Tag:Tubby Smith
Posted on: March 15, 2011 10:37 am

Coach Speak: targets for Oklahoma and NC State

Will Doc Sadler stay in the Big 12?

Posted by Eric Angevine

Two more expected firings have come down the pipe as we prepare for tournament coverage. Oklahoma let Jeff Capel go, and N.C. State finally ended the Sidney Lowe era.

One of the first things we like to do in these situations is look to see which coaches are on fan wish lists and try to sort out which are fantasies and which might actually happen.

Oklahoma: It's hard to believe that the man who brought us Blake Griffin is gone, but everything for Jeff Capel went downhill when the electrifying dunker left school early to go to the NBA. Strange names come up in the local newspapers for this one. Doc Sadler is mentioned, which isn't all that odd except that he's already struggled mightily to build a winning program at a football-oriented Big 12 school. It speaks well to the respect he has in the coaching community that both Texas Tech and Oklahoma have kept an eye on him. Right up there with Sadler is Marquette's Buzz Williams, who has also been mentioned for the Tech job. Billy Gillispie is on everyone's radar, so throw him in there, too.

The strange names are these: the Norman Transcript tosses out Miami's Frank Haith and UConn women's coach Geno Auriemma. Haith seems to be on the hot seat in Miami, but his history as an assistant at Texas (from whence he got the Miami job) may make him a popular choice. Auriemma is at the pinnacle of his sport, and has shown no willingness to toss that away in favor of the challenge of rebuilding a men's program just to show he can do it. Until Jim Calhoun retires, I wouldn't expect Auriemma to ever look at making that move.

N.C. State: Sidney Lowe's firing is so fresh that the local columnists haven't really weighed in with their wish lists yet. The website Sports by Brooks has a fanciful list (which they shoot down as well) of Rick Barnes, Tubby Smith, Sean Miller and Mark Fox. Three of those coaches are in the NCAA tournament. Barnes is slotted in at the school that figures to own and operate the Big 12 from here on out. Miller and Fox are seeing their rebuilding efforts start to pay off at Arizona and Georgia, respectively, so why start over after just two years? Tubby Smith doesn't really seem like he wants to leave Minnesota.

The guys at Backing the Pack have some candidates on their list that seems sensible. Xavier coach Chris Mack would be a great get. Some other mid-major geniuses on the list are Cuonzo Martin (Missouri State), Chris Mooney (Richmond) and Blaine Taylor (ODU). Any of those gentlemen would be a fine choice as well.

State allegedly has $3 million a year set aside to lure a top coach, so it'll be interesting to see who jumps at the bait of repairing this once-proud program.

We'll do this again when the next round of coaches gets the axe, and we will, of course, keep you apprised when hirings happen. They're so much nicer than firings.

Photo: US Presswire

More NCAA tournament coverage
Posted on: January 24, 2011 6:45 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2011 6:51 pm

Minnesota can't live long without Nolen

Posted by Matt Norlander

Minnesota probably won't be playing without its starting point guard for the rest of this season.

Head coach Tubby Smith said today that Al Nolen will require surgery on his injured right foot, leaving an undetermined amount of time he'll be on the shelf. Many believe he's done for the year, a big-time blow to the Golden Gophers. Nolen cracked his foot Saturday in Minnesota's 69-64 with at Michigan.

The only other top-25 team we've seen undergo such a situation at the 1 this season: Duke. Minnesota isn't quite as loaded as the Blue Devils, of course, so this news could be detrimental to March hopes and dreams for Tubby Smith's team. The 15-4 Gophers were at their best when Nolen was playing, unsurprisingly. Outstanding point guards tend to elevate college basketball teams from one tier to another.

Now, where does Minnesota go from here? Nolen will be replaced by Blake Hoffarber. Hoffarber actually leads the team in assists per game, but like Nolan Smith at Duke, who's currently filling in for phenom frosh Kyrie Irving, Hoffarber's primary position is shooting guard. Chip Armelin and Maverick Ahanmisi, both freshmen in the backcourt, will see increased playing time, according to Smith.

The Big ten is so tough at the top, and Minnesota no longer has one of the country's premier swipers and distributors; despite playing in limited games this season due to, Nolen was among the best in steal rate and assisted on 22.4 percent of Minnesota's possessions. There are only so many obstacles teams can overcome before succumbing. Devoe Joseph transferred, Mo Walker went out for the season with a knee injury a few weeks ago.

I can't see how the Gophers take charge in the Big Ten or live to see the second weekend of The Tournament without Nolen, who, in my opinion, is their most valuable player.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 4, 2011 11:34 am

Minnesota's Devoe Joseph likely transferring

Posted by Matt Norlander

Devoe a Go' no mo'.

It's not yet official, but if you're to believe mom's word, then there's no going back.

Myron P. Medcalf, the Star Tribune go-to guy for all things Gophers hoops, has the scoop this morning. He received an e-mail from Joseph's mother, Connie, in the early hours Tuesday (like, almost-at-4-a.m. early hours), wherein she confirmed her son's departure from Tubby Smith's program.
"The decision to transfer, it’s a difficult decision," she said. "It’s not a good situation. … It’s not something that’s taken lightly and it’s a difficult thing to do. Having said that, it’s something that Devoe has [decided to do]."
Joseph has been mulling this decision for some time. The 71-62 loss at Michigan State on New Year's Eve is apparently what sealed the deal.
She said Devoe Joseph called Tubby Smith before the team's next practice and informed him of his decision to leave the program. Connie Joseph said her son skipped practice over the weekend because "once you've made this difficult decision, the best thing is just to move forward."   She said her son isn't suspended, as some outlets reported, but has decided to leave the team.   "No there’s [no turning back]," she said Tuesday. "I'm going with him [Tuesday] morning to pick up his release papers. He wishes the team well. It’s a tough thing."
Where Joseph goes, nobody knows, but the junior will have plenty of suitors. He averaged 11.3 points, 3.5 assists and 2.3 rebounds. Not bad for an undersized shooting guard. Joseph also shot nearly 40 percent from 3-point range this season.

Minnesota's now reeling a bit. This is the second straight year Tubby Smith has had a player transfer; the troubled Royce White played a game of tug-of-war with Minny last season. Plus, freshman big man Mo Walker, who was injured Dec. 23 against South Dakota State, is out for the year with a torn-apart knee. Must-have point guard Al Nolen is back from injury now, thankfully, but a promising season has started to twist in the wind here.

The Gophers (11-3) started 11-1 before dropping their first two in conference play, and by the way, this news is breaking while the team is mentally prepping for its home game against Indiana in seven hours.

Photo: Getty Images
Category: NCAAB
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