Marcus Fuller and Chip Scoggins join Michael Rand for separate segments discussing the hire of Ben Johnson as Gophers men's basketball coach on Monday. Johnson, 40, is a former Gophers player and assistant coach known as a strong recruiter. But he has never been a head coach at any level of basketball.
Can he succeed in leading his own program — particularly one as large as Minnesota's, in a Power Five conference like the Big Ten? A lot of that will probably come down to both is ability to recruit and carve out an in-game identity. Neither of those are sure things, making this a risk-reward gamble of a hire by athletic director Mark Coyle, Scoggins said.
Johnson has the traits to succeed and was responsible for bringing in several of the best players during the Richard Pitino era. And by hiring a Black head coach, the Gophers at least took a step forward in addressing a negative record of diversity within their department, Fuller said.
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