Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tubby Smith is a good coach

I was stunned.... STUNNED to see the reaction on Twitter the other day after the Gophers had the audacity to ONLY defeat South Dakota State by 16. People calling for Tubby Smith's head, like he is some sort of failure. Seriously?
All right, let me spell something out. As a native Minnesotan, and a Gophers fan from my youth, I have to say that Minnesota is not an elite program. It is not the type of place that will attract talent because of it's history. The Twin Cities are not the type of place young people with a choice will ever voluntarily choose to live, unless they are from here originally. This is the type of team that needs a big name coach, and Tubby Smith has been that coach.
Oh, you disagree? Never minding his reputation from Kentucky, where after winning a title, the team went kaput, look at what happened when Smith took over for Dan Monson. In 7 years as the Gophers coach, Monson took the team to 1 NCAA tournament, which occurred in the same year that they won over 20 games... the only year they won that many. Almost immediately, Smith turned the Gophers around. Last year was the first under his purview that the team DIDN'T finish with 20+ wins, and was only the 2nd time he didn't reach the NCAA Tournament,. Most of this was due to some devastating injuries, particularly to point guard Al Nolen.
And don't say the improvement is because anyone is better than Monson, or something like that. Monson turned Gonzaga into a household name, taking them to the Elite 8 in 1999, and since he left the Gophers, he has turned Long Beach State around in 4 years. The Gopher program needs Tubby Smith, and you are mistaken if you feel otherwise.

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