Gophers Men’s BB

  • BigWerm
    Participant
    SW Metro
    Posts: 9603
    #2184316

    New coach Ben Johnson has had a terrible start to his term as HC. They went 13-17 last year (4-16 in the Big10), and 7-17 (1-13 Big 10) this year. He was supposed to be a great recruiter, but missed on some key guys for this years team and now his key recruit for next year, Dennis Evans, wants out of his letter of intent. The Ben Johnson era might be over before it began at the U. I was rooting for him, but they are terrible and no help is on the way. They need to bring in a coach that develops players, because you are just not going to get top recruits at the U. At least not until the program gets reestablished. Any real relevance from the Gophers during the Clem era is further and further away.

    http://www.si.com/fannation/bringmethesports/gophers/5-star-dennis-evans-wants-out-of-commitment-to-minnesota-gophers

    Dan
    Participant
    Southeast MN
    Posts: 3404
    #2184320

    Was that the 5-star, the one that would’ve been one of their biggest recruits in years? I don’t follow basketball at all but i heard them talking about it on KFAN.

    Dan
    Participant
    Southeast MN
    Posts: 3404
    #2184321

    Disregard, I see it says that in the article that he’s a 5-star.

    That’s the spinning your wheels factor of college sports; at the pro level, to some extent all it takes is an owner who’s willing to (smartly) spend as much as a salary cap allows and the team can be in contention soon. College sports, not so much. You’ve only got one life to live and it’s hard to convince recruits to go to a really struggling program when they could go to one of the iconic schools and thus increase their chances of making it pro.

    Ripjiggen
    Participant
    Posts: 9943
    #2184329

    With the transfer portal their is more than one way to build a team…
    If you are young in the big ten you will get stomped. Women’s team is in the same boat.

    KP
    Participant
    Hudson, WI
    Posts: 1145
    #2184671

    I like Ben Johnson but I don’t think he was ready yet to become a head couch. He has been known to be a great recruiter but the state of Gophers program is just too hard for him to overcome. I think they needed to hire a big name but that would cost a ton for School. I think they should of stuck with Pitino a little longer.

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 17612
    #2184672

    It isnt all Ben’s fault they have been ravaged by injuries this year. That is what is just killing them. Some games they have barely enough guys available for reserves. I think they have been getting healthier lately, but there were 2 guys they lost for the year for sure. Its basically Battle and that Garcia guy who lead this team and if either of them is out they are in trouble. There has been some good minutes from Freshman, but its a big spot to put them in.

    Paperlips21
    Participant
    Glencoe, MN
    Posts: 20
    #2184697

    It’s been a pretty rough 2 years, but I think Ben deserves some more time to get things on track. He had to start from scratch when nearly all the Pitino players transferred. Ben brought in a bunch of his own transfers, most of which were not highly touted players, and coached them to being competitive in many games. This year is his first with some of his own recruits.

    I watch just about every game and this freshman group is showing promise, but it is tough in the Big 10…when most other teams have a lot more experience. Their biggest issues are turnovers and free throws (worst in the country). Most teams will struggle to win games shooting ~60% from the charity line. Most of the games where they have limited the turnovers have been competitive. Some injuries have added to the trouble. It’s too bad about Dennis Evans deciding to ask for a release from his commit, but if he’s having doubts before even showing up he was likely a big transfer risk after a year anyway. If Ben can keep this core group and add a couple solid players each year, I think he can do really well and will be a guy who will stay around to build the program. If Battle and Garcia don’t transfer, they have an opportunity to lead a turnaround (I’m still optimistic!) and provide much needed upper-class leadership. One positive I see is the team still playing hard, even with the painful year, and the team continues to show some improvement. With Pitino, many of his teams started out looking pretty good and by late season they started going downhill fast.

    slough
    Participant
    Posts: 405
    #2184703

    It is so odd how the Gophers just can’t get it figured out. Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois have their ups and downs but are in the top 25 almost every year it seems. Tons of talent in MN to pick from too. How many tourney wins do they have in the past 25 years – 2?

    Dutchboy
    Participant
    Central Mn.
    Posts: 15531
    #2184709

    Those who require the least will achieve the least.

    You will soon hear the chant from the U that they can’t win without a new basketball arena.

    bigcrappie
    Participant
    Blaine
    Posts: 3796
    #2184731

    Randy Shaver talked about this this morning on 93X

    You will soon hear the chant from the U that they can’t win without a new basketball arena.

    buckybadger
    Participant
    Upper Midwest
    Posts: 6762
    #2184736

    If they spend a penny on a new arena without having years with back to back NCAA tournament appearances, they’re setting an incredibly low ceiling and essentially investing in a perennial NIT level program.

    BigWerm
    Participant
    SW Metro
    Posts: 9603
    #2184738

    It’s been a pretty rough 2 years, but I think Ben deserves some more time to get things on track. He had to start from scratch when nearly all the Pitino players transferred. Ben brought in a bunch of his own transfers, most of which were not highly touted players, and coached them to being competitive in many games. This year is his first with some of his own recruits.

    You’re probably right, and like I stated I like Ben and hope he can build something. Coyle seems to be pretty patient, at least with Whalen, so I’d expect the same here. But both basketball programs need to start progressing and fast.

    BigWerm
    Participant
    SW Metro
    Posts: 9603
    #2252802

    Hasn’t been much chatter about the Gophers hoop squad this year, but feel like there should be. And I think I owe Ben Johnson an apology, he has done wonders with this years squad! They were almost unanimously picked to finish last in the Big 10 in the preseason. They are currently 5th! With a big win over Michigan State Tuesday, and as of right now have a very solid chance at making the tourney. The real one. Pretty huge jump forward for the program!

    Gerty
    Participant
    Posts: 315
    #2252808

    Definitely more fun to watch this year! Great to watch them play solid defense. Hopefully the trend continues upward for this prgram.

    AnotherFisherman
    Participant
    Posts: 553
    #2252819

    Haven’t watched a game yet, but have followed along with pleasant surprise! Going to try to tune into a game here soon.

    big_g
    Participant
    Isle, MN
    Posts: 21629
    #2252821

    I started reading this thread and was like “what ?” I thought they were pretty good this year !!! Then I noticed the date !

    Brad Dimond
    Participant
    Posts: 1252
    #2252852

    We split season tickets with another couple, attended the Northwestern and Michigan State games. Fun to watch, players are buying in to the program. Hawkins, Christie, Payne and Garcia all bring something to the table.

    lindyrig79
    Participant
    Forest Lake / Lake Mille Lacs
    Posts: 5043
    #2252866

    I got confused by the date too. But I haven’t seen a Gophers BB game yet this year. I’ll have to find an upcoming one to watch.

    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 17612
    #2252874

    Tickets to the games are stupid cheap. Id love to go if I didnt have to go to Mpls. $20 and $50 for like courtside.

    3rdtryguy
    Participant
    Central Mn
    Posts: 1231
    #2252882

    I’m another that just learned it was a last years post. Injuries and the portal have hurt Mn bad. Ben is the smallest of our problems, I think he’s done a very good job.

    fishthumper
    Participant
    Sartell, MN.
    Posts: 10111
    #2252883

    Tickets to the games are stupid cheap. Id love to go if I didnt have to go to Mpls. $20 and $50 for like courtside.

    It would take a hell of a lot to get me to any event in Mpls. Maybe a super bowl that the Vikings are playing. That would probably do it. But I think I’m fairly safe that I don’t have to worry about that anytime soon.

    fishthumper
    Participant
    Sartell, MN.
    Posts: 10111
    #2252885

    They have a tough next 2 games. I believe they play Iowa and They Purdue. I believe Iowa beat them a month or so ago and Purdue is leading the Big 10. Those two games should give us a good idea of who they are.

    Netguy
    Participant
    Minnetonka
    Posts: 2286
    #2252951

    I’ve been watching them and there is definitely an improvement. I still don’t know what they are trying to do on offense.

Viewing 23 posts - 1 through 23 (of 23 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.