Well the biggest news of the day actually was the news of yesterday as the Turkey Hunter released Part II of his ongoing saga (following the lead of the great serial writers such as Chekov) on the immortal Turkey Hunt of 2006. It is a piece of writing that most cant ignore and that has inspired ladies everywhere to wonder of his current whereabouts.
But much more is going on that just the killing of fowls. The airwaves have been buzzing with reaction to this piece by Danville and Kentucky Sports Report columnist Larry Vaught in which he takes Coach Tubby Smith and the UK basketball program to task for not making the changes promised at the end of the season. I highly recommend the article, in part because of what a solid argument is made by Vaught, but also because it coincides with the feelings of much of the Kentucky fanbase. As of yet, no assistant coach has lost his job, all are still doing their duties and talking to recruits and it seems to the casual observer that no changes will be made. For many, this is a sign that something is wrong.
I actually disagree with Vaught’s view here. I dont think that changing an assistant coach is necessary to help Kentucky rebound. Let me be clear. Most of us have NO IDEA what the assistant coaches do on a daily basis and there is no way for fans to accurately judge their success or lack thereof. I have heard many fans say that Scott Rigot or Reggie Hanson have not performed their jobs capably, but such comments are based more on overall frustration with the team than an understanding of their particular job performance. These assistant coaches may have the same complaints that you do about the team and Tubby is not listening to them. Or maybe Tubby wants more from them and is not getting it. Most of us are not in position to say one way or the other.
Having said that, I have spent some time around the team this year and Larry Vaught has spent even more. I can say that there are some troubling signs with some of the coaching decisions and I think Larry finds those signs even more troubling than I do. But ultimately, I take the view that the onus, for better or worse, is on Tubby. We judge the coach by the product on the floor. If Tubby Smith feels these assistants help put a better product on the floor, either through individual development or recruitment, then I will defer. IF he doesnt, I will also ultimately defer. Tubby knows better than any of us the strength and weakness of the staff and if it is not solid, he is the one who will ultimately pay. Seeing some assistant lose his job may make us feel better, but I dont think it will have any real impact, and is really just a way to make a scapegoat for a disappointing season. Tubby is not a person who likes making such scapegoats. The S&C coach was fired for reasons having little to do with his job performance and if any of the assistants lose their job, it will likely be for similar reasons. While many want blood, Tubby wants results, and I believe the best option is to let him command his own ship on that regard.