When can we start expecting better recruits?

MplsGopher

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This feels like sort of a chicken and the egg discussion. It seems like with this hire, we are saying the recruiting is the egg (which obviously came first) and that the results would flow from the improved recruiting.

The thing to do, is to look at other bootstrap jobs, at other similarish P5 programs.

Beard at TT? Did he egg it, chicken it, both, or what? Did he come in with a bare cupboard? Did he somehow find a way to start winning, with lower guys, and then got the recruits to do more winning? Or the other way around?
 

Holy Man

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A bigger name in Whalen wasn't able to lock down one of the best talents produced in the state in Paige Beuckers (not sure I spelled correctly) in her first year so it would stand to reason Johnson might need some time to start producing results.
Ben's advantage as one poster pointed out (Forever?) is that, unlike Paige and Whalen, we have a boatload of 50-125 type recruits, not top 5 recruits. Top 5 will be sought after by everyone. Below 50 reduces their appeal especially from the one and done factories. Ben has a much better opportunity than Lindsay in landing quality local recruits in the first class. There are a lot of them and they are at a level that they can help right away and are attainable.

I also agree 100% that if Ben doesn't nail it with at least two or three of them in the 22 group, the experiment is likely over and a failure. The window is really narrow to provide clear evidence the program is on the upswing.

Down side of having seven guys ranked that high is that there won't be room for all of them. Some may not get offered or get beaten to the punch by another, don't come and are wounded. Then their club people get ticked and never steer one of their own toward Ben again. Good luck in that labyrinth, Coach. Hopefully the respect they have for you extends to the hard decisions that have to be made about scholarship offers.

Getting a big name like Garcia to come back to the U would be a huge signal to the 22 group that the elite are on board.
 

MplsGopher

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What words can BJ possibly string together in the human language to convince the elite to get on board, with zero results and zero history?

Gonna have to pull a miracle this coming season, show some winning, then swing for the fences on 22 class. Otherwise, why should they buy in?
 

Holy Man

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But that's exactly the point.

This is the question that matters to the discussion at hand: "what's winning, to local 4* players?"

What kind of winning would they need to see, to overcome their natural bias against selecting the Gophers?


And rest assured: it need not be the case, likely isn't the case, nor am I suggesting it is the case, that this is a binary proposition.

Even if we can move the needle, that's something. Very hard to measure in a small window, though.
The problem is that the window is very small. I think real winning has to give way to the "we're going to turn this thing around and make the whole community proud" pitch. He has between now and November to convince the loaded 22 class to get on board, and there won't be any games, much less wins, to sell.
 

MplsGopher

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I think real winning has to give way to the "we're going to turn this thing around and make the whole community proud" pitch.
Right, of course that's the pitch.

But who can't give that pitch?? Pitino gave that pitch. Guarantee it.

And ..... yeah.

He has between now and November to convince the loaded 22 class to get on board, and there won't be any games, much less wins, to sell.
Are they all likely to sign early? (honest question) @Holy Man I edited to add this.
 



Holy Man

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What words can BJ possibly string together in the human language to convince the elite to get on board, with zero results and zero history?

Gonna have to pull a miracle this coming season, show some winning, then swing for the fences on 22 class. Otherwise, why should they buy in?
You have identified the problem, but I think your timeline is off. I would say most of the 22 class will make decisions in November. I think Ben will need to insist on it if they want to be on board. If they are pushing him off to the spring, that will be a really bad sign.
 

Ihatebucky

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This thread reads like a lot of others right now: "I don't like the hire so I'll raise expectations to an unrealistic level to prove it was a bad hire"....we all want a winner but let's live in reality guys
 




Holy Man

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Right, of course that's the pitch.

But who can't give that pitch?? Pitino gave that pitch. Guarantee it.

And ..... yeah.


Are they all likely to sign early? (honest question)
Ben has a better base as the all important "one of us" that Pitino never had. I'm not suggesting it is a huge advantage, but it is a real advantage.

I have no idea of the thought processes of high level recruits who are not on the one and done track. Most guys who wait until spring in that category, it seems, are looking at options in bigger programs and decisions by guys who might leave (Walton). What Ben has to offer almost anyone in the 22 class is a basically immediate opportunity at impact playing time. Teams with more established rosters don't have that.

Practically, I think Ben needs to have them commit or move on in the fall, because he doesn't have time to wait in building a roster.
 

bga1

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This thread reads like a lot of others right now: "I don't like the hire so I'll raise expectations to an unrealistic level to prove it was a bad hire"....we all want a winner but let's live in reality guys
Day one I was disappointed. I woke up day two thinking this has potential. He was brought in to recruit locally. I think he can do it. I haven't seen anyone say he's going to win big next year or go to the NCAAs- I don't think that happens. But it is crucial that he gets out of the gate with good recruits in the fall or it is going to be a tough slog. Getting promising recruits that he can build his own brand with, will buy him time to succeed on the court. Real success on court might not happen until year 3....if he does well this fall.
 

Holy Man

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(assume him was them)

Why is that a problem? Do the difference makers always sign early?
My suggestion that it is a bad sign is that they have not immediately bought in on the vision and the project. It's hard for me to see much if anything happening in the 21-22 season that could positively influence a guy waiting for the spring to sign. That would be mitigated if Ben lands a Garcia or some other really high level local player that could seriously impact the 21-22 season.
 

Zeppelin Gopher

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What words can BJ possibly string together in the human language to convince the elite to get on board, with zero results and zero history?

Gonna have to pull a miracle this coming season, show some winning, then swing for the fences on 22 class. Otherwise, why should they buy in?

Not how it works. Most of the 22 kids will commit this summer or fall, before the upcoming season starts.
 




Bob_Loblaw

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This thread reads like a lot of others right now: "I don't like the hire so I'll raise expectations to an unrealistic level to prove it was a bad hire"....we all want a winner but let's live in reality guys

I started this thread for this precise reason. I'm genuinely asking when it is realistic for me to start having expectations of better recruits. I am trying to give the guy a shake and I am keeping all of my pouting to the pouting-appropriate threads.

Your post is precisely what worries me. Even asking when it would be appropriate to have any expectations from Ben gets people defensive.
 

Holy Man

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This thread reads like a lot of others right now: "I don't like the hire so I'll raise expectations to an unrealistic level to prove it was a bad hire"....we all want a winner but let's live in reality guys
This borders on nonsense. No one is creating false expectations. Most of us see the window for showing the program is on the upswing is really tight. I think most of us see that Ben needs to make clear inroads locally basically immediately to create momentum in the program for both fans and potential local recruits. For one, I haven't said anything I expect. I'm making observations about what I think is needed to change the vibe of the program. Grit on the floor will help, but getting players on board who can provide a foundation for winning is way more important. I hope he can do it. I want him to do it.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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Don’t know exactly when, but he has to get Holloman. Pair him with King and then we are rolling.

My god that would be a fun backcourt.

Tre is really good. I kind of think he might blow up into being one of the top 10-15 recruits.

I also like the idea of Tre and Willie Wilson. A couple of North guys as our backcourt of the future.
 



BBJones

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Successful recruiting is based on relationships and trust. Most of these top players have 2-3-4 year relationships with the coaches who are recruiting them. Whalen did not make significant inroads on the local talent until this year. Like it or not. it takes time. I hope I'm wrong, but I think it's unreasonable to expect Johnson to swoop in and sign much from the 22 class.
 

Go Gophs

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Isn't this with every single coach in the country?

This feels like sort of a chicken and the egg discussion. It seems like with this hire, we are saying the recruiting is the egg (which obviously came first) and that the results would flow from the improved recruiting.
And this is exactly why I think it is much more important to hire a coach than it is a recruiter.

The simple fact is, this University is not well liked by top athletes in the Midwest. Winning will change that. To win, you must outcoach, outwork, outdevelop, etc the others in your conference.

Things will never change IMO on the recruiting or winning front until you can do that. This is just my opinion. This is one of the hardest jobs in all of power 5 athletics. IT WILL TAKE A SPECIAL COACH TO WIN HERE.

The other option is that Ben Johnson recruits out of his mind and we end up just flat out having more talent than the rest of the conference.
 

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Ben's advantage as one poster pointed out (Forever?) is that, unlike Paige and Whalen, we have a boatload of 50-125 type recruits, not top 5 recruits. Top 5 will be sought after by everyone. Below 50 reduces their appeal especially from the one and done factories. Ben has a much better opportunity than Lindsay in landing quality local recruits in the first class. There are a lot of them and they are at a level that they can help right away and are attainable.

I also agree 100% that if Ben doesn't nail it with at least two or three of them in the 22 group, the experiment is likely over and a failure. The window is really narrow to provide clear evidence the program is on the upswing.

Down side of having seven guys ranked that high is that there won't be room for all of them. Some may not get offered or get beaten to the punch by another, don't come and are wounded. Then their club people get ticked and never steer one of their own toward Ben again. Good luck in that labyrinth, Coach. Hopefully the respect they have for you extends to the hard decisions that have to be made about scholarship offers.

Getting a big name like Garcia to come back to the U would be a huge signal to the 22 group that the elite are on board.
This is spot on!
 

short ornery norwegian

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Successful recruiting is based on relationships and trust. Most of these top players have 2-3-4 year relationships with the coaches who are recruiting them. Whalen did not make significant inroads on the local talent until this year. Like it or not. it takes time. I hope I'm wrong, but I think it's unreasonable to expect Johnson to swoop in and sign much from the 22 class.

Bingo!

if Johnson has any success with the '22 class, it will be because of his prior relationships with HS and AAU coaches - not necessarily with the players.

I think the '23 class is really the one to watch for a fair evaluation of how well Johnson can do with the top in-state talent.

in a bigger picture sense - for me, the issue is not whether he can land the #1 or #2 recruits in the state. Those are the kids who are being recruited at a national level. The make-or-break point for Johnson will be whether he can land the #4, #5, #6 kids in MN. that is the level of player that Pitino failed to get - guys who may not be stars or one-and-done types, but solid rotational players.

you don't build a team around one star player. you build a team around multiple players who will be solid contributors. and then, if you can land a star, that elevates the team to a higher level.
 

BarnBurner

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Frankly, I am expecting a lot from the transfer portal in the next month. If Garcia is available, BJ needs to get him home. I dont know much about the X guys in the portal - anyone have any thoughts on them? BJ needs to hit it hard and show that he can grab kids right away.

Needs to keep Robbins. I would like to see Mash stay, however unlikely.

Getting it done this spring should lead to better fall recruiting.
 

Southpaw

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This feels like sort of a chicken and the egg discussion. It seems like with this hire, we are saying the recruiting is the egg (which obviously came first) and that the results would flow from the improved recruiting.
To me the chicken and the egg discussion goes like this:

The elite Minnesota talent want to play for an established winning program so they go elsewhere. The Gophers can't have a winning program unless the elite guys decide to stay at home. To turn the program around some of these guys need to be willing to be part of a rebuilding program - Oturu is one of my all time favorites in large part because he decided to stay at home even though he probably had better basketball options - Pitino failed to build on the Minnesota class of Oturu/ Kalscheur/ Omersa - momentum lost. Let's get it back.
 

MplsGopher

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and Ben was hired for this explicit reason. It's an experiment that I'm excited for
Uh huh.

Because, you know, Big Ten MBB programs are definitely the place you want to try some fun experiments out.


No chance I'm buying this, as the reason. But anyway, we're in bed with it now ....
 

Bad Gopher

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To me the chicken and the egg discussion goes like this:

The elite Minnesota talent want to play for an established winning program so they go elsewhere. The Gophers can't have a winning program unless the elite guys decide to stay at home. To turn the program around some of these guys need to be willing to be part of a rebuilding program - Oturu is one of my all time favorites in large part because he decided to stay at home even though he probably had better basketball options - Pitino failed to build on the Minnesota class of Oturu/ Kalscheur/ Omersa - momentum lost. Let's get it back.
The bold is untrue. We can get a foothold with 3* and 4* guys if the players are cohesive and the team is well coached. Then you build from there. 5* guys are not a birthright for any program.
 

tmvander

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To me the chicken and the egg discussion goes like this:

The elite Minnesota talent want to play for an established winning program so they go elsewhere. The Gophers can't have a winning program unless the elite guys decide to stay at home. To turn the program around some of these guys need to be willing to be part of a rebuilding program - Oturu is one of my all time favorites in large part because he decided to stay at home even though he probably had better basketball options - Pitino failed to build on the Minnesota class of Oturu/ Kalscheur/ Omersa - momentum lost. Let's get it back.
The gophers can also build from outside the state which nobody likes to hear. I realize the best possible odds of getting a 5* guy are one in your backyard but we don't need the in state guys to be successful. We could start with landing top 100 guys from elsewhere and get good enough to where local guys want to stay home.

However, even if we're good they may not want to. Look at Wisconsin...they've had some 5* guys over the last 10 years and they've all bailed.
 

WriterGoph

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The thing I don't think some people are factoring in is that (like SON alluded to above) is that with Ben, we are not "starting over" on the local front like we would have been with Pitino or Monson or even Tubby. Ben has existing relationships with the AAU and HS coaches, so I don't think we have the same need for beginning relationships as we would have with a coach who has no foundation here in Minnesota. That *should* be a plus for Ben and I wouldn't be surprised if that factored into Coyle's decision.

Also, we have no clue how many out of these top 9 2022 kids may have some affinity or connection to the U (like Thompson in 2021 or maybe Holloman in 2022 for example with his mother having played here), In those cases, a coaching change and someone they can identify with a bit more could be all that some of these kids were waiting for in regards to the U.
 

Go Gophs

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The thing I don't think some people are factoring in is that (like SON alluded to above) is that with Ben, we are not "starting over" on the local front like we would have been with Pitino or Monson or even Tubby. Ben has existing relationships with the AAU and HS coaches, so I don't think we have the same need for beginning relationships as we would have with a coach who has no foundation here in Minnesota. That *should* be a plus for Ben and I wouldn't be surprised if that factored into Coyle's decision.

Also, we have no clue how many out of these top 9 2022 kids may have some affinity or connection to the U (like Thompson in 2021 or maybe Holloman in 2022 for example with his mother having played here), In those cases, a coaching change and someone they can identify with a bit more could be all that some of these kids were waiting for in regards to the U.
Tubby had the best class of the U of M has ever had here for his first class.

Also, why do people think that us keeping 3 star guys from our state is any different than the type of recruiting we are currently getting under Pitino?

Just because they are from here, doesn't mean anything. If he can't get the TOP guys. I'm talking the 4 and 5 star guys in state. Nothing will change as far as recruits go. We already get 3 and 4 star kids.

Efficient, smart offense, tough rebounding and hard working excellent defense is the only way to win here. We will never win by out-talenting anyone in this conference.
 




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