This team is fun on paper, but why does it look so bad? | Gopherhole

MennoSota

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I don't disagree with that, I just consider Cal Baptist to be decent compared to other teams we have played and struggled with. They are a notch below Depaul but at least decent competition. Most Big Ten teams would beat them up and as it stands right now we are near the bottom of the Big Ten. The good news is that we are young and physically talented with the exception of the lack of quickness at guard.
Cal Baptists point guard is a kid I'd take anytime. He reminded me of John Stockton with his poise and his decisive play. He didn't wait for Minnesota to dictate the terms, he decided what to do and he attacked. That kid is a tremendous college basketball player.
 

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Early last year I was impressed with the Gopher's offense. They moved the ball crisply and created open shots. There was lots of motion. This year, not so much. I assume it is the difference in experience. But, last year, they had a bunch of guards and no dominant center. This year, pretty much just the opposite - they are trying to pound the ball inside. Lot less passing and not nearly as much movement - fewer good shots. I hope they get back to more of last year's offense. AND, I hope they keep playing a lot of players. They are not going to win the BIG this year. Last year was year 0, this is year 1. Lot of players with no college experience but a lot of promise - need to develop and get experience.
 

Gopher Teeth

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Last night was Payne's breakout game but he's been pretty solid overall so far and is shooting 77% from the field for the season. If you really need a bucket, he looks like the surest thing so far. After being a non-entity in his first game, Carrington has come alive in the last two. He's been a dog at the free throw line to date but that makes him fairly typical on this team.
Exactly. They could have closed out the game in reg if they would have fed the ball to PP as a first option rather than keep jacking up low percentage threes.
 

Dupreefor3

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I think the simplest answer to the OP question is we have alot of young guys, and most of our older guys are new as well. So everyone has to figure out the right floor chemistry and their roles on the floor so that chemistry can mesh. We all know what Battle can do, he will be better. Payne, Carrington and Henley all have a lot of promise, they just need time. Garcia a very good player, but he's bit a great player. Overall, this team plays really hard and sound team defense, the rebounding can still be better, but it was better last night, they won a game where the offense struggled because they D'd up and that's something that will win you some games in the Big Ten that you don't always deserve to win. Progress isn't always linear and at times the journey is going to be maddening, but the ingredients are certainly there long term.
 

formerlybis

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It was sound defense last night, but overall, they are still last in defensive efficiency in the conference. By a lot. And offense. By a lot.

UNLV is #2 in the country in forcing turnovers, and is among the better teams in keeping their opponents off the FT line, This will be an interesting test and opportunity - they're rated 20 spots ahead of DePaul.
 


topos

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It was sound defense last night, but overall, they are still last in defensive efficiency in the conference. By a lot. And offense. By a lot.

UNLV is #2 in the country in forcing turnovers, and is among the better teams in keeping their opponents off the FT line, This will be an interesting test and opportunity - they're rated 20 spots ahead of DePaul.
They may want to reconsider their strategy for this game...
 

Bad Gopher

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Fun on paper isn't the same thing as a winning formula. In basketball, you need size, skill and athleticism. This team lacks enough skill (e.g., free throw shooting), and what size they do have is soft (e.g., Garcia) or slow (e.g., Cooper).

Definitely room for growth, and they'll be better next year with the new recruits and the return of the injured players, but the lack of skill is concerning to say the least.
 

MissouriGopher

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It was sound defense last night, but overall, they are still last in defensive efficiency in the conference. By a lot. And offense. By a lot.

UNLV is #2 in the country in forcing turnovers, and is among the better teams in keeping their opponents off the FT line, This will be an interesting test and opportunity - they're rated 20 spots ahead of DePaul.
Let's maybe wait until conference season is underway before we start ranking teams by efficiency metrics.
 

Gopherfan84

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Let's maybe wait until conference season is underway before we start ranking teams by efficiency metrics.
Agree most of the stuff is too out of whack at the start of the year because one game can influence the data too much. A lot of promise on the defensive side of the ball so far though. They do get after it and much of the weaknesses in positioning can be fixed.
 



Bob_Loblaw

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Early last year I was impressed with the Gopher's offense. They moved the ball crisply and created open shots. There was lots of motion. This year, not so much. I assume it is the difference in experience. But, last year, they had a bunch of guards and no dominant center. This year, pretty much just the opposite - they are trying to pound the ball inside. Lot less passing and not nearly as much movement - fewer good shots. I hope they get back to more of last year's offense. AND, I hope they keep playing a lot of players. They are not going to win the BIG this year. Last year was year 0, this is year 1. Lot of players with no college experience but a lot of promise - need to develop and get experience.
This is what worries me the most with this team. I really hope that the style of basketball we played last year wasn't just because Ben thought it was out of necessity.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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Let's maybe wait until conference season is underway before we start ranking teams by efficiency metrics.
As a Gopher fan who wants the numbers to make us look as good as possible, I strongly disagree with this idea.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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Yes, we realize that we're not Michigan State or Purdue and probably not even Penn State but please excuse us if we choose to enjoy what we can. Just because you're a generally miserable person doesn't mean that the rest of us have to follow your lead.

Until this post, I couldn't imagine someone stating that we are now behind Penn St basketball, who is also in their 2nd year with a first time head coach, and a program that has been to the NCAA tournament once in the last 21 years, calling someone else miserable for giving an honest and realistic assessment about Cal Baptist.
 

Spaulding!No!

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Until this post, I couldn't imagine someone stating that we are now behind Penn St basketball, who is also in their 2nd year with a first time head coach, and a program that has been to the NCAA tournament once in the last 21 years, calling someone else miserable for giving an honest and realistic assessment about Cal Baptist.
Our asst coach won a hs championship as a coach. That right there is the living room speech.
 



bga1

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Exactly. They could have closed out the game in reg if they would have fed the ball to PP as a first option rather than keep jacking up low percentage threes.
Yep. Get it into him until the double him. When they do that you get open shots instead of forced ones.
 

Gopherfan84

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Until this post, I couldn't imagine someone stating that we are now behind Penn St basketball, who is also in their 2nd year with a first time head coach, and a program that has been to the NCAA tournament once in the last 21 years, calling someone else miserable for giving an honest and realistic assessment about Cal Baptist.
I don’t think we are behind Penn State this season yet. Long season and a lot of games left to improve
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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I don’t think we are behind Penn State this season yet. Long season and a lot of games left to improve

I think it's pretty obvious that they are. They were ahead of us last season, returned more production, had a better recruiting class, and have looked good so far this season. KenPom currently has them at 30 and they just dominated Colorado St. from start to finish.
 

topos

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Until this post, I couldn't imagine someone stating that we are now behind Penn St basketball, who is also in their 2nd year with a first time head coach, and a program that has been to the NCAA tournament once in the last 21 years, calling someone else miserable for giving an honest and realistic assessment about Cal Baptist.
I'm honestly content with being 4-1, given that we've looked atrocious in every single contest thus far, including the exhibition.

We've had some solid four-minute spurts at most, but we haven't even put together a complete half of basketball in any game thus far. It will only improve as Battle gets acclimated and our Freshmen continue to gain experience.

Our team pulled out the "W" last night when everything went wrong. That doesn't happen too frequently around these parts. There was "0" MN momentum late in that game, but we still found a way.

At this juncture, there are far better teams with much worse losses than us. I'm enjoying watching the young guys grow and think we will surprise some good teams later this season.
 

Gopherfan84

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I think it's pretty obvious that they are. They were ahead of us last season, returned more production, had a better recruiting class, and have looked good so far this season. KenPom currently has them at 30 and they just dominated Colorado St. from start to finish.
Their recruiting class is better than ours? They returned guys from a bottom 4 team. KenPom is worthless until a month in. Pomeroy himself has said as much. Colorado State win is worth noting.
 

Gopherfan84

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Ben is a great guy, he can recruit, his players seem to love him, and he really got so much out of his team last year. Like lieb, my eyes are telling me that Ben's one weakness is X's and O's on offense. It seems to me, we need more movement without the ball, more passing, more screening. More motion. This was apparent last year and its here again. If I were Ben, I'd find an offensive mind to bring in to design a system that emphasizes motion and passing.And Ben is not alone here. A strong
Passing offense seems seems to be the exception not the rule. And passing around the perimeter in a useless weave doesn't count.
Ben’s really strong offensively knowledge wise. Thorson is also very strong offensively in all motion concepts. Jenkins worked under Mooney (really good offensively) at Richmond for 5 years. I don’t think knowledge is the issue. Our offensive efficiency was better than our defensive efficiency last year.
 

combes1

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I think the simplest answer to the OP question is we have alot of young guys, and most of our older guys are new as well. So everyone has to figure out the right floor chemistry and their roles on the floor so that chemistry can mesh. We all know what Battle can do, he will be better. Payne, Carrington and Henley all have a lot of promise, they just need time. Garcia a very good player, but he's bit a great player. Overall, this team plays really hard and sound team defense, the rebounding can still be better, but it was better last night, they won a game where the offense struggled because they D'd up and that's something that will win you some games in the Big Ten that you don't always deserve to win. Progress isn't always linear and at times the journey is going to be maddening, but the ingredients are certainly there long term.
Your first two sentences describe Illinois, too. 2 returning players, 3 transfers and 4 freshmen in the rotation. Learning to play together and playing against top competition cost them against Virginia. Led with 3 minutes to play but inexperience caught up the last three minutes. Surprised they handled UCLA, another veteran team, the game before. Illinois has a long way to go to be cohesive as a team. Getting better.
 

scools12

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Their recruiting class is better than ours? They returned guys from a bottom 4 team. KenPom is worthless until a month in. Pomeroy himself has said as much. Colorado State win is worth noting.
And yet Penn St is still ahead of Minnesota.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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Their recruiting class is better than ours? They returned guys from a bottom 4 team. KenPom is worthless until a month in. Pomeroy himself has said as much. Colorado State win is worth noting.

Yes. They returned their top 2 scorers, and 3 of their top 5 from a bottom 4 team that won 2 out of 3 against us last year. They added 2 high level transfers to play with those 3, and their most talented freshman Njie is pretty comparable to Payne. They have a few other talented freshman that haven't played as much because they returned more upperclassmen. We're only about two games away from being a month in.
 

short ornery norwegian

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this is a young team. the FR have good potential, but we're not talking about McDonald's All-Americans. They need to play and learn, and there will be ups and downs. TT is in the same boat - he needs playing time to develop.

Garcia is new to the program - and only played half of the season last year. Battle is returning after foot surgery. Cooper is new to the program.

to me, the big question is not what they look like today.
the big question is what will this team look like in February and March?

I can live with growing pains if the team shows improvement.

now, if the team doesn't show any improvement, then we are having a very different discussion.
 

leib0039

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Their recruiting class is better than ours? They returned guys from a bottom 4 team. KenPom is worthless until a month in. Pomeroy himself has said as much. Colorado State win is worth noting.
On most (all?) sites yes their class was ranked higher. Kebba Njie was a higher 4* guy which none of our guys were on most sites. Now again, thats just rankings, Njie is at 12min per game this year, Payne has been much better but just off rankings we were worse.
 

Gopherfan84

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On most (all?) sites yes their class was ranked higher. Kebba Njie was a higher 4* guy which none of our guys were on most sites. Now again, thats just rankings, Njie is at 12min per game this year, Payne has been much better but just off rankings we were worse.
I get the rankings were in favor of Penn State, but those were awful and very skewed because of covid. So many players didn’t get seen and ranked appropriately. Anyone who watch MN high school basketball last year knew Payne was the best player in MN and it wasn’t close. Carrington was easily on the same level as Holloman. I’ll judge the freshman on production and play for this year and I typically like rankings as a measure.
 

Dupreefor3

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Your first two sentences describe Illinois, too. 2 returning players, 3 transfers and 4 freshmen in the rotation. Learning to play together and playing against top competition cost them against Virginia. Led with 3 minutes to play but inexperience caught up the last three minutes. Surprised they handled UCLA, another veteran team, the game before. Illinois has a long way to go to be cohesive as a team. Getting better.
Yeah I'd argue the Illina certainly have a higher floor and ceiling than the Gophs for this year. With them we are talking about two proven All Big 12 guys and a five star freshman PG, but none the less they'll have moments like the UCLA win and in conference play they'll probably lose to a team like Rutgers on the road because the Big Ten is a grind.
 

Gopherfan84

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Yes. They returned their top 2 scorers, and 3 of their top 5 from a bottom 4 team that won 2 out of 3 against us last year. They added 2 high level transfers to play with those 3, and their most talented freshman Njie is pretty comparable to Payne. They have a few other talented freshman that haven't played as much because they returned more upperclassmen. We're only about two games away from being a month in.
We added two high level transfers too. I like Pickett and think he and Battle are on similar levels. Lundy is nice too. I don’t believe the others are head and shoulders above us yet is my point. It’s too early to say. Penn State will look more together earlier because they’ve played together more, plus haven’t been without their best scorer.
 

Dupreefor3

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I get the rankings were in favor of Penn State, but those were awful and very skewed because of covid. So many players didn’t get seen and ranked appropriately. Anyone who watch MN high school basketball last year knew Payne was the best player in MN and it wasn’t close. Carrington was easily on the same level as Holloman. I’ll judge the freshman on production and play for this year and I typically like rankings as a measure.
Agreed Carrington had a better year than Tre and thus won the Mr Basketball award. Payne missed half the year, but would have certainly been in the mix had he not. As far as the 2022's go, in the spring I would have ranked them as
1) Payne
2)Tre
3) Carrington
4) King
5) Heide
6) JOJ
7) Watson
8)Prince
9) Lee
10) Blue

As far as being productive as Freshman I think Payne has lived up to the ranking, as has Carrington. JOJ and Prince are punching up as well. Last I check Heide wasn't getting any run at Purdue, maybe he's hurt. King been getting back up minutes, Watson been a mix bag. Don't think Tre getting much run at Sparty. Lee and Blue have been solid for the Tommies. The MN Prep Boys at Tennessee and Rutgers haven't done anything either
 

Gopherfan84

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Agreed Carrington had a better year than Tre and thus won the Mr Basketball award. Payne missed half the year, but would have certainly been in the mix had he not. As far as the 2022's go, in the spring I would have ranked them as
1) Payne
2)Tre
3) Carrington
4) King
5) Heide
6) JOJ
7) Watson
8)Prince
9) Lee
10) Blue

As far as being productive as Freshman I think Payne has lived up to the ranking, as has Carrington. JOJ and Prince are punching up as well. Last I check Heide wasn't getting any run at Purdue, maybe he's hurt. King been getting back up minutes, Watson been a mix bag. Don't think Tre getting much run at Sparty. Lee and Blue have been solid for the Tommies. The MN Prep Boys at Tennessee and Rutgers haven't done anything either
I agree with your rankings. Carrington wins the intangibles over Tre and was better coached in high school as well.
 

Dupreefor3

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I agree with your rankings. Carrington wins the intangibles over Tre and was better coached in high school as well.
It was a tough call Carrington vs Tre, I think Carrington is a more consistent defender, a better shooter and certainly has a better frame, but Tre also a PG and he did some incredible things in his 10th and 11th Grade year, leading Cretin despite having the rest of the roster turn over on him multiple times, but he needs to improve his shooting and IMO give a more consistent effort on defense, not just when his guy has the ball, but Izzo wil fix that last issue, and maybe part of it was not wanting to come off like a homer with the rankings. I can definitely see why someone would put Carrington ahead of Tre and honestly spots 4-8 you could argue those either way as well.
 




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