May 14, 2007

Gopher Basketball tidbits

Star Tribune with a nice article on Tubby enhancing the brand awareness of the University of Minnesota. Having Tubby Smith as your head coach makes kids listen to your pitch. It was kind of late in the game to really affect the 2007 recruiting class but I'm anxious to see what kind of talent Tubby can bring in starting in 2008. He has 2 difficult tasks, in my opinion.

    • Keep the best MN kids in MN. This one will get easier if he can show any kind of success on the court and reenergize The Barn. The results of this will have to wait as the best 2007 and 2008 kids have already committed. Getting White and Williams from the class of 2009 will be an interesting story to watch.
    • Get top notch players from outside the state! This was much tougher for previous coaching staffs, they had to get good players that they "hoped" would become great (see Rico Tucker). Tubby has the street cred that he can get kids to come up here.
    I think Tubby can do it, in Kentucky getting talent wasn't a problem it was living up to UK expectations. In Minnesota if he gets talented kids and makes this program competitive, people will be happy (for now).
    "The one thing Tubby did was get top-100 players, players who would fit into his system," Telep said. "What the rabid Kentucky fans wanted him to do was be in with every elite player. What was important to Tubby Smith and what was important to Joe Kentucky Fan didn't match."
Ast. Coach Saul Smith as interviewed by gophersports.com. I'm not completely sold on Saul, I'm afraid that he is going to be "groomed" as Tubby's replacement in the future when he is far too young to know if he can succeed at this level. But time will tell. If he gets his name attached to a big recruit coming in or if we see a noticable improvement in the guard play over the next year or 2 then I'll start giving him a bit more respect. Tubby has it, Saul has to earn it. He took a LOT of heat in Kentucky and seemed to handle that well so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now.

Recruiting News
    • Ralph Sampson III - 6'10" son of NBA great Ralph Sampson. RSIII was on campus this weekend for an unofficial visit. Currently #22 overall C on Scout.com's list. Other than local media talking about his visit I do not see much giving me a gauge on his interest, but we will need frontcourt help and RSIII is a big kid with a pedigree. Add him to the list!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Long time poster, first time reader...Go MN

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