn't really trying to get the kind of players you think we need. I think that is false.

Everybody here would love to see an all-conference type shooting guard or another great forward. How about an athletic seven footer carrying about 270 pounds? Garcia is the only elite transfer we are likely to see, due to his personal situation which geographically limited his options. Until we take a few more steps upward Minnesota is not an attractive destination for top portal talent to play a year or two. We have a much better chance to attract program changers through high school recruiting.
 

jovs

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It sure seems like they still need a wing even if one the two freshman step up and take major minutes. To assume both will be game ready seems like a risk to me.
 

cjbfbp

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It sure seems like they still need a wing even if one the two freshman step up and take major minutes. To assume both will be game ready seems like a risk to me.

Or, to assume that none of the four true guards will be injured or away from the team for substantial period of time is also risky.
 




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