Fans are already learning how new head coach Ben Johnson wants to build the Gopher basketball program. Johnson and his staff are emphasizing smart, gritty and selfless players who compete at the highest level. Now, just 16 games into a new era, we are already seeing the benefits of this approach.
Despite having the third-lowest returning minutes percentage (7.9%) among 358 college basketball programs, Minnesota is competing hard and challenging opponents until the final horn sounds. Johnson found the right players through the portal and suited all of the X’s and O’s around their strengths. He has also navigated personnel challenges related to to COVID-19, illnesses and injuries. However, those obstacles are not changing the program’s approach.
The Gophers were without three of their top four scorers and still left Williams Arena with a 68-65 victory over Rutgers on Saturday. I joined the Minnesota Sports Chat podcast and explained why a win like this speaks volumes about where the program is heading.
Plus, the final 10 minutes of the podcast discuss what the Vikings’ offseason might look like. Will Minnesota trade quarterback Kirk Cousins? Listen below: