Category Archives: Gophers

Minnesota Gophers Basketball

December Update on Gophers 2016-17

December Update on Gophers 2016-17
The following is a look at our preseason comments regarding the outlook for the Gophers in 2016-17,

We said: “It’s not unreasonable to set a goal of 9th or 10th place in the Big Ten.”

Most preseason prognosticators slotted Minnesota at #12 or #13 in the Big Ten. We continue to believe the Gophers can exceed those expectations. As of today, Minnesota is ranked #8 in the Big Ten per KenPom.

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Pitino Not on The “Hot Seat”; Gophers 2016-17 Outlook

Pitino Not On The “Hot Seat”; Gophers 2016-17 Outlook

Many preseason “coaches on the hot seat” articles list Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino and state that a poor season on the court would spell trouble for Pitino. We believe the only way Pitino would be on the hot seat is if there are continued off the court issues for the program’s student-athletes. There are a few reasons why we don’t see Pitino being on the hot seat absent off the court issues. Those reasons are listed below.

Large Buyout

Late last summer, Minnesota entered into an amendment with Pitino which effectively caused his buyout to skyrocket should he be fired without cause. If Minnesota were to terminate Pitino’s employment next March, the buyout would still be nearly $6 million.

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Regents Cry Foul, But Should They? Pitino Buyout and More

Regents Cry Foul, But Should They?

Who’s responsible for approving the Pitino extension that multiplied his buyout by more than two times, to more than $8 million?

The answer is extremely important to the story, and the mainstream media should do the work to report on it.

Ultimately, this falls on the Board of Regents and the President’s office, but the details are important.

In March 2016, certain Regents became vocal and expressed frustration over Pitino’s large buyout (which at that time had amortized to just over $7 million). Some called for more oversight and ability to approve significant contracts.

The reality, however, is that they already had the ability to do so. The Pitino contract situation illustrates the Board of Regents and President’s office not working well together.

This week a resolution will be brought forth that specifies the process on certain contracts (e.g., Board approval required for any initial appointment where an employee’s annual salary will exceed $250,000 or any employment agreement, or amendment thereto, that has at total cost to the University of $600,000 or more.)

However, in the case of Pitino and the other contracts amended in reaction to the very public and shameful resignation of Norwood Teague, the Board should have been brought into the process under existing policy. Continue reading Regents Cry Foul, But Should They? Pitino Buyout and More

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They Said It: Amy Phenix

They Said It: Amy Phenix

The Board of Regents (“Board”) effectively approved the contract extension of Richard Pitino on August 14, 2015. The Board delegated authority to the President, who delegated to his Chief of Staff, Amy Phenix. Ms. Phenix signed under the big block letters, “REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA.”

The timing of certain members of the Board voicing their concern about Pitino’s contract and their claim of a lack of a role in approving it is a topic for another day, but one which certainly is deserving of further discussion.

Now, let us move on to the topic of this article: “They Said It: Amy Phenix”

In a Star Tribune article published on March 31, 2016, Chief of Staff Amy Phenix explained, “The reality is you’re very rarely going to fire someone not for cause in year one of a contract extension,” she said. “It’s just highly unusual.

Let’s quickly explore what “the reality is.”
Continue reading They Said It: Amy Phenix

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Ask LNH: How did you know Kill would be gone in 2015?

Ask LNH: How did you know Kill would be gone in 2015?

For years you have stated that Jerry Kill’s final year as head coach at Minnesota would be 2015. Even this season upon news of a finalized contract extension and hefty raise, you continued to state this was his last year. The news of his resignation this week shocked most people – how were you able to foresee this outcome? 

Jerry Kill and the University of Minnesota have continued to put his health and well-being in jeopardy. The truth behind his health history is not known by most of the public, but was fairly easy to understand for those who took emotion out of the equation and analyzed the facts rationally.

Stress is the major issue here. The stress in year five at Minnesota was always going to be too much for Jerry Kill.

Continue reading Ask LNH: How did you know Kill would be gone in 2015?

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Minnesota Athletics: A Leader in Debt

Minnesota Athletics: A Leader in Debt

The University of Minnesota has already scaled back its initial plans for new athletic facilities, but many are pushing for construction to begin within the next two months. The (current) initial phase is estimated to cost $150 million.

The U has reported private contributions of approximately $70 million, but much of that amount is only pledged, with agreed-upon cash payments to be made over the next decade.

It appears that the Athletic Department will need to take on more debt in order to move the project forward in the near future. So, what has the U’s debt load looked like as compared to its Big Ten peers in the past and how might things look in the future? Today, we look to answer those questions.

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Ask LNH: Can all Gopher Newcomers Play in Spain?

Ask LNH: Can all Gopher Newcomers Play in Spain?

The Minnesota Golden Gophers will travel to Spain in August for a foreign tour. Based on this year’s roster make-up, we believe this timing is optimal for the program.

Media reports and many fans say that all Gopher newcomers, including transfers who will sit out a year in residence in 2015-16, will be able to take part in practice prior to the trip and travel/play in Spain.

Thus, the question: Can all of the new Gophers really play in Spain?

The short answer is “no. ” Details can be found below…

Continue reading Ask LNH: Can all Gopher Newcomers Play in Spain?

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Hindsight review: 2014-15 Minnesota Predictions

Hindsight review: 2014-15 Minnesota  Predictions
We had nailed Minnesota’s Big Ten finish for the first few years we made predictions, but failed this past season. They underachieved. We’ll have more prior to the start of the 2015-16 season, but the reality is the defense failed. From a turnover and steal perspective, Minnesota was elite. However, we knew that wouldn’t be enough and it wasn’t even close. The opportunity for young kids to make their mark has never been greater for this program – and there are many new faces. 2015-16, if nothing else, will be entertaining.

Bold: Our preseason comments 


The Gophers have a veteran core. Their offensive efficiency can be similar to last year and their defense can improve substantially, but they’ve got a ways to go to compete for a Big Ten title.

Minnesota’s kenpom adjusted offensive efficiency was ranked #43 in 2014-15, which was similar to the previous year’s ranking of #40.

However, the Gophers saw their adjusted defensive efficiency ranking fall from 82 to 106. We talked about it before, during and after the season: Stealing was not the answer. Indeed, Minnesota’s steal rate of 13.6% and defensive turnover % of 24.7% were both elite and far above the previous year (11.5% and 18.7%, respectively), but their defense had bad issues that offset the good.

Continue reading Hindsight review: 2014-15 Minnesota Predictions

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