January 09, 2008

The Meat In An Ineptitude Sandwich: Tubby Smith's predecessor and successor are both making him look good.

posted by TheQatarian to basketball at 10:53 PM - 6 comments

After watching the Gophers tonight, it's hard to believe these were the same players that were on the floor last year. Granted, it was Northwestern, but Monson could never figure out how to beat them. Smith's Gophers beat them quite soundly. There is definitely a lot of enthusiasm around the Gophers this year that has been lacking ever since the academic scandal. Meanwhile, I think "Ten-Loss Tubby" is starting to look a bit better in Lexington than he did nine months ago. Is reality starting to set in for Kentucky basketball fans?

posted by TheQatarian at 10:58 PM on January 09, 2008

"Granted, it was Northwestern" Ahhh, times never change!

posted by ajaffe at 11:47 PM on January 09, 2008

Everybody knows Gillespie is a good coach. His teams at A&M played good basketball. He's a GREAT recruiter. That's the big concern with Tubby Smith. He is a great game coach, a guy who is great at getting the best out of his players, but he's not much of a recruiter. He had fallen into a routine of getting decent players, having them play good basketball, and losing in or before the Sweet Sixteen to teams that were just far more talented than they were. That may not be grounds for feeling heat at most places, but Kentucky is one of those places where it IS. Tubby's teams just never had a high ceiling. They usually reached their potential, but that just wasn't enough for a program with Kentucky's history and with the expectations of their fans. Billy Gillespie, if nothing else, will raise that ceiling with the talent level he can bring in (for instance, Patrick Patterson). That's the Kentucky Athletic Department logic, at least, and I think its pretty defensible, in theory. Gillespie's clear disconnect with his team, though, has to be worrying for everyone in the bluegrass state (except Rick Pitino).

posted by fatfryar at 10:25 AM on January 10, 2008

ok maybe gillespie is a great recruiter, but the game isnt played in mom and dads living room. thats why coaches hire people to do recruiting for them. you can recruit an entire team of mr. basketballs, but if you cant get the best out of them, you're gonna have marginal success at best. tubby has an ncaa title, five conference titles, and nine appearences in at least the sweet 16. and he's done some of that with mediocre tallent at georgia and tulsa. kentucky doesnt like tubby smith for two reasons neither of which has anything to do with basketball. one is that his name is not rick pitino, the other is that he is not white. i know, i know, the whole state of kentucky is not racist. of course it isnt. and neither is the university of kentucky. of course that is all true...kinda. we all remember the patriarch of kentucky basketball, adolf hitl- excuse me rupp. UK has a history of bigotry. tubby smith was disrespected from the moment he walked into rupp arena. im not saying racism is the only reason for it, but i do believe that it does, in collaboration with the pitino factor add up to a great coach who was never appreciated. their loss.

posted by elijahin at 06:17 PM on January 10, 2008

Don't forget the team playing in the bluegrass was recruited by Tubby. Don't knock the present coach until he has a team recruited by him. Something tells me Tubby saw this team coming and knew when to bail out.

posted by Ironhead at 06:52 PM on January 10, 2008

There could be some truth to what you say, Ironhead (though I think he was more worried about being driven out of town by a fanbase with surrealistic expectations), but the team he took over has far less talent right now and he has them playing better than Kentucky is currently playing. Who knows? Maybe it's just because his stress level is a lot lower here in the State of Hockey.

posted by TheQatarian at 08:00 PM on January 10, 2008

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