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John Calipari and Tubby Smith: A tale of two fortunes

(USAToday.com)

 

We tend to have selective memory at times when we think back upon the happenings in our lives, especially our lives as Kentucky fans. We often times recall the instances when we were one moment, one call, one bounce, one injury, etc.  away from winning a particular game, or reaching a final four– or even winning a national championship. Those moments are easy for us to pinpoint– the “what if we had guarded the inbound in ’92?” moments. What we sometimes fail to consider though when retracing our steps through history are the moments that turned in our favor. We don’t always look at those moments from the “what if that shot by Aaron Harrison hadn’t gone in?” perspective.

I would argue that two coaches in Kentucky basketball history have had their Kentucky careers defined by such moments more so than any others. For one coach, the ball has bounced a bit more favorably than the other. 

John Calipari has one won national championship at Kentucky so far in his career. Tubby Smith won one national championship at Kentucky in his career. When the history books write about these two coaches and their respective time at Kentucky, one coach will surely be deemed as the more successful. The other, while still successful, will always come with the inevitable “what ifs?”

John Calipari has reached 3 Final Fours in his time at Kentucky thus far. Of those Final Fours, 2 of the 3 came on the shoulders of a series of impressive game-winning shots. Tubby Smith reached the Elite 8 three times. Of those Elite 8 games, 2 of the 3 were games in which Kentucky in many peoples’ minds should have won. In one game Kentucky was moments away before the game was eventually sent into OT against Michigan State, and in the other– Kentucky was a Keith Bogans injury away.

If Tubby Smith wins those Elite 8 games against Michigan State or Marquette (maybe even just 1 or 2 of the 3) and adds another Final 4 or two to his Kentucky resume’, how differently would we look back on his time at Kentucky? If John Calipari’s and Kentucky lose that First Round game against Princeton when Brandon Knight makes the game-winning lay-up, or Wichita State hits the last second shot against Kentucky this year in the second round… how differently would we look back on his time so far at Kentucky?

College basketball especially is such a game of fortunes and misfortunes. The NCAA tournament is so filled with drama and unpredictable moments, shots, games, etc. that a bounce here and a bounce there, a missed shot here or a made shot there can completely define how one coach or one team or one player is forever remembered. Tubby Smith had some great teams at Kentucky and seemed to always come up on the wrong side of the coin when it came to the biggest moments. John Calipari has also had some great teams at Kentucky and has seemingly had the right players hit the big shots at the right time in the biggest moments (i.e., Brandon Knight and Aaron Harrison).

… And Billy Gillispie’s big shots in the biggest moments might have been of a different variety.

Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

49 Comments for John Calipari and Tubby Smith: A tale of two fortunes



  1. Mac
    9:44 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    I don’t worry about those losses. The game I totally lost faith in Tubby because of was the USB loss. The fact that he lost to a team that was less talented, but played like the hustle teams of the 90s, AFTER all the bs about pressing and trapping he kept offering year after year? I was done with him.



    • Dee W.
      1:19 am May 15, 2014 Permalink

      I don’t know that this analysis in the article is all that valid…Yes, Tubby Smith had a lot of great teams that historical revisionists like to ignore and claim nonsense like it “gradually got worse every year”, etc. All nonsense – and it is not possible to have watched UK all those years and believe those kinds of comments are true – so either the posters are trolls or less than honest who post that garbage. We saw what truly bad coaching was in the two years that followed both on and off the court. Calipari is a better coach, and he’s a our coach now for the current era. He was not our coach then, and was not on the radar at that time as being willing or even being considered for the time. There were still plenty of good memories and players from the time of Tubby Smith – glad Cal is our coach now, glad Tubby was our coach then.

      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 at the time, 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

      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, 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

      3rd longest serving Head Coach at UK (10 years — a decade)
      12 total years coaching at UK
      Great ambassador for the program
      Charitable work which continues to have a strong positive impact to this day
      Tayshaun Prince was on KSTV and talks a lot about the influence Coach Smith had on him as a player and a person: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2J4wCBP4Vfc&feature=youtu.be&t=5m1s



  2. Mac
    9:45 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    *UAB



  3. Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda
    9:49 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    We could play this game all day



  4. jpgott2
    9:57 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    You could add that Cal did it with mostly new teams loaded with freshmen, while Tubby utilized a ton more experience. Plus, Cal still has a few more years to catch up to Tubby’s coaching duration at UK. I think Cal will separate himself from Tubby.

    Tubby was a solid coach, but his last few years are what drove UK fans crazy.



  5. STOOPS TROOPS
    10:01 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    Stop makin excuses for tubby. Cal didnt need other coachs players to win his title. He was a lazy coach no doubt and could not recruit like Cal. If cal didnt come here we would still be cleanin up TLT’s mess for sure.



  6. True Story
    10:03 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    Tubby’s been ‘fired’ from another D1 job you know? Comparing him and Cal is just silly, but I guess you had to turn in something. Glad it wasn’t a Russ report.



  7. MC
    10:05 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    Tubby Smith was above reproach. He exudes class. Bill Keightley said that many times. Would be nice if some ignorant UK fans would grow up and quit criticizing Tubby.



    • STOOPS TROOPS
      10:07 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

      Ha thanks Mr Willbon



    • ...
      10:16 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

      Coaching ability and class (and race for that matter) are completely separate things. Tubby is a great human who is black, but he was not a great coach at Kentucky.



    • OneAndDone
      10:24 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

      Wow. Racism at its finest. Way to make the #BBN shine. Smh



    • Reality
      10:37 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

      One coach was a man of integrity who refused to play ball with AAU coaches and runners. While Cal embraces rappers, agents and handlers. One coach won a title by playing by the rules. Cal has had 2 banners taken down and will do whatever it takes to get a recruit and to get him eligible. See Bledsoe and Rose.

      I am not a troll, far from it. Long time season ticket holder and grad. I just hate all the corners Cal cuts to win. He is a salesman and not a coach.



    • OneAndDone
      11:20 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

      ^definately a troll. Ticket holder… Ha. Nice attempt. Hope it made you feel better douche



    • Dee W.
      1:22 am May 15, 2014 Permalink

      “I am not a troll, far from it.”

      LOL – oh yes you are. I do give you credit – you decided to try to cover yourself by using “I just” instead of “but” as in “I am a UK fan, but” – but it’s just the same old soup warmed over.



  8. uklaw95
    10:12 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    Oh, is it time for another “Tubby Didn’t Suck as Bad as You Guys Think He Did” post? I must have forgot to put it on my calendar.



  9. Pistol Pete
    10:15 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    I think a common characteristic of Pitino and Cal is their mastery of psychology. They make guys believe in themselves and never give up even when it looks hopeless. I think this trait sets them apart from most other coaches. Tubby is very good at getting the most of his talent but was just not able to recruit enough talent to win big enough. He is not interested in chasing the AAU crowd.



  10. OneAndDone
    10:22 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    Good points. Tubby should be in the rafters. Yesterday. And that’s taking nothing away from the amazing coach currently leading our squad.



  11. El Guapo
    10:26 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    Tubby was a fantastic X and O coach. If you could combine Cal’s recruiting and willingness to swim in the sleaze of the shoe company-AAU-World Wide Wes circuit with Tubby’s ability to coach fundamentals, you’d see 40-0 on the regular. However, the AAU superstars don’t want to play to for kids like Tubby, simply BECAUSE Tubby coaches fundamental basketball. Fundamental basketball won’t “prepare you for the NBA” because they don’t play fundamental basketball there, either.



  12. OneAndDone
    10:28 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    Chuck Hayes. Cliff Hawkins. Eric Daniels. Gerald Fitch. Keith Bogans. Tayshaun Prince. Yeah, the Tubby days sucked…. Come on people. You sound pathetic. I hope the recruits aren’t scoping this site….



    • GrumpyOldDude
      7:16 am May 15, 2014 Permalink

      And Cal had more names than that in two seasons’ time. Mediocrity is not acceptable, period.



  13. joe
    10:33 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    Tubby was a good man and a good coach. But he was lazy when it came to recruiting and that was his downfall. Calipari has showed the world what the UK name is capable of getting in terms of talent. Tubby recruited Georgia talent to Kentucky.

    And by the way Tubby sat this program back years after inheriting it at its height. He absolutely does not belong in the rafters.



  14. Common Sense
    10:39 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    C’mon now….Tubby played Pitino ball with Pitino players for a year and it won him a title…The very next year he implements his system and we lose almost his signature 10 games. He had 4……4 overall #1 seeds and never reached a final four…yeah, that sucks….losses to UAB, USC, Marquette (let 1 player beat him)…ruined rajon rondo, got lazy and had recruiting classes full of Jared Carter, Woo, Bobby Perry, Sherry Thomas…..smh give me a break….tubby is a good coach at best….he is great if u just want to win…but if there is one thing you could count on him to do, it was lose the games that mattered the most in March and April….he owes Pitino one hell of a thank you gift.



  15. Duuuuuude
    10:46 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    If if’s and buts were chocolate and nuts, we would all have a merry christmas.



  16. huck
    10:47 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    I agree with a lot on here, he did not recruit – even a drop compared to Cal or even close to what he should have here. I’m sure some of you remember of, his boy the point guard? How many top 25 teams would he have started on?

    I think the rafters should be for special people, involved in UK basketball – not because he appeared to be a real good man. Special, meaning something along the lines of exceeding expectations, Tubby didn’t even meet expectations in some of our eyes, let alone exceed.



  17. John Ellis
    10:55 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    Tubby won a title with a team that should not have made the Final Four. He beat a Duke team with the most pro talent of any college team ever up til that time. He did with a team that had no future NBA stars, and his MOP didn’t make the NBA at all. Only Rupp in ’58 won a similar title. Pitino, Hall and Calipari won their UK titles with overwhelming talent.

    He coached two teams back to back that were the overall #1 seed in the tournament. It took a terrible injury to Bogans and the sudden emergence of Dwayne Wade to stop another title. The other team lost on a last second shot to the same Mike Anderson who beat Cal twice this year. Cal has the edge now by a whisker, but only a whisker. And when Tubby left because he couldn’t hire Saul as an assistant, he had a hell of a team coming back – Morris, Meeks, Bradley, Crawford, and new recruits Draymond Greene and Patterson. That team would have contended for a title. It was Rondo who screwed up his last three years; as he’s screwed up many things. And Florida in the same SEC division winning two titles knocked UK’s seeding way down. I heard a lot of racist garbage when Tubby was coach, from people who should have known better. Disparaging what he did here is part of that still. Ask Cal what he thinks of Tubby.



    • Dee W.
      1:34 am May 15, 2014 Permalink

      Indeed, that 1998 team got better as the season went on. Tubby’s in game adjustments were crucial to winning that NCAA title. It’s hypothetically possible we may have won with Pitino still there that year, but we know for a fact that Tubby was able to do so. People repeatedly come up with things about Tubby’s tenure that either are exaggerated or complete fabrications to claim they just “couldn’t stand” watching – things they never saw because they never occurred. One example was someone ranting on a thread about how Tubby played Sheray Thomas way more than Joe Crawford and how it was something that irked him then and continues to irk him to this day, but “that’s Tubby for you” – you look up the stats and find that is not even close to being true – it never happened. “Irked” about something for so many years and it never, ever happened. Ridiculous.



    • Pistol Pete
      8:11 pm May 15, 2014 Permalink

      Dee W, that Sheray Thomas played at all is enough evidence that Tubby did not get enough elite talent at UK.



  18. David Elswick
    10:56 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    Cal has already separated himself from Tubby. Cal has won 18 NCAA Tournament games in 5 seasons at UK. After a 9-1 start in the NCAA Tournament, in his first 2 seasons at UK, Tubby went 14-8 in the next 8 seasons. Tubby was a good coach, but there is no, and I mean NO, comparison between he and Calipari.

    We can talk about shots that went vs those that didn’t, but the proof is in the big picture. Cal gets the top talent, develops it, and has a contender every March – with the lone exception being 2013. While UK was very good in 1999, 2003, and 2005, the Cats were good, but not real contenders in most other years.



    • UKBB4L
      6:43 pm May 15, 2014 Permalink

      Newsflash. We were in the NIT last year. Sometimes talent does not pan out Regardless of the Noel injury, we should have made the tourney. And don’t forget that we were an underrated 8 seed this year that made an AMAZING run.



  19. louis
    11:22 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    As someone once said, “the better I get, the luckier I seem to get.” Or as Steven Seagall has said, “chance favors the prepared mind.”



  20. Jorge Pancho
    11:50 pm May 14, 2014 Permalink

    This piece makes great points. Dwayne Wade is arguably the greatest singular talent any UK team has ever faced in the postseason. Not only was Bogans hurt, Wade went for a triple-double. What failed Tubby Smith was his own son, Saul. Those 3 consecutive 10-loss seasons were every bit the Saul Smith Era. Only Eddie Sutton’s ill-begotten loyalty to his own son, Sean, trumps Tubby. And let’s get real, Tubby never coached a team to a first-round loss in the NIT. Tubby was in the Elite 8 a year after winning a title. Calipari was saved by the last 5 games of this season. Had this team not gotten on that run, a lot of the “experts” in this comment section would be clamoring for Tubby Smith.



    • David Elswick
      1:44 am May 15, 2014 Permalink

      The greatness of Dwayne Wade did not stop Kansas from beating them by FORTY in the Final Four a week later.

      Speaking of Kansas, they were the last opponent and Tubby Kentucky team faced and UK was outclassed. The superior speed, size, and talent of KU made it look like a Big 12- OVC match up instead of a battle between 2 of the blue bloods of the game.

      If you want to “get real” then you have to include all of the facts. In the NIT first round season, UK lost it’s best player, Noel. No, he didn’t play hurt, like Bogans vs Marquette, he missed the last 7-8 games of the season. Another real stat is Cal has 3 Final Fours and a championship in 5 seasons. That’s 2 more FFs than Tubby and the same # of titles in half the time. NO contest.



  21. Jeremy L. Scarbrough
    12:51 am May 15, 2014 Permalink

    This comparison omits one key point: hope. We all know that hope was stagnant or diminishing during Tubby’s years (and I knew and liked Tubby and Donna). A better hypothetical is what if Tubby had lost a first round NIT game? Would there have been ANY enthusiasm left in the base? Cal brings hope. Period!



  22. get real
    1:12 am May 15, 2014 Permalink

    Tubby was crap for most of his time at UK, was crap at Minnesota, and is now crap somewhere else…proof’s in the puddin’!



    • Dee W.
      1:39 am May 15, 2014 Permalink

      “Tubby was crap for most of his time at UK”:

      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 at the time, 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

      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, 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

      3rd longest serving Head Coach at UK (10 years — a decade)
      12 total years coaching at UK
      Great ambassador for the program
      Charitable work which continues to have a strong positive impact to this day
      Tayshaun Prince was on KSTV and talks a lot about the influence Coach Smith had on him as a player and a person: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2J4wCBP4Vfc&feature=youtu.be&t=5m1s

      “was crap at Minnesota”
      That was the strongest tenure of any coach in their history, including tying for the most wins in a single season – the Clem Haskins era does not count as much of it was vacated due to deliberate cheating – that was all fake.

      His tenures at Tulsa and Georgia were also among the strongest in those school’s history as well.

      If he even gets Texas Tech into a winning season by the time he’s done there it would be a huge turn around as well.



  23. David Elswick
    1:50 am May 15, 2014 Permalink

    Tubby left the longest Final Four drought in UK history when he went to Minnesota. In 3 of his last 4 seasons at Kentucky, the Cats were eliminated in the 2nd round of the tournament. 2004, 2006, 2007.

    I know someone else will bring up the NIT season of 2013 and that’s fine. I’ll take a 5 year stretch every time if you tell me that in exchange for 3 Final Fours, UK has to go to 1 NIT. It’s better, IMO, than making the tournament every season and never reaching the FF. You can’t win a title if you’re not in the Final Four; it’s simple.



  24. Lol
    6:09 am May 15, 2014 Permalink

    Love how everyone who doesn’t suck Cal’s dong is labeled a troll.



  25. BluKudzu
    6:29 am May 15, 2014 Permalink

    Tubby Smith is a great coach. Tubby Smith hung some banners. He belongs. Say what you will, Cal has had great success thus far “inside the velvet ropes and on the red carpet,” which is UK basketball.
    It takes the players to win, it takes wins to feed the machine. Cal has been doing what it takes to post the wins. Does that make him a better coach? Or better at using the program and assets better to accomplish the goals. I dunno.



  26. KyJake
    9:20 am May 15, 2014 Permalink

    I have often wondered aloud to friends what would have happened if the foul would have been called on the Sparks 3 against Michigan State in 2005 and how things would be different now.

    I actually always liked Tubby because he was such a class guy. Even now, having been gone from Lexington for as long as he has, he’s still involved with “Tubby’s Clubhouses” to help local youth. Sure doesn’t have to, just does, because he’s a good guy. I thought he was a good coach. At times he was great. At times, he was downright mediocre. But I think, as they say, maybe it all works out for the best. I think Cal is an outstanding fit for this job, and I think maybe in a few years we’ll all appreciate Tubby a little more. He was no Rupp, but he was no Billy G. I appreciate everything he did, wish him nothing but the best, and will always speak highly of him.

    But I’m thrilled that Cal is our coach.



  27. mlvei
    9:32 am May 15, 2014 Permalink

    In this generation of college basketball, the most certain way to winning is to recruit outstanding players, irrespective of whether they stay more than one year. Cal has proven that statement, which was in considerable doubt before he came to Kentucky. Schools which do it the “old way”, recruit for the future, still succeed but without great talent, and lots of it, you can end up like Indiana has with Tom Crean; doing things the “right way” (as their fans like to tell me often), but having only two competitive teams during Crean’s now fairly long tenure. Tubby recruited for the long haul and near the end seemed disinterested in recruiting and as I see it was what ended his career here. Minnesota fans seemed ecstatic to land a coach with a national championship, but Tubby isn’t at Minnesota anymore, is he? He and Donna are terrific people, but that was not enough to satisfy fans here without wins and national championships; or at least final fours. Some people are satisfied with merely playing a game and others only satisfied with winning. UK fans are the latter.



  28. dahc
    9:48 am May 15, 2014 Permalink

    I know there has to be something to write about and it is easy to put the current coach on a pedestal. But shouldn’t this discussion be had after Calipar’s tenure is over. Ya know, to compare apples to apples. It’s like comparing the sitting president to a former 2 term president.



  29. UKBlue1!
    9:50 am May 15, 2014 Permalink

    I got irritated with Tubby about the season of team Turmoil. There was not excuse recruiting some of the players he had on his team. I think x and o’s he did well. But it’s hard to beat other teams when you get to the round of 8, when you don’t have talent. He only produced 5 NBA players. I don’t count those that were recruited by Pitino. Tubby was a lazy recruiter, he got late in the game on several recruits and couldn’t convince them to come to UK at the last minute. He wouldn’t have got Rondo if Pitino had of given him a scholarship instead of Telafair. Credit goes to Smith for 1998 but otherwise he was a failure and doesn’t deserve to have a jersey hung with his name on it.



  30. boo boo
    10:55 am May 15, 2014 Permalink

    TLT was a decent coach who didn’t recruit consistently. His lack of recruiting consistency led to teams that were almost always incomplete and teams that usually lacked a superstar capable of leading a team to the Title. He had one guy who was probably capable of taking Kentucky all the way. That guy was Rondo. BUT! Instead of coaching with Rondo in mind, Tubby tried to control Rondo. He yoked Rondo. Tubby was an above average coach and a sub-par recruiter. Even when he did recruit well, his best recruits didn’t really shine until AFTER they left Kentucky for the NBA.

    That is his legacy. Above Average Coach/Sub-par Recruiter who couldn’t handle real talent.

    Kentucky is all about Final Fours and Championships. It’s about real contention.

    With Tubby, I only thought that Kentucky was in the hunt about three out of ten years. That is sub-par at Kentucky.



  31. Tangledupinblue
    12:44 pm May 15, 2014 Permalink

    In the NCAA tournament “ole classy tubster ” never beat a team seeded above a FIVE seed in any year after 1998 , his first year with a hand delivered championship team . He has NEVER recruited a player that got to play in the final four .There were at least 50 coaches that could have done what tubby did here during those years . How anyone can think he is anything but average is beyond me . The UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY made tubby . He would have been a journeyman coach if not for us .



    • FearTheBrow
      1:12 pm May 15, 2014 Permalink

      Recruit recruit recruit! That’s all he lacked. Too bad he never realized that. He was a great floor coach, but just didn’t get the players he should have and could have. I can remember looking at the recruiting board while Tubby was here and UK had one player in the top 100, ONE.



  32. FearTheBrow
    1:00 pm May 15, 2014 Permalink

    It would have made quite a bit of difference if Tubby had one just one of the Elite 8 games after 1998. Bottom line he didn’t recruit at a high enough level. In his later years at UK he was spotted recruiting at places more like a D2 program would recruit. Great person, great x’s and o’s coach, but the x’s and o’s don’t beat the Henry’s and Joe’s most of the time. I see him having more success where he is now than UM. Hard to recruit guys to go where a balmy day during basketball season is 10 degrees.



  33. UKBB4L
    6:37 pm May 15, 2014 Permalink

    Tubby was a great coach for UK who exhibited poise and the highest character during his tenure. And for all those who deem his championship the Pitino leftovers, let me tell you something. Someone had to coach those kids. It’s clear in this day and age that loads of talent does not automatically equate to a championship.

    Furthermore, who was his replacement???? A drunk idiot who couldn’t coach a rat to a garbage can.

    Did we get lucky by getting Cal? Yes. But it came with much baggage that fans must defend day in and day out.

    Don’t call me a troll. I watched Roger Harden and Rob Locke in the day and I bleed blue. But Tubby Smith was one of our greatest assets.



  34. ==== PIX2CLICK ====
    12:04 pm May 16, 2014 Permalink

    ==== Tubby had more class in his little finger than Calamari has in his big ass ! ====