This roster is not bad

bga1

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I wanted Pride or Brown or both as they would have really shored up the roster and guaranteed depth at the guard position. I still think we will get one or two guards that can play. However, I think that the roster we have, while dangerously thin at the guard position, is not too bad:

Payne..... will be in the mix for all conference
Garcia ...... also in the mix
JOJ......... I do think he could play the 3- had a solid freshman year, needs to be a defensive stopper
Carrington.......He can shoot and play defense - needs to clean up his defense off the ball
Mitchell...... Hoping for an upgrade to Cooper in terms of running the office and getting up court with pace

Bench
Betts.....may be in the starting lineup by January
Christie.......like Betts, lookout a few months into the season- can play any of 3 positions
Ihnen....if healthy could really bolster our defense
Fox.........also an if healthy situation
Wilson.......5 minutes of banging against the Big Ten big guys

Injury free- this could be a very competitive club. If the injury bug hits again, they could be bad in a hurry.
We need more players. I am hanging in there. There are still a lot of players that can help out there.
 
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I wanted Pride or Brown or both as they would have really shored up the roster and guaranteed depth at the guard position. I still think we will get one or two guards that can play. However, I think that the roster we have, while dangerously thin at the guard position, is not too bad:

Payne..... will be in the mix for all conference
Garcia ...... also in the mix
JOJ......... I do think he could play the 3- had a solid freshman year, needs to be a defesive stopper
Carrington.......He can shoot and play defense - needs to clean up his defense off the ball
Mitchell...... Hoping for an upgrade to Cooper in terms of running the office and getting up court with pace

Bench
Betts.....may be in the starting lineup by January
Christie.......like Betts, lookout a few months into the season- can play any of 3 positions
Ihnen....if healthy could really bolster our defense
Fox.........also an if healthy situation
Wilson.......5 minutes of banging against the Big Ten big guys

Injury free- this could be a very competitive club. If the injury bug hits again, they could be bad in a hurry.
We need more players. I am hanging in there. There are still a lot of players that can help out there.
All about injuries now whether we are competitive or stink it up. We need our depth as depth and not starters.
 






I wanted Pride or Brown or both as they would have really shored up the roster and guaranteed depth at the guard position. I still think we will get one or two guards that can play. However, I think that the roster we have, while dangerously thin at the guard position, is not too bad:

Payne..... will be in the mix for all conference
Garcia ...... also in the mix
JOJ......... I do think he could play the 3- had a solid freshman year, needs to be a defensive stopper
Carrington.......He can shoot and play defense - needs to clean up his defense off the ball
Mitchell...... Hoping for an upgrade to Cooper in terms of running the office and getting up court with pace

Bench
Betts.....may be in the starting lineup by January
Christie.......like Betts, lookout a few months into the season- can play any of 3 positions
Ihnen....if healthy could really bolster our defense
Fox.........also an if healthy situation
Wilson.......5 minutes of banging against the Big Ten big guys

Injury free- this could be a very competitive club. If the injury bug hits again, they could be bad in a hurry.
We need more players. I am hanging in there. There are still a lot of players that can help out there.
Would feel better with one more proven ball handler in the mix but agree that fully healthy this roster has some potential.

Lots of unknowns heading into the season so impossible to know what the end result will be. Will probably need almost everything to break right in order to see any sort of significant improvement (Mitchell being an upgrade over Cooper, the sophomores continuing their development, Fox/Ihnen healthy and in the mix, and the wildcards of Betts/Christie able to contribute as well). That is a lot to ask but contrary to what some around here want to believe it isn't impossible.
 


I am majorly concerned about our backcourt.

I don't know how we get 80 quality minutes out of Mitchell, Carrington and Christie, night in and night out.
Ihnen is the x-factor right now in terms of the backcourt. The coach has said he can play the 2, some fans have assured us that is impossible....Hopefully he is fully recovered, able to stay healthy and we get the chance to find out who is right.
 



I am majorly concerned about our backcourt.

I don't know how we get 80 quality minutes out of Mitchell, Carrington and Christie, night in and night out.
Carrington has shown very little. Christie just a freshman. Any hope to me on a decent season depends on Christie being very good And of course we have no depth in backcourt but then again Gophers never have bad luck in injury department.
 

People may think I am crazy but I see us dancing as a 7-10 seed next year! All the disappointments have been nothing more than motivation for this entire program.
I hear you on this. If nothing else, this disaster has the possibility of being a major motivator for those who are still left. I'm not particularly confident they will succeed, but if I were them being told they have practically no chance to be better than last place, I would us it as bulletin board material.
 

I wanted Pride or Brown or both as they would have really shored up the roster and guaranteed depth at the guard position. I still think we will get one or two guards that can play. However, I think that the roster we have, while dangerously thin at the guard position, is not too bad:

Payne..... will be in the mix for all conference
Garcia ...... also in the mix
JOJ......... I do think he could play the 3- had a solid freshman year, needs to be a defensive stopper
Carrington.......He can shoot and play defense - needs to clean up his defense off the ball
Mitchell...... Hoping for an upgrade to Cooper in terms of running the office and getting up court with pace

Bench
Betts.....may be in the starting lineup by January
Christie.......like Betts, lookout a few months into the season- can play any of 3 positions
Ihnen....if healthy could really bolster our defense
Fox.........also an if healthy situation
Wilson.......5 minutes of banging against the Big Ten big guys

Injury free- this could be a very competitive club. If the injury bug hits again, they could be bad in a hurry.
We need more players. I am hanging in there. There are still a lot of players that can help out there.
You might be right, but virtually all of what you list are unproven speculations. The only ones not refer to Payne and Garcia. The others either need major leaps forward (hardly an automatic), or have no data in playing high level D-1 basketball. I'll follow your boat, but I can't get on just yet.
 

I wanted Pride or Brown or both as they would have really shored up the roster and guaranteed depth at the guard position. I still think we will get one or two guards that can play. However, I think that the roster we have, while dangerously thin at the guard position, is not too bad:

Payne..... will be in the mix for all conference
Garcia ...... also in the mix
JOJ......... I do think he could play the 3- had a solid freshman year, needs to be a defensive stopper
Carrington.......He can shoot and play defense - needs to clean up his defense off the ball
Mitchell...... Hoping for an upgrade to Cooper in terms of running the office and getting up court with pace

Bench
Betts.....may be in the starting lineup by January
Christie.......like Betts, lookout a few months into the season- can play any of 3 positions
Ihnen....if healthy could really bolster our defense
Fox.........also an if healthy situation
Wilson.......5 minutes of banging against the Big Ten big guys

Injury free- this could be a very competitive club. If the injury bug hits again, they could be bad in a hurry.
We need more players. I am hanging in there. There are still a lot of players that can help out there.
I appreciate the lenses you are using to view this team. Also, I certainly agree with "there are still a lot of players that can help out there." Thanks
 




Ihnen is the x-factor right now in terms of the backcourt. The coach has said he can play the 2, some fans have assured us that is impossible....Hopefully he is fully recovered, able to stay healthy and we get the chance to find out who is right.
I have my doubts on Ihnen being able to guard other teams 2s. Even at full strength. Doesn't mean it's impossible though.

Ben should be working on different Zone D concepts starting yesterday.
 

Other than Garcia, this roster is full of developmental type players. Said that, Garcia needs to improve his strength and be a stronger rim protector/boards as he takes on some mature BIG's. We all know that Payne has shown the most but has lots of work to do to become a top BIG 5. These two have to have lead the way and play like all BIG performers. If not, Ben will have another bottom of the BIG squad.

The rest of the team? Who knows who will earn the starting roles and major PT. Everyone knows we need PG's that can compete in the BIG. I believe there is enough potential to make this bunch competitive. If that potential transfers to the floor, then I can see a mid conference finish.

IMO, considering all the negatives surrounding the program, Ben has done a very good job of recruiting; Christie, (Evans) and Asuma are all valued recruits. Garcia ended up in MN by default or maybe he really wanted to play for Ben. Payton and Battle were very good additions.

Those who want Ben gone now need to think this through. What established HC would come here considering the Gophers meager NIL status and huge uphill struggle plus put the time in to get the program competitive? And consider the approach the MN Admin took with the past two hires. Or we take a flyer on another bargain basement newbie?

I was totally surprised when Ben was named our HC but that is what he is. Ben has many positives and yes, areas where he must improve which sometimes drives me up a wall. But I fully support his efforts as our HC.
 

I wanted Pride or Brown or both as they would have really shored up the roster and guaranteed depth at the guard position. I still think we will get one or two guards that can play. However, I think that the roster we have, while dangerously thin at the guard position, is not too bad:

Payne..... will be in the mix for all conference
Garcia ...... also in the mix
JOJ......... I do think he could play the 3- had a solid freshman year, needs to be a defensive stopper
Carrington.......He can shoot and play defense - needs to clean up his defense off the ball
Mitchell...... Hoping for an upgrade to Cooper in terms of running the office and getting up court with pace

Bench
Betts.....may be in the starting lineup by January
Christie.......like Betts, lookout a few months into the season- can play any of 3 positions
Ihnen....if healthy could really bolster our defense
Fox.........also an if healthy situation
Wilson.......5 minutes of banging against the Big Ten big guys

Injury free- this could be a very competitive club. If the injury bug hits again, they could be bad in a hurry.
We need more players. I am hanging in there. There are still a lot of players that can help out there.

I just can't get there with this roster, outside of Garcia, Payne and Mitchell, at least until I see it. We are relying too much on young players, who just aren't in a place to contribute to a winning team. JOJ, Carrington, Christie and Betts were all ranked outside the top 100 in their respective classes. JOJ, Carrington and Betts outside the top 200. Christie needs to be the 2nd best player on this team or we won't be much better than last year IMO.

And there are just too many unknowns with the bench. We already know Wilson can't play. Ihnen and Fox haven't played in two and a half years, and Betts was a 3-star recruit.

Relying on a bunch of 3-star recruits as Sophomores, have really no precedent of being good.

And even then, expecting to get the most out of this talent, with our coach, is something I don't expect.
 


Other than Garcia, this roster is full of developmental type players. Said that, Garcia needs to improve his strength and be a stronger rim protector/boards as he takes on some mature BIG's. We all know that Payne has shown the most but has lots of work to do to become a top BIG 5. These two have to have lead the way and play like all BIG performers. If not, Ben will have another bottom of the BIG squad.

The rest of the team? Who knows who will earn the starting roles and major PT. Everyone knows we need PG's that can compete in the BIG. I believe there is enough potential to make this bunch competitive. If that potential transfers to the floor, then I can see a mid conference finish.

IMO, considering all the negatives surrounding the program, Ben has done a very good job of recruiting; Christie, (Evans) and Asuma are all valued recruits. Garcia ended up in MN by default or maybe he really wanted to play for Ben. Payton and Battle were very good additions.

Those who want Ben gone now need to think this through. What established HC would come here considering the Gophers meager NIL status and huge uphill struggle plus put the time in to get the program competitive? And consider the approach the MN Admin took with the past two hires. Or we take a flyer on another bargain basement newbie?

I was totally surprised when Ben was named our HC but that is what he is. Ben has many positives and yes, areas where he must improve which sometimes drives me up a wall. But I fully support his efforts as our HC.
Hahahahaha. I love the logic.
"Johnson has done a very good job"
and
"we're so bad what HC would even take this job?"

In the same post. Hahahahahaha.
 

I wanted Pride or Brown or both as they would have really shored up the roster and guaranteed depth at the guard position. I still think we will get one or two guards that can play. However, I think that the roster we have, while dangerously thin at the guard position, is not too bad:

Payne..... will be in the mix for all conference
Garcia ...... also in the mix
JOJ......... I do think he could play the 3- had a solid freshman year, needs to be a defensive stopper
Carrington.......He can shoot and play defense - needs to clean up his defense off the ball
Mitchell...... Hoping for an upgrade to Cooper in terms of running the office and getting up court with pace

Bench
Betts.....may be in the starting lineup by January
Christie.......like Betts, lookout a few months into the season- can play any of 3 positions
Ihnen....if healthy could really bolster our defense
Fox.........also an if healthy situation
Wilson.......5 minutes of banging against the Big Ten big guys

Injury free- this could be a very competitive club. If the injury bug hits again, they could be bad in a hurry.
We need more players. I am hanging in there. There are still a lot of players that can help out there.
This is objectively a bad roster
A guy you have listed as a starter your description is “hopefully he is better than a player who was a liability on a last place team”
Another starter you have listed was a 32% shooter and 20 minute per game player on a last place team.

2 of the top 9 are guys with injuries.
1 of which was a non contributor before his injuries and the other was a d2 player before the injuries.

I assume I’ll see you picking this team in the top 10 of the conference.



You are right this isn’t a bad roster. But it’s a below average roster in a conference where the 13th best team is above average.
 


Other than Garcia, this roster is full of developmental type players. Said that, Garcia needs to improve his strength and be a stronger rim protector/boards as he takes on some mature BIG's. We all know that Payne has shown the most but has lots of work to do to become a top BIG 5. These two have to have lead the way and play like all BIG performers. If not, Ben will have another bottom of the BIG squad.

The rest of the team? Who knows who will earn the starting roles and major PT. Everyone knows we need PG's that can compete in the BIG. I believe there is enough potential to make this bunch competitive. If that potential transfers to the floor, then I can see a mid conference finish.

IMO, considering all the negatives surrounding the program, Ben has done a very good job of recruiting; Christie, (Evans) and Asuma are all valued recruits. Garcia ended up in MN by default or maybe he really wanted to play for Ben. Payton and Battle were very good additions.

Those who want Ben gone now need to think this through. What established HC would come here considering the Gophers meager NIL status and huge uphill struggle plus put the time in to get the program competitive? And consider the approach the MN Admin took with the past two hires. Or we take a flyer on another bargain basement newbie?

I was totally surprised when Ben was named our HC but that is what he is. Ben has many positives and yes, areas where he must improve which sometimes drives me up a wall. But I fully support his efforts as our HC.
Great post. You are thinking beyond the moment, which most posters here refuse to do. I thought we shouldn't have hired Ben and I said so. However, I agree with you on the recruiting. It has been pretty decent considering the situation. People here are not considering that hiring a new coach in this free agency world means another 3 year meltdown- unless you can get a really high end guy.

Some will say that Otz did it at Iowa State- but their fan base and program were not in near as bad of shape as ours was. The atmosphere there and the student support is a really nice selling point for them. Ours was a major dig out job and we hired a rookie to do it.
 

This is objectively a bad roster
A guy you have listed as a starter your description is “hopefully he is better than a player who was a liability on a last place team”
Another starter you have listed was a 32% shooter and 20 minute per game player on a last place team.

2 of the top 9 are guys with injuries.
1 of which was a non contributor before his injuries and the other was a d2 player before the injuries.

I assume I’ll see you picking this team in the top 10 of the conference.



You are right this isn’t a bad roster. But it’s a below average roster in a conference where the 13th best team is above average.
I am factoring in improvement by our sophomores to be. Payne is going to be a beast. Carrington was injured for half the year. JOJ in the minutes he had was more efficient than Battle and shows signs of being a kid that might be coached into being and excellent defender because he is quick and athletic. Every shot JOJ took was worth 1.3 points- every shot Battle took was worth 1 point, actually a little under that.

I think the roster can be very competitive with the following three things happening
- add a guard who is a good rotation player (fits in the top 8)
- at least one of the combo of Ihnen and Fox returns to full health and stays that way
- reasonable to above average improvement by the returning players- which means that the coaches are teaching the right things
 

I am factoring in improvement by our sophomores to be. Payne is going to be a beast. Carrington was injured for half the year. JOJ in the minutes he had was more efficient than Battle and shows signs of being a kid that might be coached into being and excellent defender because he is quick and athletic. Every shot JOJ took was worth 1.3 points- every shot Battle took was worth 1 point, actually a little under that.

I think the roster can be very competitive with the following three things happening
- add a guard who is a good rotation player (fits in the top 8)
- at least one of the combo of Ihnen and Fox returns to full health and stays that way
- reasonable to above average improvement by the returning players- which means that the coaches are teaching the right things
I just don’t see empty roster spots and two injured guys who have never contributed in the big ten even pre injury turning out to be 2 quality big ten players come December. Maybe I’ll be wrong.
 

Great post. You are thinking beyond the moment, which most posters here refuse to do. I thought we shouldn't have hired Ben and I said so. However, I agree with you on the recruiting. It has been pretty decent considering the situation. People here are not considering that hiring a new coach in this free agency world means another 3 year meltdown- unless you can get a really high end guy.

Some will say that Otz did it at Iowa State- but their fan base and program were not in near as bad of shape as ours was. The atmosphere there and the student support is a really nice selling point for them. Ours was a major dig out job and we hired a rookie to do it.
I think a lot of posters think beyond the moment, and aren't seeing much of anything that will improve the situation beyond what it is now.

The problem for me and I suspect a lot of other old guys here is that in the brave new world of college basketball, there almost has to be something "in the moment now" that gives us reason to have any confidence at all down the road. Even with the decent recruiting you cite, the risk of rosters emptying in the portal is so high that it feels just short of a fools errand to think it will get much better.

Talent aside, the most discouraging thing for me this year was the poor defense and disorganized offense on the floor. That has my knees knocking about whether the current staff has what it takes to coach up less talented guys into better performers and have the whole be more than the sum of the parts. I'm just not seeing it, and that is absolutely what this program needs.

I appreciate the "he's not going anywhere now, so make the best of it" approach. I put myself in that cluster, but it is totally reasonable to see this going nowhere, and making any leadership transition that much more difficult next year. I'm grateful to read a little mostly reasoned optimism (and it is much better than its cranky campaigning counterpart), but I just don't share it. I want to be proven wrong.
 

I am factoring in improvement by our sophomores to be. Payne is going to be a beast. Carrington was injured for half the year. JOJ in the minutes he had was more efficient than Battle and shows signs of being a kid that might be coached into being and excellent defender because he is quick and athletic. Every shot JOJ took was worth 1.3 points- every shot Battle took was worth 1 point, actually a little under that.

I think the roster can be very competitive with the following three things happening
- add a guard who is a good rotation player (fits in the top 8)
- at least one of the combo of Ihnen and Fox returns to full health and stays that way
- reasonable to above average improvement by the returning players- which means that the coaches are teaching the right things
nm
 

I think a lot of posters think beyond the moment, and aren't seeing much of anything that will improve the situation beyond what it is now.

The problem for me and I suspect a lot of other old guys here is that in the brave new world of college basketball, there almost has to be something "in the moment now" that gives us reason to have any confidence at all down the road. Even with the decent recruiting you cite, the risk of rosters emptying in the portal is so high that it feels just short of a fools errand to think it will get much better.

Talent aside, the most discouraging thing for me this year was the poor defense and disorganized offense on the floor. That has my knees knocking about whether the current staff has what it takes to coach up less talented guys into better performers and have the whole be more than the sum of the parts. I'm just not seeing it, and that is absolutely what this program needs.

I appreciate the "he's not going anywhere now, so make the best of it" approach. I put myself in that cluster, but it is totally reasonable to see this going nowhere, and making any leadership transition that much more difficult next year. I'm grateful to read a little mostly reasoned optimism (and it is much better than its cranky campaigning counterpart), but I just don't share it. I want to be proven wrong.
I am one of the old guys. Yes- I want to see something NOW! :) That said- I don't want to see us go into another 3 year abyss by making another change (that's what will happen- guys will leave and we are in start over mode again). If Ben doesn't get at least 7-8 wins- then that's it- he should be fired in my view. Until then he is going to need every ounce of fan support he can get and I am tired of thinking about the downside- at least for this summer!
 

I am one of the old guys. Yes- I want to see something NOW! :) That said- I don't want to see us go into another 3 year abyss by making another change (that's what will happen- guys will leave and we are in start over mode again). If Ben doesn't get at least 7-8 wins- then that's it- he should be fired in my view. Until then he is going to need every ounce of fan support he can get and I am tired of thinking about the downside- at least for this summer!
Yep, summer is when fans are supposed to have hope....but we have some in here that are so beaten down they can't even allow for the possibility that anything good could happen. :)
 

I am one of the old guys. Yes- I want to see something NOW! :) That said- I don't want to see us go into another 3 year abyss by making another change (that's what will happen- guys will leave and we are in start over mode again). If Ben doesn't get at least 7-8 wins- then that's it- he should be fired in my view. Until then he is going to need every ounce of fan support he can get and I am tired of thinking about the downside- at least for this summer!

How are you certain that will happen because that's what happened with Ben? If we hire a competent coach, odds are we'll be better in year 1 of that tenure, than what we will be this upcoming season. It's never been easier to turn it around quickly. There's been numerous examples of it in the last 3/4 years.
 

I am one of the old guys. Yes- I want to see something NOW! :) That said- I don't want to see us go into another 3 year abyss by making another change (that's what will happen- guys will leave and we are in start over mode again). If Ben doesn't get at least 7-8 wins- then that's it- he should be fired in my view. Until then he is going to need every ounce of fan support he can get and I am tired of thinking about the downside- at least for this summer!
My one point of divergence is the assumption that we end up in another three year abyss with a transition. If that transition is to an experienced head coach with track record, the chances of a quick turnaround are much better. All other critiques aside, and there are plenty, this hires biggest disaster was no head coaching resume.
 




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