Thursday, March 22, 2007

Tubby Smith to Minnesota?

What? Minnesota? Christ, Smith was their 2nd choice after Flip flippin' Saunders! Talk about making a splash.

You have to give the Gophers a ton of credit. They saw that they would be swimming with Michigan in the same coaching pool, so they moved damn swiftly and got themselves a "Name" coach from right under the Wolverines' nose.

If this isn't a sign that the Michigan athletic department was asleep at the wheel, Minny pulling in such a big name to run their hoops program is sure as Hell a blinking neon billboard of one...

This hire puts Wolverine AD Bill Martin under the gun. Big time.

With Kentucky obviously now being the top job available, Michigan may be picking through Wildcats leftovers. Considering Steve Alford took a step down by leaving Iowa for New Mexico, who's to say that the Hawkeyes won't quickly hire someone that Michigan has their eyes upon? It's not as if Iowa is a piss ant job, it's a damn good one with considerable history.

I said earlier that Michigan would probably go the mid-major route, and hope to hire the next up and coming coach. But the boldness of the Minnesota move, in my mind, changes things.

Look at the quality of coaches in the Big 10. Izzo, Smith, Ryan, Matta, Weber. That's some big time firepower to compete with on the recruiting trail. I'm not sure hiring this weeks mid major flavor of the NCAA tournament is a risk that Michigan should take.

If Martin can't come up with, at the very least, a Lon Kruger or someone of his caliber, there may be Hell to pay from the Michigan fanbase. Honestly, there should be.

Minnesota can introduce Tubby Smith, making them a player again, how is Michigan going to counter? What if Michigan holds a press conference introducing, lets say, the head coach of Winthrop as the new face of Wolverines program?

It'll show that Michigan basketball is being run on the cheap, implicitly saying that basketball is a 2nd class citizen in Ann Arbor, and 2nd division in the Big 10

1 comment:

  1. After wasting a decade on two "up-and-coming" coaches who turned out to be "down-and-outing," you'd think the Michigan Athletic Department might want an experienced coach with a track record at the mid-major level at least. And they may still be thinking that way; Tubby's not the last apple in the basket. (Lon Kruger?)

    But it probably means that Michigan is shooting for another "rising star," somebody who won't demand a big-dollar contract or facilities improvements. Especially in light of Bill Martin's recent comments about improving Crisler at some point in the future but offering no specifics at all. How often have they renovated/expanded the Big House since the last time they patched the plaster on Crisler Arena? Fritz' ancestors might want to consider petitioning to have his name removed from that black hole.