Let me start off by saying, Jeffrick might have me on this one. He's got stats and knowledge about Tubby Smith that I just don't have. And one thing that he definitely does have, that I definitely do not have, is perspective.
Look, let's be honest here: I'm a Minnesota guy. Go down the list of any sport and I will tell you that my favorite team is the one representing 'Sota and I'll follow that up by telling you that none of the other teams matter. When it comes to sports I might have strong opinions, but my loyalty to the hometown team is probably even stronger.
Having said that, keep in mind that I was the person who broke the Tubby Smith news to Jeffrick, which I had heard from a co-worker who is a huge Iowa fan, just two minutes after I had heard it. The Iowa fan was absolutely beside himself, knowing that his Hawkeyes were looking for a new basketball coach too.
As a Gopher fan sometimes you expect to hear the worst (I do). You probably never expected that the Flip Saunders thing was going to happen (I didn't), and you assume that Joel Maturi is going to make a mistake (I still did). So when the name Tubby Smith comes up, it really knocks you off your chair.
After some thought and perspective about the hiring, I do have a couple of reservations, but not nearly as many as Jeff.
I see all of his arguments and I understand each and every one of them. But is one thing that Tubby Smith brings, that none of the up and coming young coaches can bring to a program like Minnesota.
Tubby Smith brings credibility to a program that had lost all credibility and desperately needed it back. Ten years ago the Gophers were the cream of the crop in the Big 10, and since then absolutely nothing good has happened to this program. There was one, and only one, single move that could erase a decade of free-falling and that was hiring a coach who has a credible track record with a big name. Rick Majerus and Bobby Knight were the only other possibilities that could have brought instant credibility to this program. Majerus has probably been out of the game for too long to do it (not to mention his health concerns) and Bobby Knight was never a viable option.
Credibility breeds excitement, excitement breeds ticket sales, ticket sales breed atmosphere, and atmosphere might win some recruits. How many recruits would be excited about Rick Majerus? Would any of them even remember when he was coaching?
Joel Maturi had the opportunity to right the ship, and the opportunity to do it in one fell swoop. There's a lot that goes into building a quality program. Based on what was available, I think he made the best possible choice.
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