May 16, 2007

Gopher Basketball Recruiting

Tubby has a verbal from his first gopher recruit!

Nathen Garth - PG (6'3") from Dallas - Garth has never visit Minnesota (with a 10 hour airport layover being the exception), but says he is coming here because of Tubby Smith. Garth averaged 18 points, 8 assists and 3 steals per game as a Jr. for Woodrow Wilson HS in Dallas, TX. He had offers from Cal, Miss, UTEP and Santa Clara. Word has it that he is adept at getting by defenders with both hands and is a smart, hard working PG.

Quotes from Garth...

"His (Tubby) résumé is incredible. He wins." - Star Tribune

"I know what Tubby is capable of and what he can do for a program. No knock on Dan Monson, but Tubby's going to get high major players. With the work ethic he has, he's going to turn things around quickly." - Pioneer Press

"I plan to bring a winning attitude and I'm going to be a leader," Garth said. "I want to be that point guard you can count on in the crunch time and I want to bring NCAA Tournaments and a National title." - (requires membership)

We'll just have to wait and see how many banners Garth brings us. This appears to be a good recruit, but not exactly someone to turn and then build your program around. I think that in Tubby's system you need a solid PG in the classic sense of a PG (think Stockton not Marbury), Garth may be that guy. Not much is known about him but he appears to be a hard working kid who can provide some on court leadership.

The guys with the potential to bring banners to the Barn are Royce White and Rodney Williams! These guys seem to be moving up everyone's list at light speed. Both are sophs (going to be jrs within days) and are turning into MUST HAVES for Tubby and his staff. recently updated their top 40 for 2009 and both players are up there. Let's stop for a min here, can you imagine a gopher recruiting class with 2 top 40 players!! Anyway here is some info on the MN kids of 2009 and their overall rank within their class...

#17 Royce White, 6'7" DeLeSalle - making national news with his play in recent AAU tournaments including an MVP award at the recent Sabes Invitational Tournament where he averaged 16.2 ppg and 6.6 rpg. He has been getting more offers in the last few days including Michigan State and Illinois (to along with Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa State). It's way too early to say who has the advantage, but Minnesota obviously holds the home-team advantage," White told Marcus Fuller of the Pioneer Press

#37 Rodney Williams, 6'5" Robbinsdale Cooper - Williams is also moving up lists faster than expected and has become a 4-star recruit. Athletic wing player who appears to be interested in attending the same school as White, getting both as a package would be a great start to this recruiting class. Currently has offers from Minnesota and Iowa State with interest from Kansas and Wisconsin.

FINALLY, Tubby is one step closer to completing his coaching staff and it seems like a very good hire. In fact I'm more excited by this hire than by Jirsa or Saul. Anyway, Tubby has lured Vince Taylor away the Timberwolves staff. Taylor has a lot of experience at the college level and is known as a good recruiter with stops at Wyoming, Pitt and 4 years under Pitino at Louisville. Taylor has experience recruiting, player development and has the NBA on his resume. All of that will be attractive to recruits and I think this will be a productive hire for Tubby.


Paging Jim Shikenjanski said...

Agree with you on Taylor. I also cringe a little at the Saul Smith hire, and agree with your earlier post that it would make sense for Tubby to groom Saul to take over. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Garth is a three star point guard. I'll be impressed when Tubby lands the two aforementioned Minnesota players or Draymond Green.

What Tubby needs is a Minnesota Fab Five.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the write-up Tom. It does seem things are looking up for the Basketball program. Garth could be that type of point guard perfect for this system. Not a top recruit, but a good skills guy that can control the tempo of a game. Add in the two guys from MN, and thats not a bad start.

When will we see some coverage of the women's basketball scene?

Tom said...

Paging Jim Shikenjanski is the best blog name ever, I love it. That guy was sweet!

Paging Jim Shikenjanski said...

Thanks, Tom. Hopefully Tubby will channel his sweetness and bring him in to talk to the troops.

Anonymous said...

Good Luck on the recruiting trail Gophers. With Tubby at the helm don't expect too much. The guy is a fine man but if you can't recruit for Kentucky, not sure he will be successful at Minnesota. Go Cats!