Skip to content

Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Fine, I’ll Bite. Tubby Smith SHOULD BE HONORED at Rupp

I had no plans to write this post today.  I had plans to rip on Charlie Strong.  And I’ll probably still do that tomorrow, but when you get the itch to want to rant about something, you have to take it.  Yesterday, I put up a post about the 36 retired jerseys of players at Rupp Arena.  Frankly, one of the more uncontroversial posts I could ever write.  What possibly could get the comments section rilled up about that?  But of course, our old friend Tubby Smith.  I should have seen it coming.

So, I may as well throw my opinion out there.  And my opinion will never change on this topic.  TUBBY SMITH SHOULD HAVE HIS NAME IN THE RAFTERS AT RUPP ARNEA.  Period.  But I am going to take a different angle than many do.  Instead of pitching Tubby’s positives, I am instead going to take the negatives that people always say about Tubby and debunk them.  And I am going to use yesterday’s comments section to do it.

1. Smith probably would be in rafters if he didn’t have half of the ten loss seasons in school history. The man of so called class never even told the school or the players of his departure before hand. Looks like you have forgot the mess he left for BCG.  BCG might have screwed up but he inherited a no win situation.   -written by commenter “Tubby who”

First things first.  Tubby Smith had FIVE 10-loss or more seasons.  There have been 18 10-loss seasons in UK history.  I know the education system is broken in the state, but most of us can understand that 5 is not half of 18.  In fact, do you all remember when Joe B. Hall coached the team?  I think he’s in the rafters.  Hey, did you know he had FOUR 10-loss seasons in his time at UK?  And during his time, they didn’t play as many games.  Eddie Sutton lost 10 or more games in 2 of his 4 seasons.  Adolph Rupp also lost 10 games twice in his career.  If 10 losses is your barometer for horrible coaching, then John Calipari is on the hot seat right now because he lost TWELVE games last season!

Okay, how about we address what Tubby Smith left Billy Gillispie?  He just left him garbage, right?  W-R-O-N-G.  What kind of roster did Tubby Smith leave him?  He only left him a roster with a 5-star Joe Crawford and 4-stars Ramel Bradley, Jodie Meeks, and Derrick Jasper.  Oh, and remember Patrick Patterson?  He turned out to be pretty good.  Well, Tubby did nearly all the work for that kid.  Tubby left a thin bench, yes.  But is it expected when a coach leaves he is going to leave a roster of 10 AMAZING players?  Hell no.  Tubby left Gillispie 5 high-level players.  And BCG turned that into 13 losses.

2. Pitino and Tubby are not even compairable. Tubby inherited Camelot and left a slum. Pitino inherited a slum and left Camalot!  -written by commenter “Tubby who” 

Rick Pitino.  To me, the thorn in Tubby’s side forever.  Without Rick Pitino, Tubby Smith would have already been in the rafters.  Tubby won a national title, won 7 SEC titles, 5 SEC Tournament Titles, and won 76% of his games.  But Pitino did it better.  He just did.  People who hate Tubby can’t just pick somebody who did it better and then say that’s proof Tubby did it terribly.  What if I compared Rick Pitino to Adolph Rupp?  Rupp won 4 titles, Pitino won just 1.  What a joke that Pitino was.  Adolph Rupp won 82% of his games.  Rick Pitino only won 81%.  Pitino was garbage.

3. I don’t care what anybody says TUBBY DID NOT WIN A TITLE.The dumbest person on this blog could have coached PITINOS team to a championship. Hate pitino now but he deserves that more than Tubby. That team did nothing but go downhill fast after Tubby took the lead.   -writter by commenter “BBN”

And the argument that bugs me the most: Tubby shouldn’t get credit for the 1998 title.  It is true that Pitino left the talent that won that title.  But let’s consider what Tubby did in that NCAA Tournament.  He made key coaching changes in EACH of the last 3 games to win that title.  Comebacks in all 3 games, including the comeback against Duke that saw Tubby allowing Wayne Turner to take that game over.  PLUS, Tubby wouldn’t take a timeout in that game because Duke had none left.  Multiple players from that team talk about what an influence he was.  Should we give Billy Gillispie partial credit for the 2012 title because he put Darius Miller on the roster?  I don’t think so.  That 1998 title is Tubby’s and Tubby’s alone.

And the program went downhill?  6 years after Tubby took over his team went UNDEFEATED in SEC play.  The next year they were the #1 overall seed in the tournament.  The next year, in Tubby’s EIGTH year, they were a double overtime period away from the Final Four.  That is quite the successful downhill slide.  His last 2 years were down for Kentucky standards, but in those 2 years Tubby still made the 2nd round of both tournaments.

Look, it was probably time for Tubby to go when he did.  It seemed the job has worn him down and the momentum he had gained in 2003-2005 had left the program.  But, when looking at Tubby’s 10 years as a whole, there is no argument that he should not be in the rafters at Rupp Arena.  I close with this.  I mentioned Joe B. Hall earlier in the post.  Just compare those 2 men’s careers:

Joe B. Hall (13 seasons): 1 Title, 74.8% win percentage, 8 SEC Championships, 4 10-loss seasons
Tubby Smith (10 seasons): 1 Title, 76.0% win percentage, 7 SEC Championships, 5 10-loss seasons

If you think Hall should be there, and I think we all do, then Tubby should be there too.  Rant over.

Follow me on twitter at @BryantheIntern or @mysports790.  And if you would like a non-UK sports blog to mess around with each day, I would highly recommend The Sports Pit.   

Article written by Bryan the Intern

146 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Fine, I’ll Bite. Tubby Smith SHOULD BE HONORED at Rupp

  1. Tubby Fan
    9:09 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    They will once he retires. Would love to see him bring his team to Rupp though.

  2. Thank you
    9:10 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    BTI is back at 9 am and its great. Very excellent points and definitely puts perspective on Tubbys career at UK. Cant wait to see how angry the Tubby haters get. Good work BTI

  3. tubbster4eva
    9:11 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    they should be casting a 15 foot statue of Tubby made out of gold to place outside Rupp …

  4. I Tweet Bombs
    9:11 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Nice post. I like the idea of keeping commenters honest by putting them on the site and de-bunking their arguments.

  5. Will
    9:11 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    On behalf of the rational UK fans that are Tubby lovers, thank you.

  6. Coach Durbin
    9:18 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Love the post and completely agree. Tubby brought us #7 and should be in the rafters. However, to compare Joe B and Tubby is a little ridiculous. Joe B was in charge of recruiting Dan Issel and Mike Pratt plus the Super Kittens prior to even becoming the head coach at Kentucky. His 2 final fours put his resume over the top when comparing to Tubby.

  7. Ukfan_86
    9:18 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    GREAT post man!!! Couldn’t agree more!

  8. some guy
    9:21 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    I so rarely say this…but that was a great post from BTI and I absolutely agree. I’m going to go scrub my hands for a few hours to get rid of the gross i feel from typing that.

  9. cdc_uky
    9:23 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    I like Tubby. My 2 complaints about him are style of play and the way he wasted Rondo.

    His style of play is boring. It does not mean he is a bad coach but KY basketball was less fun to watch while he was here (minus the national championship season…which he should get credit for).

    Rondo’s talent was not utilized while he was here. We ran the dribble around/pass around the permiter offense and did not utilize a NBA MVP caliber player. Rondo had a bad attitude (and still does from what teammates say) but I am sure he was frustrated none-the-less.

    Other than those 2 things…I have no complaints about Tubby and wish he had stayed until Calipari came along. We could could have done with BCG.

  10. cdc_uky
    9:25 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    *could have done without BCG

  11. iheartlorlandosmith
    9:25 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    The best post by BTI since his return – maybe ever! Great job articulating why Tubby was great and deserves BBN’s respect. Tubby haters are a ridiculous breed, and of course will not agree even when the proof is spelled out clearly for them. Good work BTI

  12. asdf
    9:27 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    That career comparison between Tubby and Joe B. ought to end any debate. Tubby deserves to be in the rafters, just like Joe B. A national championship. 7 SEC titles. No years of missing the NCAA’s (even Cal can’t say that one).

  13. It's the Truth
    9:27 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Your appeal to rationality sadly won’t work on those that actually need to hear it. The basis for their hatred of Tubby has nothing to do with his coaching or record. It’s a nice shield for those cowards though. Much more socially acceptable than just admitting they are bigoted pieces of shit.

  14. Ten Loss Tubby
    9:28 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Is that you Saul?

    Yes, Tubby did a good coaching job in 1998, would anyone have one with that roster, probably not, but the fact remains that Tubby could not win without someone to recruit for him. I don’t know how you can say that Pitino was thorn in Tubby’s side. Pitino’s run was the only reason Tubby had the success he did. As bad as Tubby’s recruiting was, it would have even been worse if he didn’t inherit a program that went to 6 elite 8’s in 7 years. The longer the UK program got away from the Pitino years, the harder it got for Tubby to recruit. I dare say that players like Bogans and Prince wold not have come to play for him had it not been for reputation the program had from the Pitino years. In case you don’t believe me ask any alumni of Minnesota. Let’s not even talk about Tubby’s entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for his record amount of players that transferred out of the program. Come on Saul quit hacking BTI’s account.

  15. Captain Hook
    9:28 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Congrats, you just exposed Joe B. as not being that great of a coach!

    As far as the points made, at least the first one is logical. Way back in 1998, the word was that the players simply stopped listening to Tubby during the tournament. That is secondhand information, but as believable as public statements about a coach they probably just like as a person.

    That said, I say hang the banner. He won the championship and that’s all that really matters.

  16. TUBBY!
    9:28 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby is the only coach in UK history where everyone of his teams made the NCAA tournament.

  17. BBN fan
    9:29 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    I will always be a fan of tubby. Being only 20 years old, the 10 years tubby was in Lexington was when I first became a big UK fan. the game against Michigan state and the 3 pointer as time expired to send the game to overtime is one of my favorite child hood memories and probably only 2nd to to the final buzzer of the 2012 championship game. tubby smith’s name needs to hang above the court in RUPP!

  18. Mark
    9:31 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    BTI…Excellent comparative analysis of UK coaches. Facts always trump emotions in these matters. Tubby’s in-game adjustments, when UK was down 10+ points in each of the 3 games (Duke, Stanford, Utah) in route to the 98 Championship was brilliant and remains unequaled. Friends of mine say Pitino would never have been down by double digits…the point is that Tubby assessed the situation and took the proper corrective action that triumphed and brought us our 7th Banner!!! Forever grateful to Tubby and all UK coaches who have won it all! You have earned the right to evolve from Intern to Full Time status. Well done! Mark’s Maker

  19. theWilkman
    9:32 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Spot on, BTI. Tubby haters are the same people who bash kids on twitter. The guy coached for a decade and won us a championship, plain and simple. He deserves to be in the rafters.

  20. Boysen
    9:34 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Don’t hurt ’em BTI!

  21. Rick
    9:35 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Nice post. I think you made your point but some cat fans are always right.

  22. here ya go
    9:35 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    no denying Coach smith’s accomplishments. but i would not put him in the rafters for one simple fact. The way he left. I compare it to lebron james leaving cleveland. except james was upfront and out in the open about his dealings. I notice you said nothing about the fact that he left in the middle of the night,leaving his players and the athletic department hanging. that’s not someone you put up in the rafters. no matter how great lebron may be, cleveland won’t have him in the rafters anytime soon. Kentucky shouldn’t have smith up there either. If you are going to compare tubby to Joe B hall then you ahould also use how long Joe b Hall was a member of the kentucky family as a player, assistant, and head coach. comparing a man who has spent most of his life on kentucky’s campus and rewarded for that with a retired jersey to a man who left in the middle of the night because he was tired of being a wildcat.

  23. DC Cat
    9:36 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Of course Tubby should be in the rafters. To argue otherwise is a bit ridiculous. The Tubby Who? Commenters argument about what BCG was left with is not relavent (especially given that the cubbard was far from bare).

    UK, put him in the rafters!

  24. dustblues77
    9:37 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Thank you BTI. Thank you for appreciating Tubby’s time in the Bluegrass. I hope Tubby knows there are a lot of people that are glad he was our coach or ten years.

    My question why is it taking UK so long to put some guys in the rafters like Delk, Prince, and Bogans. I am sure I am forgetting a few.

  25. Chaz
    9:37 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    With you BTI. Coaches in the rafters or not:

    1) Rupp – if he’s not there, let’s just dissolve the program

    2) Hall – if anyone in college basketball following an iconic coach performed better, I want to see the list of candidates and let’s debate them. Hall earned it.

    3) Sutton – not rafter material, but I have no problem welcoming him back while he’s still with us. No rafter spot, though.

    4) Pitino – rescued the program, gave us the unforgetables, won a title. Hurt the program when he left, lost my respect when he took the UL job.

    5) Smith – was also my choice to replace Pitino. Did a great job till he started failing at recruiting. He won the tile with the Comeback Cats in a heart stopping tourney, that included a humiliation of Coach K. Should be in the rafters, would like to see that in his lifetime, but I do wish he had made a more respectful exit.

    6) BCG – he had his chance, and blew it in epic fashion.

    7) Coach Cal – the jury’s still out, but I have a feeling he may make it. Just kidding, Cal rescued the program as surely as Pitino did. Gotta put my shades on, the future’s getting too bright.

    Go Cats!

  26. BlueDeuce
    9:38 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    The hit against Tubby is the fact that he came in and won the whole thing and never returned to the Final Four again. Add in there his style of play was not what UK fans wanted. He did have a successful run the first 6 years or so and most will remember his last two years more than anything. He was an ankle away from a Final Four and had UAB not come along, maybe another. Had he made those Final Fours, he may very well be coaching here still. Had he won it all one of those years I have no doubt he’d be here still!

    Do I think he belongs in the rafters? He should be there but never before he steps out of the coaching ranks.

    Rick was a hard act to follow and it’ll be the same for whoever follows Cal. Joe B. had to do the same with Rupp and at the time, really wasn’t who the fan base thought should be the head guy (at least from my view and those I knew) but look at him now, beloved and adored by most if not all UK fans.

  27. Hafez
    9:45 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby never dreamed of a 40-0 season like Cal is about to have
    Of course Tubby never dreamed of a first round NIT loss to Robert Morris season like Cal just had

  28. Erasmus Magillicutty
    9:49 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Rick inherited a mess and gave us Camelot. Tubby Smith inherited Camelot and turned it into the longest stretch UK has ever gone without a Final Four. Without Pitino, Tubby would have ZERO national championships to be able to claim, and any true fan knows that. End of story. He is a mediocre coach who learned some good things under Tubby, but who cannot reach players personally, doesn’t know how to motivate, and alienates the best players he recruits. His hire at UK was a politically correct mistake.

  29. John
    9:49 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby didn’t sign Patrick Patterson. He was more than likely going to Florida if Tubby had stayed.

  30. John
    9:51 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Only player Tubby has every recruited that went to a final four is Saul Smith.

  31. dude
    9:52 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    surely you don’t think the comparison between Joe B and Tubby is that simple? Joe B is in the rafters because he is loved OFF the court, as well as for the things he did on the court as well. Can’t say the same for Tubby.

  32. Tubby quit on us
    9:55 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Problems I have with 10 loss tubby is how he left and no inner-team control. I don’t remember the exact date he left. But it was very soon after losing in NCAA. I will always believe that the deal was in the works before the season was over. In other words, he quit on us. Secondly, their was littlle respect amongst the players. Example: Bradley chasing and doing Sparks’ girlfriend

  33. Real UK Fan
    9:57 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Let’s see, we hang an banner for a man who ran out on his contract without as much as speaking to his players. Seems to me we should be a bit more concerned about integrity when we hang a banner for a coach.

  34. Chaz
    9:57 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Nice post, BTI. Going to wait for the show thread now. The snipers finally woke up.

  35. The Dude
    9:59 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    He should be, I always liked Tubby. He may have left on a “low note” but for the most part all of his teams competed and he won a championship. They are probably waiting until he retires to bring him back. Rupp, Hall, Pitino, Smith and Cal should all be up there.

  36. I Tweet Bombs
    10:00 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    14 obviously didn’t read the post…..

  37. Al's IndiCats
    10:01 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Just wondering something, if some of the UK fans were racists and Tubby left on his own free will, what will Minnesota be called because of their firing him?
    Like I said yesterday, the only heartburn I have about Tubby was his putting Saul on scolly (and Jason Gardner), and his underground like negotiations with the Golden Gophers the whole time we were in the tournaments.
    But make no mistake about the man, he was CLASS through and through!

  38. Marty G
    10:04 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    All you have to look at to see what Tubby would have done at UK without Pitino is what he HAS DONE at Minnesota, where all you Tubby apologists CLAIMED he was going to prosper: he lasted six years, had ZERO conference titles, ZERO Sweet Sixteens, even ZERO winning records in conference. They gave that man everything he needed, and his conference record was 46-62. This is at a school where Kentuckian Clem Haskins went 35-5 and took the Golden Gophers to the Final Four. The man is just not good, folks. God bless him, but the proof is in the freaking pudding. HE IS A MEDIOCRE TALENT.

  39. Seriously
    10:06 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Great article, BTI. Mr. Hammer, meet the Mr. Nail. Just a couple of rants myself.

    1) I agree 100%: TUBBY WON THE TITLE IN 1998. There is more to winning a title than inheriting players. Who led the practices? Who came up with the game plans? As BTI rightly points out: Who made in-game adjustments (some Pitino wouldn’t have made) that won the games? Tubby did. If you marry a woman who has a small child, you inherit that child. But, if you are the one who works to pay the bills and raises that child (while its father is in Boston chasing after their dream, or dining at Porcini’s), who gets the credit for how he turns out? Just asking…

    2) As far as recruiting. No, Tubby was no Calipari (in fact, Cal has us spoiled rotten). But do the names Keith Bogans, Marvin Stone, Randolph Morris, Joe Crawford, Rashaad Caruth, Tayshaun Prince, Jody Meeks or Rajon Rondo ring a bell? Plus, if you think Patterson just decided to come to Kentucky when BCG arrived, well, just keep dreaming. Recruiting takes years of investment. BCG cashed in on Tubby’s investment in Patterson (if you’re going to give Pitino all the credit for ’98, at least give Tubby some credit for Patterson).

    3) As for how Tubby left. I have no idea how he left. But I do know this: He didn’t come out and say he wasn’t leaving, and then turn around and leave for Boston…sorry, I mean, Minnesota. “There is no amount of money that could make me leave for the Celtics”

  40. hendoblue
    10:09 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    22- Everybody wanted Tubby out. What difference does it make how he left? He was relieved, BBN was relieved. It was good for all parties. That said, his downfall was his inability to recruit big time players. I can’t remember the player, but there was a big-time player from Nashville whose choices were down to UK and UNC and he chose North Carolina. Somebody help me with who that was. If he chose us it may have changed history a little bit. He deserves to be in the rafters. #13 is right. Haters are going to hate. #16 is right too.

  41. Johnny Rock
    10:10 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Billy G’s SEC record his last two years at UK was better than Tubby’s SEC record his last two years at UK. ‘Nuff said.

    Flubby took a championship program and rode it into the ground. That does not deserve a retired jersey. Kentucky MADE that man, and he didn’t ever give back. He slimed out of here like a thief in the night, negotiating a contract with another school while he was supposed to be recruiting for us and coaching us in a tournament. Trashy man, no class. No jersey.

  42. UKCatzfan N TX
    10:11 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Lets also not forget another key tat for Tubby Smith and That is, Tubby Smith is the ONLY UK coach to never miss the NCAA tournament.

  43. Dacci
    10:13 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby should, not doubt. Also Delk, Prince, and Davis.

    Prince and Davis especially. Prince for NBA NC, and Olympic gold medalist. Davis for NCAA NC, and Olympic Gold medal.

  44. lyndaclark
    10:16 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby should be in the rafters. He was a great game coach and a man of integrity. Perhaps he couldn’t schmooze the top recruits as well as some others, but it was probably because he was too honest. I was always proud to have him as the Kentucky coach.

  45. Rockfield, KY
    10:17 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Seriously BTI, this post was so spot-on that you almost don’t suck anymore. Almost.

    Well done. Put Tubby in the rafters. Ease his pain.

  46. Milty Blue Cat
    10:18 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    46-62: Tubby’s conference record at Minnesota. And that’s where we were headed if he had stayed at UK. After ten years of giving that man everything we could by way of support, he had two consecutive years at 9-7 in the SEC, with no signs of any improvement. By way of comparison, in this past “disastrous” year at UK, our boys went 12-6 in the SEC. The jersey in the rafters argument is a bad joke.

  47. Steve
    10:18 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    The only thing good to come from Tubby’s years was the players (and their winning mentality) that Pitino left him. If we remove them we are left with little more than a joke.

    Pitino’s players were a marvelous gift for Tubby. W/o them he would not have lasted four or five years at UK.

  48. Blue Boy
    10:20 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    What Smith did to the program was equaled by BCG. The program declined every year he was here. If Smith had been white he wouldn’t had spent so much time here. True he won a title his first year but after that there was a steady decline EVERY year after that. I can welcome Sutton back long before I would want anything about Smith on UK property.

  49. JG
    10:22 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby’s adjustments made in the 98 tournament were to play Saul less and refusing to call a timeout against Duke. I don’t think that makes him a master strategist. I think the biggest mistake Tubby made was putting his son on the roster and having him take minutes away from the most successful point guard UK has ever had… IMO a lot of people never got over that.

  50. Chief_cat
    10:23 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Haters gonna hate! Tubby was a winner, recruited many 5* players, won a title and a number of SEC banners, helped Pitino turn the program around during the Pitino Bombino days and still returns to the state when possible. He’s always been a class act and has risen above the noise made by a few malcontents!

    Great post BTI! Put him in the rafters!

  51. radman
    10:24 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Remember that Joe B. wasn’t entirely appreciated in his day either. I vividly remember the Rupp crowd chants of “Joe’s gotta go! Joe’s gotta go!” in the early 80s. The Joe B. dissing got worse after Sutton won 32 games in his first year.

  52. Melvit
    10:26 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    #42 Pitino didn’t miss it either. You can’t count his first two years since UK was banned from the tournament.

  53. a wanna be
    10:26 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    41- you sir, are an idiot. Tubby Smith, in his first year at Minnesota, in the month of November took the time to call my dad, who was in the hospital dying. He died that evening, but I won’t forget the excitement, the joy for just a moment, that it brought to my dad. He recognized that in the busiest part of Tubby’s first year at Minnesota, what a class act it was of Tubby to reach out to someone like my dad, a lifelong UK fan. You sir, are the trashy, classless man. He should be in the rafters and he will be honored as the class man that he was, rafters or no rafters.

  54. Steve
    10:26 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    The only thing good to come from Tubby’s years was the players (and their winning mentality) that Pitino left him. If we remove them we are left with little more than a joke.

    Pitino’s players were a marvelous gift for Tubby. W/o them he would not have lasted four or five years at UK.

    Not even Tubby’s most ardent admirers can deny this.

  55. Is This A Joke
    10:27 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    I love satire but this is a little overboard. Tubby Smith? Why not put up John Mauer he only lost 3 games in 1929-30 and the most he lost in one season was 6. Ten loss Tubby couldn’t hold John Mauer’s jock strap. Look people, Tubby Smith is not one of us and he never wanted to be one of us. Let him go in peace and if anyone should put his jersey in their rafters, why not Minnesota. After all they “stole” him from UK.

  56. BlueTexan
    10:27 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby should be in the rafters. Period.

  57. John
    10:28 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby will be remembered by me as the man that took UK from the penthouse to the outhouse. And it wasn’t gonna get any better under him.

  58. Big Blue B-Rad
    10:31 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Here’s the problem I have with the whole, ‘Tubby won the championship with Pitino’s team,” BS. It doesn’t matter how many talented players are on your roster, if you don’t have a good coach, they won’t achieve their potential. Period. Anybody who is in that camp might as well acknowledge they think Calipari’s not a good coach either, because of the superstars he has on his team. Yes, Pitino was a better recruiter, hands down. But Tubby took that team of players and made them his own by incorporating his defensive system. And anybody who says, “Anybody could have won with that team,” fails to grasp the fact that not even Pitino himself won it all with that team. If you look up in the rafters, the 1997 banner says “Runner Up.” So i guess you can say Tubby did BETTER with that group than Pitino did.

  59. dave
    10:31 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    tubby won a title so he should be in rafters.
    but, if you really think its a coincidence tubby won it all (coming off 2 consecutive title games) in his 1st year, yet has never made a final four in his other 21 years of coaching im not sure what to tell you.

  60. Melvit
    10:33 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    I was concerned when Tubby was hired that people couldn’t say anything bad about him without being labeled a racist. Sadly, people are still calling the tubby haters racists. Tubby was mediocre at best, but I wouldn’t have any arguments if his “jersey” was retired. BTI failed to note that Joe B went to 3 Final Fours, including 2 championship games.

  61. Steve
    10:36 am June 6, 2013 Permalink


    Pitino’s players were a marvelous gift for Tubby. W/o them he would not have lasted four or five years at UK.

    Not even Tubby’s most ardent admirers can deny this.

  62. Bart Edwards
    10:38 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    FACT: Tubby Smith: only UK coach ever to go ten years in a row without taking a team to the Final Four. LONGEST DROUGHT IN UK HISTORY. And we are supposed to hang HIS jersey in Rupp? Don’t think so.

  63. Tampa Satchel
    10:41 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Of course Tubby should be in the rafters, but it was clearly time for him to go. He kept UK near the top, but seemed to underachieve in the tourney. That might be worth an analysis BTI.

    UK fans have unrealistic expectations sometimes, though Cal has been able to feed the beast. It will be interesting to see how Cal’s successor does.

  64. KY Girl
    10:46 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Just because Tubby had Pitino’s talented players doesn’t mean he was guaranteed the championship. SEE Calipari’s talented players 2012-2013. And Tubby didn’t sneak away in the middle of the night – he was forced out. How would you feel if you were fired from your dream job of 10 years? If the way he left leaves a bad taste in your mouth, that’s on Barnhart, not Tubby.

  65. John Ellis
    10:46 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    You don’t even make all the points – Tubby had the overall #1 seed two years in a row. Only a major injury to Bogans and Dwayne Wade’s sudden emergence stopped that team from a FF and a title. The title team Tubby had had NO future NBA stars on it, none; MOP Shephard didn’t even make the NBA. Pitino left in part because he didn’t think he had enough coming back. Tubby is the one UK coach who won a title with a team that no one thought would even make the Final Four. They were ranked eighth. Tubby’s win percentage was lower because he always scheduled the toughest schedule in the country. His last two years – so often cited as falling off so badly – Florida, the double national champ, was in the same division of the SEC, as were Tennessee and Vandy, who were also FF worthy. As for his leaving, the way he did it UK didn’t owe him a dime – he did the same thing taking the Texas Tech job. Unlike Gillispie he saved the university a fortune. He’s the best man who’s been UK coach, though Cal is a close second – he still runs his foundations in Lexington. All the hateful stupid crap that was thrown at him is disgusting to this day. And a good bit of it racist, speaking as a white middle class Lexington native, I heard it unvarnished from idiots, and it still gets thrown up.

  66. John Ellis
    10:48 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    PS That team Tubby left behind – because of his screwup, Morris stated he was coming back too, so that would have been a monster team, Meeks, Morris, Crawford, Bradley, Patterson…

  67. John Ellis
    10:52 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Sample quote – Tubby’s neighbor, a leader of local society, when he moved in next door, to the boys in the country club : “My biggest problem is when I get up in the morning, seeing a n***** in my mirror.” His unconscious reveal aside, I’m happy to say that Tubby’s dog bit him the first day, for which Tubby apologized. Sic ‘im!

  68. Adam
    10:52 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    To say Tubby is a mediocre coach is ignorant. Just fans ranting that don’t know what they’re talking about. Tubby’s winning percentage at UK was greater than what Jim Boeheim’s is at Syracuse, Phog Allen’s at KU, Lute Olson’s at Arizona, Ed Diddle’s at WKU, Tom Izzo’s at MSU, Nolan Richardson’s at Arkansas, and Jim Calhoun’s at Uconn. All of these coaches with the exceptions of Calhoun(2) and Diddle(0) have one NCAA title. Any basketball mind in the country will tell you all of these coaches are great and Tubby at UK was great (not elite). If the ball bounces a bit differently, Tubby has four final fours and this debate is even more ridiculous.

  69. Nashville Cat Fan
    10:52 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    I have never posted on here until reading this. Absolutely agree with Tubby having a banner hanging from the rafters. Pitino’s style of play would have never worked with the 1998 team. Remember Jeff Sheppard? MOP of the 1998 Final Four. Pitino loved him so much he made him sit out in 1997. Hmmm. And Hall did recruit all those players prior to taking the head coaching job. Unless my memory has failed me, which it does from time to time, Tubby was on staff under Pitino. He must have sat in his office all day and did no recruiting. Yes – his style of play was drastically different than Pitino’s which was a huge detractor and his recruiting in the later years proved stale. Let’s not overcomplicate this. Hang the banner.

  70. Not8W/OTubby
    10:54 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    I’m going to echo the majority of the posts here and say I completely agree, and thank you for this post.

    Couple of things..

    1. I too find it irritating when people want to say “1998 was Pitino’s title, they were Pitino’s players” give me a break! Those people fail to mention that in the year prior, Pitino himself lost in the title game with essentially the same team. Not to mention he had the luxury of Ron Mercer, a first round draft pick and solid NBA player. You don’t see UNC giving credit to Daughtry for Roy’s first championship, even though May, McCant’s, Felton, ect. were all brought in by that other guy. 1998 was Tubby’s championship, he deserves full credit for it.

    2. If not for a little bad luck, Tubby would have easily made at least two more final fours in his tenure, and probably have at least one more championship on his resume. I still contend Tubby’s team that went 16-0 in SEC Play, and won the SEC tournament is up there with the ’96, and 2012 Champinonship teams in terms of greatness. If you go back and watch that team play it was ridiculous, the defense-to-fast-breaking, the interior passing, the chemistry…if not for a Bogan’s sprained ankle, that team win’s the title and we are not debating this at all.

  71. FeedMeSeymour
    10:55 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    I enjoyed the write- up. Tubby deserves to be in the rafters. My father-in-law hated Joe B. the last couple of years he coached. Tubby Smith will be in the rafters in the next ten years. My main question is where is Delk and Prince? Their jerseys should be up.

  72. Big Blue B-Rad
    10:55 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    61) I acknowledged that he had great players. But again, just because he had a great team, they weren’t guaranteed a championship. This same team lost in the final the previous year. Tubby’s defense, and great coaching in the tourney, propelled them to the title. Not even Tubby’s detractors can deny this. Oh wait, yeah they can. All they have to do is disregard facts.

  73. Tim from Hendo
    10:57 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    I forgot how Tubby’s recruiting classes went from memory. But I do remember R. Morris and Rondo in school together. Morris was out a season and then returned, By the time he returned, Rondo went to NBA early after a SEC rule change that turned his 1st step off the dribble into a palming call. Those 2 alone could have easily played together 2 more yrs together. The season Morris missed and the season Rondo left early. When Tubby left, Morris did also. If Tubby had came back, that next season he could have had Morris,Crawford, Bradley,Jasper and PPat. What kind of team would that have been? Those were some yrs of other good recruits also.
    I think Tubby’s 2 downfalls were keeping the ex- Alabama head coach as an assistant and setting down in his chair. Tubby was at his best coaching when he was roaming the sideline giving his players “The Stare”. Also, Pitino’s winning pct. would have been higher at UK if he never had to coach against Tubby. Tubby could out coach Pitino on any given day. I was not a Pitino fan his last couple of years. So, I am very happy that he is where he is….NO use me hating 2 schools.

  74. Bob
    10:59 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    66 once again Tubby didn’t leave behind Patterson. Patterson would have been a Gator had Tubby still been UK’s coach.

  75. NO1UNO
    10:59 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby DOES NOT belong in the rafters. Those who say “haters gonna hate” are ignorant and/or dishonest. No one hates nor hated Tubby. UK was better for him than he was for UK. The program started a downhill slide after 98. The 98 team was all Pitino players. Midseason, that team could have been labeled “team turmoil” until the players finally pushed back against Tubby and he let them play out the remainder of the season the only way they understood. He later recruited his own players, installed his system and mediocrity ensued for the next ten years. He wouldn’t bend to the wishes of the fans and administration to make some adjustments. Pressure mounts and he leaves unexpectedly and badly, goes to Minnesota and does the SAME THING to their program. Minnesota fires Tubby. Did Minnesota hang Tubby’s name in their rafters? Yet some contend that he deserves to have his name in the rafters at UK. He doesn’t “deserve” it. Why would UK fans, who can best be described as “mental lightweights” claim hatred? Most likely because they cannot defend their positions and because the same “mental lightweight” is an “apologist” which is much worse than a hater, IMO.

  76. sunnycat
    11:00 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby’s downfall was his recruting or lack there of. He is a great coach and should be in the rafters.

  77. sunnycat
    11:03 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    If winning in 98 was so easy for Tubby why didn’t Pitino win in 97? I know I know Anderson didn’t play and he didn’t play in 98 either.

  78. GummyBear
    11:13 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    74.. Wrong, PPat almost didn’t come b/c Tubby left.

  79. GummyBear
    11:14 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    77.. And Tubby didn’t have Ron Mercer.

  80. Bob
    11:15 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    78 wrong you have it backwards.

  81. GetFarmerOutOfRupp
    11:16 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby served as an assistant coach during part of Pitino’s tenure. Many people forget this.

    1998 National Championship: This team had above average talent, undeniable fact. However, talent alone does not win championships. It could be argued that the North Carolina team (Vince Carter and company), Kansas (Paul Pierce) or Arizona (Mike Bibby, defeated KY the prior year) all had equal or greater talent and probably better coaches. This team was not EXPECTED to win the 98 championship. Check preseason rankings for that year. Poorly coached teams cannot make the comebacks that made the “Comeback Cats” champions.
    Tubby won with Pitino’s talent? Fair enough, just acknowledge that Pitino failed to win with more talent (even without DA) during the 97 season.

    2000 Assistant Coach to the Gold winning Olympic Team

    2003 Perfect 16-0 SEC Record (only coach to accomplish this feat)

    2003 AP Coach of the Year

    7 SEC Championships

    Tubby is the only coach to receive an NCAA post season bid every season during his tenure at UK. This speaks volumes to his sustained success.
    Tubby loves Lexington despite the people who hate him. The Tubby Smith Foundation and Tubby’s Kulbhouses still help underprivileged children within the community.

    Tubby cannot recruit? I wouldn’t trade away the opportunity of watching these players:
    Tayshaun Prince (You can argue he was a Pitino recruit, but he excelled with Tubby), Keith Bogans, Gerald Fitch, Chuck Hayes, Randolph Morris (shame on his post freshman/ pre sophomore year NBA debacle), Kelenna Azubuike, Rajon Rondo, Derrick Jasper (never lived up to the his hype), Joe Crawford (never lived up to the his hype), Jodie Meeks, and Patrick Patterson.

    Rajon Rondo: People claim that Tubby Smith did not utilize his NBA MVP caliber talent. While this may be true, it is not a fair assessment. Rondo’s talent grew exponentially in the NBA with the opportunity to learn from 3 future Hall of Famers. Rondo was very RAW in college. He did not polish his ability, until after he left.

    I agree that Tubby Smith’s legacy is unfairly compared to Pitino. Pitino could be argued to be a better coach. Rupp was better than Pitino. That doesn’t make Tubby a bad coach. Tubby is a champion. The racist portion of the community never accepted Tubby. Anyone else remember for sale signs being placed in Tubby’s yard? Despite this, Tubby still contributes and loves Lexington. His charity continues to help underprivileged children in our community.

    Hang Tubby’s name in the rafters! We are lucky to have him in the UK family.

  82. fatcat
    11:17 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    The man belongs in the rafters but fans don’t think so because he is black. Plan and simple. And BBN always bashing anybodyelse for negative comments.

  83. Not Billy
    11:20 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    I can’t believe I’m typing this, but for now, BTI doesn’t suck (this will most likely change after tomorrow’s post). I was actually on the fence about Tubby being honored. But after this I’m convinced, once he is done coaching for sure, get him in Rupp for a celebration and put him in the rafters.

  84. Bryan the Intern
    11:22 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    75) How did mediocrity ensue for 10 years after Tubby was hired? In YEAR 6 of his tenure, the team went undefeated in SEC play and went the Elite 8. YEAR 7: Overall number 1 seed in the tournament. YEAR 8: ELITE 8 again. If that is mediocrity, then your standards are unattainable and you must hate Calipari with his 12-loss season.

  85. GetFarmerOutOfRupp
    11:25 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Why did my comment not posted? I spent a lot of time on it. Sad day.

  86. The Bench
    11:25 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Being the head coach isn’t the only reason Joe Hall is in the rafters. He was Rupp’s assistant and right hand man for many years. Prior to that, he was a player. His entire life has been dedicated to the program and he bleeds blue to the core. Hooyah!

  87. saywhat?
    11:30 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Those of you that say Tubby’s “lack of recruiting” was his downfall, obciously do not remember the type of teams that Tubby was successful with. Tubby’s downfall was ultimately him giving in to the loud voice of a small amount of UK fans calling for Tub to bring in better talent. Tubby recruited, and won games with, his style of player, Erik Daniels, Gerald Fitch, Cliff Hawkins, Keith Bogans, Chuck Hayes, Tay…none of those players outside of Prince really went on to being “great” in the NBA but they played the defensive, hard nose, cohesive style Tubby liked. The last, and worst two years of his tenure were how they were because he had a bunch of talent, a bunch of selfish, immature guys that wanted to run and gun and shoot the ball, but never wanted to play D, or play like a team after Hayes and his leadership left campus. those last two years Tubby had a team quite a bit like the team Cal had last year…and we see how that turned out for him, right?

  88. millwooded
    11:35 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    tubby needs to be in the rafters if joe b is…yes, uk was loaded when he took over. but he won. we all get mad when the media says cal just has to roll basketballs on the court and they will win. he coached this team, (plus a little help from shepard getting hot), to make it…i will say the last few years weren’t great, because he just wasn’t a good recruiter, and the times just caught up with him….back when coach hall was coaching all he had to say was “we’re kentucky” and he could get any kid he wanted.

  89. Jeff
    11:44 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby Smith deserves to be in the rafters. Does anyone really think it will take 15 years for Cal to be in the rafters after he leaves? Smith won consistently and with class.
    If Tubby does not deserve to be in the rafters then many jerseys need to come down. he contributed MIGHTLY to Kentucky Basketball and those who do not agree simply are ignorant or not real Kentucky fans!

  90. CincyCat
    11:51 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Great article! Best point was Joe B. Hall vs. Tubby comparison. Enough said. Whoever thinks just because you inherit certain players automatically guarantees you a championship knows little about basketball. To be a fan is one thing, to really understand is something totally different. F**k the Tubby haters and they horse they rode in on!

  91. Darryl
    11:53 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby won FIVE SEC championships, not 7.

    SEC Regular season titles in:
    2000 (co-Champs)
    2001 (co-Champs)

  92. Honor the Guy
    11:58 am June 6, 2013 Permalink

    I hate that it is/was this way but facts are facts. When Tubby was winning, around here you would hear, “That Tubby has them boys playing ball!” Then as soon as he would lose you would hear daily, “That damn n-_–_- can’t coach!” It’s all ridiculous. He did good things here on and off the court. He deserves to be honored and owed us nothing when he left.

  93. Will Hill
    12:05 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    I agree that Tubby should be in the rafters (and, as others have mentioned, it should happen after he retires, though).

    Playing devil’s advocate, though, you left out one comparison between Hall and Smith– Hall 3 Final Fours, Smith 1 Final Four. While I think Tubby should be honored, I do think that if you had a reason Joe B is in the rafters and Tubby isn’t, I think you could point to that. And it would be a strong point.

  94. John
    12:07 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    88… Yeah Bobby Perry, Sheray Thomas, Woo, Shagari, Carter and Sims were UK’s bigs in 2005 along with Randolf Morris. That is just built for success. LOL

  95. john
    12:12 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    40… That was Brandon Wright that went to UNC over UK. Tubby once again put all of his eggs in one basket and it bit him in the butt. That same class had Kevin Durant in it and Tubby and his incompetent staff didn’t even know who Durant was till late in the process. There was an article were Durant listed his top schools. UK wasn’t one of them. He went on to say UK had never contacted him at that time but he had always followed UK and would love to hear form them. This was Durant’s jr season at Oak Hill.

    In fact both Durant and Wright played in a holiday tournament in Bourbon Co, Ky their jr seasons. Durant played the game before Wright. Nobody from UK showed up for Durants game. The whole coaching staff and a few players walk in right before Wrights game tipped off. Durant put on an absoulute show that had everybodys jaws on the ground.

  96. Ridge Runner
    12:18 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Agree 100%, BTI.

  97. RealCatsFan
    12:45 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby had his good times and his bad times, and towards the end, I think the bloom was off the rose for him and he was ready to move on. Some want to say that the way he suddenly left was classless, but let’s face facts here – isn’t that the way that MOST college coaches leave their programs, unless they are fired? Look at Cal leaving Memphis as exhibit A (and don’t get me wrong, I love Cal). Cal even had a number of his recruits follow him to UK. Tubby had some great years at UK, but I think with a little more luck, his two Elite Eight teams could have easily been FF (or better) teams.

    His name should ABSOLUTELY be in the rafters. Not only does he deserve it, but having it up there would help to dispel some of the negative racial connotations that enemies of the program like to throw at us. I would love to see Cal reach out to Tubby and use his weight to get his name up there in Rupp’s Rafters. It would be great to have a ceremony with a lot of the great players from his era reuniting to see it happen.

  98. GetFarmerOutOfRupp
    12:49 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    When you talk about big men recruits who don’t pan out, you have to realize that big men are often recruited for potential not current talent. A lot of them are going to be busts. Jared Carter was a bust. However, he was a bust with scholarship offers from North Carolina and other big schools. Tubby had to offer that kid a scholarship being an in-state athlete.

  99. JimmyBCat
    12:58 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Fact: Tubby’s winning percentage his last five seasons at UK was higher than in his first five seasons.

  100. Tubby who
    1:04 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    I should have clarified, Tubby had half of the 10 loss seasons since UK integrated which is what most consider modern basketball! How are you giving Tubby credit for Paterson that was Billy G not Tubby! You want to give Tubby credit for Meeks? That was Hobbs Tubby wouldn’t even go watch him and only offered after being prodded by David Hobbs!
    The facts are easy when you can bend them your way! Funny how you forgot to mention players like Porter who Tubby left. Tubby was to basketball what Joker was to football!

  101. DUHHHHH
    1:20 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink


  102. tom
    1:24 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    100. That is a ludicrous statement that Tubby is to basketball what Joker was to football.

    Don’t look now but your racism is showing.

  103. facts who?
    1:29 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    It makes me sad Kentucky didn’t make a final four from ’98-2011 partically because I’d like to see another banner in Rupp, and equally because there would be fewer people like “Tubby who” to argue that Tubby was bad for UK. If Kentucky beats Michigan St. in ’99/2005, or Marquette in 2003 there would be a lot fewer “haters”.

    Fact is Tubby deserves respect, and gratitude for what he did once he took over for Pitino, and the intelligent, rational members of this fanbase know it.

  104. theSkinny81
    1:30 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    100 – Ah, the “Louisville Approach’, ie, modern era, ie, bending facts to meet your argument…

  105. theSkinny81
    1:31 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    103 – Amen.

  106. jc#1
    1:36 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby did not coach UK to the national title Jeff Sheppard did.Tubby came in and tried to slow the team down and play his BORING basketball.All he had to do was continue letting them play the way Pitino had taught them,but no he had to do it his way.UK let him stay 5 years to long.

  107. riddlemethis
    1:38 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Answer me this question, if you could replace BCG with Tubby for those two years before UK hired Cal would you take Tubby or BCG?

  108. Voice of Reason
    1:45 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Look people, this is all pretty simple. Tubby did great things for UK. Not everything he did was great, but enough was for the man to be loved and more importantly, respected by the fanbase. When the decision is made to honor a player, the number of missed shots and turnovers is not what matters. The number of points, wins, passes… is. Quit counting his losses and look at his wins. Hell, some of you want to trash his recruiting (which makes you an idiot in my book), but if his recruits were so average, that just makes what he accomplished even MORE special.

    I agree that it was probably time for Tubby to go. Things were stagnant and there was growing negativity. HOWEVER, this does not negate what he DID accomplish while he was the coach. He won and he won with class.

    Quit being so stubborn and admit it. If you don’t think he deserves a banner, fine, I can accept (and respect) that opinion. However, I have no respect for anyone who thinks he was horrible and continues to trash the man.

  109. Jason
    1:46 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    BTI sucks.

  110. blueneck
    1:55 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    the other thing that hurt Tubby was his worst two years happened at the exact time of Florida’s best two preventing his continued domination of the SEC. Up to that point he owned Donovan.

  111. blueneck
    1:57 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Also, as both Cal and Rick have pointed out, you can’t coach at a place like UK in today’s media world forever – it takes too much of a toll. Pitino even said had he not won in 96 he would have left because he couldn’t take the pressure

  112. Seabass
    2:05 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    First off would like to say great post. Couldn’t agree more. Tubby was/is a stand up guy. Did a ton for the community as well as the players he coached. Every week he would take different players to church with him. Not that being a great guy should get your name in the rafters but being a great coach should. He won a championship. Enough said everyone else who coached a team to a NCAA Championship is retired in the rafters so why not him? Is it because he is black? Hmm that might have something to do with part of the grumbling of those saying he wasn’t a good coach because he won with slick Ricks players. Whoever says that I would like to see you try and coach a 12yr olds AAU team. Also I know it’s KY and I work in the service industry and guess what a lot of the stereotypes hold true to a lot of the people that I see on a regular basis and it’s very obnoxious but none of them held true to tubby. A stand up guy who deserves to be honored!

  113. Bgeaheart
    2:15 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink


  114. Tubby Who
    2:24 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    102) you can always grow the race card when things don’t go your way? I could careless if the coach is purple as long as he wins! UK is about championships and FF. Fact is tubby left the program worse then he found it and the numbers back it up.
    I’m tired of hearing IF we won the Mich. St. Game. If is a little word with big meaning. We didn’t win we lost ten loss Tubby might someday reach the rafters but that day is a long way off. At least as long as LD Gorman is still alive!

  115. CatWalk
    2:35 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby and Joe B is not a fair comparison. I think the fact is being forgotten that Joe B was a player, assistant under Rupp, and Head Coach. I think the sum of those 3 things put Joe B in the rafters, not his time as head coach alone.

  116. UKAlum
    2:43 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    55- I don’t know who you are speaking about when you say “one of us” but if you’re a representative of their attitude then maybe I don’t want to be one of them either.

    It amazes me how many fans will hate on Pitino until the conversation turns to Tubby….

  117. CJCat
    2:47 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Lovers Love; Haters Hate. I hate Tubby, the Fat Lady and Saul.

  118. J A Brooks
    3:07 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Ramel Bradley was a 3-star recruit. Not a 4 star.

    There’s been 3 10-loss teams since Tubby has left. When he left he had 5 of the 15 up to that point in our schools history.

    Cals had 1 10-loss team in 4 years (about to be 1 in 5) and it came in a season where he was replacing 5 starters and a 6th man and lost his best player mid year. Not exactly the same as losing 10 games or more in 5 of 10 seasons.

    Tubby left BCG with Bradley, Crawford, Meeks, and Jasper but Patterson committed after BCG signed on. You can’t count him as a Tubby commitment. Outside those 4 and Stevenson there was very little young talent on the roster. BCG was terrible but Tubby left the program in worse shape then he found it… That’s not up for debate

    If Tubby was so great how come no one still considers him a top coach in America? Why did perrenial doormat Minnesota fire him.

  119. RealCatsFan
    4:23 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    I get a kick out of people who say Tubby left the program in worse shape than he found it. UK was at an epic high point that few programs have achieved. In fact, not since Rupp’s glory days back in the 40’s and 50’s was UK in such a position. Very few coaches in America could have maintained that, much less improved on it. Yes, things were on a wane when he left, but the same could be argued for Joe B. when he retired. I can recall seeing cars with “Joe B. Gone” bumper stickers back in the day. Face the facts – the man gave us one of our coveted 8 championships, led us to several other excellent seasons that were very close to being Final Four’s, and did not leave the university in disgrace like a couple of other coaches did. PUT HIS JERSEY IN THE RAFTERS!

  120. Money
    4:58 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    lol If Tubby didnt win with Pitino players then why hasent he been back to the final four since 98?
    He did leave the program worse than he got it. I dont care how you spin it thats just the truth. He was a good coach but not great like you ppl are saying!

  121. I Rest My Case
    5:13 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    There is no better way to perpetuate the perception that UK is a basically racist institution (however undeserved it may be) than to exclude the only national championship coach who happens to be African-American from having his name hanging in Rupp. ’nuff said.

  122. Dee W.
    6:08 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby Smith record at Kentucky

    1997 — 1998 — 35-4 overall, 14-2 SEC, SEC regular season champions, SEC tournament Champions, NCAA Champions, SEC Coach of the Year

    1998 — 1999 — 28-9 overall, 11-5 SEC, SEC tournament Champions, NCAA Elite 8

    1999 — 2000 — 23-10 overall, 12-4 SEC, SEC regular season Champions (tied), NCAA Round of 32

    2000 — 2001 — 24-10 overall, 12-4 SEC, SEC regular season Champions (tied), SEC tournament Champions, NCAA Sweet 16

    2001 — 2002 — 22-10 overall, 10-6 SEC, NCAA Sweet 16

    2002 — 2003 — 32-4 overall, 16-0 SEC, SEC regular season Champions, SEC tournament Champions, Granted #1 seed NCAA tournament, NCAA Elite Eight, SEC Coach of the Year, Naismith National Coach of the Year, Henry Iba Award for best national coach of the year, AP National Coach of the Year, first team since 1952 to go undefeated through SEC conference play through both the regular season and tournament (and first and only to do so with 16 regular season games), new record set for highest attendance at a game at Rupp Arena during this season, largest margin of victory (62 points) over an opponent in a game since 1952, first college coach since 1975 to sweep all NCAA recognized national coach of the year honors in the same season, blowout of the #1 ranked team (Florida) visiting Rupp Arena this season

    2003 — 2004 — 27-5 overall, 13-3 SEC, SEC Tournament Champions, Granted #1 overall seed NCAA tournament, NCAA round of 32

    2004 — 2005 — 28-6 overall, 14-2 SEC, #1 recruiting class, SEC regular season Champions, SEC tournament runner-up, NCAA Elite Eight, SEC Coach of the Year, Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year, AP National Coach of the Year

    2005 — 2006 — 22-13 overall, 9-7 SEC, NCAA round of 32

    2006 — 2007 — 22-12 overall, 9-7 SEC, NCAA round of 32

  123. Dee W.
    6:14 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    106 – that’s complete BS – he altered the line-up and took the big men out to confuse Duke and they never recovered (didn’t have a chance to because their lead evaporated so rapidly they used up all of their timeouts and then Tubby refused to call any himself to just let the momentum continue to the end). That wasn’t the starting line-up from Pitino’s previous teams – it was the bench – and they clearly improved as the year went on.

    And if “Pitino’s players” are automatically superior…why did Tubby defeat Pitino 4 out of 6 meetings between UK and U of L?

  124. tyrus
    6:20 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    While Tubby’s name is being placed in the rafters, you can take down Farmers! No one wants a (soon to be) convicted felony’s name honored in Rupp.

  125. jimp
    6:23 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Not giving Tubby credit for winning in 1998 is crazy. People either don’t remember or don’t want to, but in the preseason that year absolutely no one was picking UK to win the championship. Their preseason ranking was not even in the top ten. Tubby did a great job coaching that team, especially in the SEC tournament and the NCAA tournament.
    Just please give the man some credit. It is amazing to me that we won a championship that year and so many people have never been happy about it because Tubby was the coach. Sad, really sad. People talking that Tubby left it in such bad shape should remember that Pitino’s last two recruiting classes we Jamal McGloire, then the next year Michael Bradley, Ryan Hogan, Myron Pryor and for the year after he left had gotten a verbal from J.P.Blevins and Jaron Brown who ended up not coming to UK. Now tell me those guy’s are world beater recruits. Tubby could have won five championship’s and some people would not have been happy and we all know why.

  126. Grow up 125
    6:58 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    #125 I think Bradly and Maglore where both good players! I love how when your argument isn’t working you blame it on race! 95% of the people could careless if Tubby was purple. Only thing that matters is W’s and L’s.
    It’s just like Cal has said at UK it’s about Championships and FF’s. Facts are Tubby did a wonderful job in 1998 and he did WIN that title not Pitino but he just stayed too long. He refused to recruit AAU and did serious damage to himself with Saul. Just look up Omar Cook that should explain why so many didn’t back Tubby. His skin color is a moot point!

  127. bung
    6:58 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    no tubby… put farmers up twice and take down piteeners…

  128. Patrick
    7:53 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Tubby does not belong and the comparison to Hall is flawed in that Hall went to more final fours and the championship he won was with a team full of his own recruits. Tubby Smith is the only coach in our illustrious history that has a championship with an inherited team and never got to the final four with his own guys, and almost always lost to a lower seed in doing so. He has the longest final four drought in our history, was the first coach to ever lose to Vanderbilt at Rupp, and if I remember correctly the longest losing streak to one opponent Florida.

    Plus for those who do not realize it the love for Joe B is a very recent thing, and it is more for what he has done and represented after retirement than his coaching career. He was loathed by our fan base as much or more than Tubby. I know people that still curse him when his coaching career is brought up.

  129. Jc#1
    8:03 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    #123 – You obviously just watched one game.The 98 team played boring Tubby ball up until the end of January and did not look like a championship team until Jeff Sheppard called a team meeting in January and Tubby wasn’t invited .That is when they decided to go back to playing the way Pitino had coached them .That is what turned that season around plus that team had heart and was tuff.Tubby is a good X’s and O’s coach but he didn’t have enough sense to know to let them play the way they had been coached in the past.He had to come in and try to change things and do it his way.Just look at what Rondo has done in the pros and Tubby would not let one of the best point guards in basketball run with the ball.

  130. WILDDEVIL14
    8:05 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink


  131. Bballdoc
    8:20 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Let’s give Tubby his due. UK won a lot of games while he was coaching and I had a lot of fun watching. Nuff said.

  132. WILDDEVIL14
    8:20 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    #13 is spot on

  133. Dee W.
    9:08 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    129 – I don’t believe that for one second, and a player holding a meeting even if that were true doesn’t do jack squat – they can’t put themselves on the floor or organize where they go. The coach does that.

    128 – you have quite a selective memory.

    Why instead of responding to my “123” don’t you respond to my 122? Because you can’t.

  134. Jc#1
    10:17 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    Dee W you need to read Heart of a champion Jeff Sheppard bio and see what you think then.

  135. Dee W.
    11:44 pm June 6, 2013 Permalink

    134. – one of the co-authors of that book was none other than Tubby Smith.

  136. Nolecat
    12:59 am June 7, 2013 Permalink

    Absolute yes for tubby in the rafters!!!
    Lets also not forget estill and azubuike leaving early for nba. Neither were ready nor advised to go by tubby. Therefore, no recruitment for replacements.
    If tubby was so loyal to his staff at UK and it was his choice to hold onto them, why didn’t he take any of the staff with him to minn?
    Head coaches are not the only ones who recruit. The assistants do most of the leg work. Head coach comes in to seal the deal. Are we certain tubby was so loyal to an under-achieving staff? Or was that all the budget would allow for at the time? Cal is an incredible recruiter. He also has one of the best staffs in America and social media working for him.

  137. Jc#1
    5:44 am June 7, 2013 Permalink

    #135 Exactly why you should read it . If Tubby had anything to do with it then I’m sure you will believe that everything in it is true . Jeff Sheppard also compared Pitino and Tubby and in a nice way how their coaching styles where different.

  138. Patrick
    11:25 am June 7, 2013 Permalink

    133 get over yourself I was not responding to either of your posts
    but the things in mine still stand
    Tubby vs Hall is not as comparable as BTI
    Would like and he omits final fours in his argument
    Tubby was a regular season coach and a post-
    Season failure he is the only coach that won a
    Title and left the program on worse shape than
    He inherited refute that

  139. jimp
    1:18 pm June 7, 2013 Permalink

    #126 Omar Cook, are you serious? That guy went to St. Johns and was awful. He thought he was so ready for the NBA and left early. Have you heard of him since? #129, it is so nice to know that Jeff Shephard actually was the coach when the team won the championship. I have heard Jeff in interview’s three or four time through the year’s talk about that team meeting the player’s had and that is when they decided to quit trying to do things the old way and start listening to Tubby and that is when they went on their run to the championship. I am sure KSR must have a tape somewhere of Jeff saying that in an interview. Also the style of ball they started playing when they started their run was nothing like what Pitino played. They very seldom used a full court press and did not take near as many three’s as Pitino’s teams. Why can’t some of you people just be happy we won that championship and quit being unhappy that Tubby was the winning coach.

  140. doug carroll
    4:46 pm June 7, 2013 Permalink

    I was all for hiring tubby. Then saul came along. My memory is we couldn’t recruit a point guard for several years because who’s gonna be able to take the coaches son’s spot? Reminds me of little league where the coaches son is the point guard no matter how bad.

  141. Jc#1
    6:32 pm June 7, 2013 Permalink

    #139- The teams play up until that meeting was Tubby ball . They would bore you to sleep.When they started playing better was nothing like Tubby’s teams. Sheppard was just trying to be nice and give Tubby credit because he is a class act.

  142. Dee W.
    8:16 pm June 7, 2013 Permalink

    141-jc#1, nothing you say has an ounce of truth to it. Honestly look at how you have to evolve your argument as you are going along after people come along with actual facts. 139 is correct and that is in keeping with both Jeff Sheppard’s character and Tubby Smith’s character. It is ridiculous for you to in the same breath accuse Sheppard of being a liar and then a class act. If Tubby Smith’s tenure was as bad as you and the other haters say it was you would think you could come up with something accurate. Now that the evidence was in your face you admit it is accurate but then say Sheppard didn’t actually mean it – and you, who wasn’t even there, knows more about Sheppard said than he does himself. Tell me, how did Sheppard control Tubby Smith’s actions and in game strategy? Hypnosis? Telepathy? Blackmail? Ridiculous to say Jeff Sheppard lead an open rebellion against the head coach of their team and even more ridiculous to suggest Smith would have tolerated that kind of insubordination.
    This is one of the few games in its entirety of a Tubby Smith era game from 2003 – would have been entirely recruited and trained under Smith –—Basketball.aspx?ProductID=effa307f-2828-4714-9d02-69b12662be54# – please explain what is so ‘boring’ about this game? You were bored to death for an entire decade? Not much of a fan nor someone who paid much attention.

    75 – so we are ignorant, dishonest, intellectually lazy, apologists, etc., when what we are saying is accurate and can be backed up by facts, whereas nothing you say can be? Tubby Smith’s record is clear for his entire tenure above in post 122 – the cold, hard facts. He messed up Minnesota’s program? He had the strongest tenure of any coach there in history. They hadn’t had back to back seasons with 20 or more wins in their history, and under Smith, they had 5 out of 6 years with 20 or more wins. Their record was 9-22 the year before he took over. They have been to the NCAA tournament 8 times in their history as a basketball program – 3 of those 8 times under Smith’s 6 year tenure. First victory in the NCAA tournament since 1990. Tied for most wins in a single season. Hardly a failed tenure.

  143. Jc#1
    10:15 pm June 7, 2013 Permalink

    Dee W. I figured out who you are you are Donna Tubby’s wife because only she would take up for Tubby this way .For you to not think Tubby’s Kentucky’s teams where not boring you must not have been a fan very long .You keep on crying about Tubby but I don’t think it has done much good so far because he is not hanging from the rafters and he is not at UK anymore ,THANK GOD!!!!!!

  144. Dee W.
    1:23 am June 8, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t have to “take up” for him – the facts speak for themselves, and those of us responding to you are citing actual facts – we don’t have to exaggerate, make things up, or spin – we just have to cite the facts plain and simple, even providing examples (which you just ignore as though you didn’t see them) while you just make everything up as you go along, either evolving your own arguments after the inaccuracy of them has been proven to be beyond dispute, or not responding at all and just making juvenile personal attacks like that last post. You aren’t a fan. Period.

  145. Dee W.
    2:41 am June 8, 2013 Permalink

    Regardless of the petty arguments being made with no foundation in fact, the reality is that Tubby Smith would certainly be an excellent choice to have a jersey retired to honor his legacy. Reality is that he is a huge part of the UK program and its history by being a coach for well more than a decade – 12 years total – as an assistant helping to build the program back to respectibility after it hit rock bottom and was still under probation, and later 10 years as the Head Coach. Reality is that the 1998 National Championship happened. Reality is that we appeared in the NCAA tournament every year and advanced every year for 10 years. Reality is that the 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004 SEC tournament championships and 2005 runner-up all happened. Reality is that the 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005 SEC regular season championships all happened. Reality is that the multiple SEC and national coach of the year honors all happened, including the first college coach since 1975 to sweep all national coach of the year honors in the same year and the first and still only UK coach to do so. Reality is that there was the largest margin of victory over an opponent – 62 points – since 1952. Could go on and on. Reality are the numerous exciting moments all the fans remember – certainly the 1998 NCAA championship and the conference championships, but also the moments like blowing out the #1 team in the nation (Florida) when it visited Rupp and the record crowd set for attendance at a game, the big plays by players like Sparks, Fitch, and Bogans at just the right times. Beating Pitino’s Louisville 4 out of 6 meetings when everyone was taken aback by him going to the arch rival. The five 3s in a row from Prince. Just to name a very few. The players deserve credit for their own contributions to these memories but that’s the reality of what UK fans remember watching during his tenure – not this nonsense a few malcontents are telling us we actually saw. Reality is how he lead the program with great integrity and was an fantastic ambassador for the program. Reality is the charitable work of he and his wife Donna – the foundations continue to this day – continuing a lasting, positive impact. That’s why the overwhelming majority of UK fans would support his jersey being hung in the rafters – and that’s what we remember…not sitting around trying to think of just reasons to be disappointed or unhappy fact or fiction – the few of you malcontents would do well to do the same.

  146. David H.
    3:48 am June 8, 2013 Permalink

    I am not a Dean Smith fan by any stretch, but the fact that in 2003, Tubby Smith was the only “outside the Carolina family” coach whom Dean Smith approved as a potential hire for the Carolina job says something.

    One cannot assess Tubby’s years at Kentucky without accounting for a couple of key turning points that shaped his first four seasons. In 1999, he had signed the recruiting class that included Keith Bogans, Marquis Estill, and Marvin Stone. The linchpin of that class – 7 footer John Stewart – died tragically at the end of his high school career. Then, Michael Bradley, who had started at center for the entire 1998-99 season (which ended just short of a fourth straight Final Four appearance), transferred. Finally, the presence of Saul Smith seemed to dry up recruiting a point guard for a couple of years. Thus, we lost the momentum of the late 1990s.

    The Fitch, Daniels, and Hayes-led teams from 2002-03 through 2004-05 seemed to bring that momentum back (two of the three were overall number one seeds and two just missed the Final Four). None of these teams were built upon highly-rated recruiting classes, but they featured players who thrived in Tubby’s system and showcased his skills as a bench coach. Ironically, it was Tubby’s number-one rated recruiting class in 2004-05 (Rondo, Crawford, Bradley, and Morris) that marked his undoing at Kentucky. Perhaps Tubby finally gave into the critics of his recruiting and signed players that year who looked good on paper, but who didn’t fit well into his system.

    In sum, Tubby Smith’s tenure will not be viewed on a par with Pitino or Calipari, and it shouldn’t. Yet, it should be ranked above the Joe B. Hall Era, for one primary reason: no whiff of scandal. Coach Hall receives justified credit for the ’78 championship and the overall class and dignity with which he managed the pressure of succeeding a legend. Other aspects of his tenure, such as the speed with which he integrated the program also deserve praise. Nevertheless, he appears to have completely lost control of the program by the time of his retirement (as the famous 1985 Herald-Leader investigation demonstrated).