Tubby has done it again. He’s 5-6 in Conference a year after negotiating a 2.5 million dollar buy out clause in his contract with Minnesota. It seems that this is Tubby’s MO. Negotiate a buy out. Reach the magic moment of “loyalty.” Get that huge pay day which amounts to highway robbery and roll on down the road to sucker some other program which thinks that they are luring a BIG TIME hire to coach their team.
Tubby Smith has never taken a team that he has recruited to a Final Four. He’s never been able to manage talent.
He’s proved his inability to manage a team full of talent with his stint at Kentucky and now with Minnesota, he’s proven that he can’t get elite talent to even look his way.
At Kentucky, he had brand name visibility with one of the elite programs in College Basketball. Still, he rarely recruited to the level that a program like Kentucky demands. When he could get talent to come to UK, he couldn’t manage that talent. Rondo railed against him. Crawford and Morris flopped. Prince was under utilized as was proven by his play on the next level (NBA). More talent flopped under Tubby at Kentucky than at any other time in program history. Worse yet, Tubby’s teams were always a DUI away from becoming embroiled in turmoil.
It seems that each and every year, talented players couldn’t wait to get away from Tubby. The guys that did stay underwhelmed NBA scouts so much so that they were always drafted low. Tubby had no Lottery Picks in the Draft even though he had guys like Rondo and Prince play for him. Guys who have turned out to be journeymen at the NBA level wound up being drafted in the second round. The truth is that if you play for Tubby, his system guarantees that you will be drafted based on that system’s sure fire ability to lower your draftability.
Tubby is the only coach in America that could have turned Rondo into a late First Round pick. Had Rondo played for anyone else, say a guy like Calipari, Pitino, Williams or Izzo, he’d have been a Top 5 draft selection.
Now, the Tubster has his most talented team at Minnesota. Of course, it’s the end of the year. A year that started out promising has fallen off the rails. That’s how Smith does it. He takes a good team and good talent and coaches them down into a bubble team.
That’s why the talent always transfers out.
Minnesota is learning this the hard way. Tubby got what he wanted. He negotiated his 2.5 million dollar buy out. He knew that he was losing interest in coaching this team. He saw it coming. The collapse. Ten Loss Tubby has done it again.
He’ll be a couple of million dollars richer. Minnesota will get a new coach. Shaka Smart?
The fans at Golden Gopher central will hash out the Tubby debate. One side will talk about how classy the Tubster is and they’ll, of course, call anyone who is critical of Tubby a racist. The other side will argue that, sure, the Tubster was a great guy. Class A. Class all the way. But he was a program killer.
And that’s what he is. He takes a program. Gives it hope in the first couple of years. Gives you just enough to make you think that he’s a great one. Then he has to recruit. That’s where he fails. If he does manage to haul in some talent, inevitably, he forces that talent to play in a manner that shunts aside the skills and talents that they bring to the table in favor of his slow, plodding Ball Line D. Then the program goes on a steady decline. As soon as Smith knows for certain that he’s about to get the axe, he puts forth a year or two of effort. Dazzles and baffles AND negotiates a sweet deal for himself. Then he skulks out of town…with the money.
I’d love to have that much class. A cool 2.5 million dollars worth of class.
That’s Ten Loss Tubby in a nutshell.
Personally, I expected the Minnesota AA to be a little smarter than that. Alas, Tubby pulled the wool over the Athletic Department in Minnesota’s eyes as well. What a guy!
Tubby will probably get the axe this year. Minnesota will buy him out per contract. They’ll hire a new coach who will clean up the mess that Tubby left. There’ll be no academic scandal or NCAA investigation but the result will be the same. A program on the outs and a few years away from any real competitiveness.
That’s Tubby Smith. Class A guy. Class D coach.