It’s been talked about at nauseum, since he was hired to replace Richard Pitino. Ben Johnson was brought it to close the recruiting walls on the state of Minnesota. Those who know him believe in his coaching abilities and everything else he brings to the table but recruiting local kids to the University of Minnesota is his #1 job.
So, how is he going to do it? Our own Stephen Strom landed Ben Johnson for an interview on Wake Up Minnesota! earlier this week and Stephen asked Ben that exact question. Here was the pitch from the new Gophers head basketball coach:
New #Gophers MBB coach, Ben Johnson, sat down with @SStrom_ this week to talk about his new gig, including how he plans to keep MN kids in MN.— Minnesota Sports Fan (@realmnsportsfan) April 9, 2021
🎧: https://t.co/QPQX7hhqGm pic.twitter.com/0DhAp4Pc5I
Transcribed from video above:
Convincing them and showing them that they don’t have to leave to get everything they want. And that’s academically, socially and through basketball. That all their dreams and wishes can come true here in-state at the University of Minnesota. And I think that’s really important.
We have a lot to sell. Our facilities are just as good if not better than everybody’s across the country. We play in the best league, in my opinion, in the country. National exposure, obviously we’ve had a number of NBA players so we’ve developed that NBA talent. So now it’s just convincing them that, like I said, there’s nothing we can’t do here at Minnesota that you might be able to do somewhere else. We just need guys to believe in it, stay home, and do it.Ben Johnson – via Wake Up Minnesota! w/ Stephen Strom
I’d highly recommend the entire interview. Ben and Stephen also dove into Johnson’s offensive philosophy and whether fans can expect more of a Nate Oats analytical approach or something more conventional. That wasn’t it though. Do you have a good nickname for Coach Johnson? Strom thought of a couple that you’ll either like or laugh at…
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan