ESPN Blog: NC State tailor-made for Tubby(Updated Tubby entry – 3:15 pm)

Updated at 3:15 pm:

Apparently Eamonn Brennan of College Basketball Nation Blog hasn’t gotten the memo from the national talking heads yet. He thinks one of the best coaches of the last 20 years might actually be a realistic target for NC State:

Smith is clearly frustrated, and with good reason; 2010-11 is the second-straight promising Gophers season derailed by injuries and personnel woes, from Nolen to starting guard Devoe Joseph, who surprised Minnesota with a midseason transfer in January. But do his quotes say something larger about his desire to leave Minneapolis this offseason? There are always rumblings around Smith — he was one of many candidates rumored to be in the picture at Oregon last summer — and the impending job openings at Georgia Tech and NC State would seem tailor-made for him if he decided to leave.

What’s more, no less reliable a source than our own Doug Gottlieb is already hearing the rumor-mill murmurs about Smith’s potential departure:

The hottest chatter in coaching news is the speculation that Tubby Smith will be on the move this offseason. Three different head coaches told me the coaching fraternity is abuzz over whether Georgia Tech will buy out Paul Hewitt (reportedly in excess of $5 million dollars) and land Smith.

We have plenty of time to await that news. In the meantime, one thing is clear: Smith isn’t happy. The extent of that unhappiness — whether it’s reserved to this year’s team, or involves his program and situation at large — will be one of the more intriguing stories in what should be an otherwise quiet rumor mill this spring.


Monday Morning’s initial entry:

Below is the latest report on Tubby Smith’s status beyond this season at Minnesota. Smith has been discussed behind the scenes by the authors of Statefansnation as one of the top, realistic potential hires for NC State. He has previously been tied to Debbie Yow as a replacement for Gary Williams two years ago. Also, he and his family have strong reasons to get back to the south with family in Maryland, Virginia, and Florida. Tubby played college basketball at High Point University where he also met his wife. One of his first coaching jobs was a high school job in Hoke County, NC.

Finishing his career at Minnesota makes very little sense for his family(at least to us) and Minnesota is nowhere near building the practice facility that was promised to him when he took the job. The funding isn’t even close to in place yet. Smith turns 60 years old this year. He probably has 5-8 years left in his career and he needs to make the jump sooner rather than later as his age will become more of a factor in landing his last high-major opportunity.

One source has indicated that one of the openings he would be interested in going into the season was NC State.

Sources have told ESPN’s Doug Gottlieb that Tubby Smith will leave Minnesota after this season.

There’s some speculation over whether Georgia Tech will buy out the remainder of Paul Hewitt’s contract and land Smith.

The Gophers are 17-11 overall and 6-10 in the Big Ten.

Via Doug Gottlieb/

10-11 Basketball Debbie Yow General NC State NCS Basketball

131 Responses to ESPN Blog: NC State tailor-made for Tubby(Updated Tubby entry – 3:15 pm)

  1. ryebread 02/28/2011 at 10:35 AM #

    If GT lands Tubby Smith and we either don’t make a move or make one and land someone like Gregg Marshall, I’m going to be pretty @#$()* pissed.

  2. Daily Update 02/28/2011 at 10:37 AM #

    ^They landed someone like Gregg Marshall in football(Paul Johnson) and we landed someone like Tubby Smith(TOB) and it has worked out OK for both schools. Better than OK for GT though they did have a poor season last year after losing several top Gailey recruited players.

    I consider Marshall another good candidate.

  3. thebigwood 02/28/2011 at 10:50 AM #

    Tubby reminds me of the South Carolina/Dave Odom experiment.

  4. waxhaw 02/28/2011 at 10:51 AM #

    Tubby Smith would be a much bigger hire than (Gregg Marshall, Paul Johnson or Tom O’Brien)……at least as far as comparing past successes.

  5. coach13 02/28/2011 at 10:51 AM #

    My preference would be a late 30’s early 4o’s long haul coach. Pros and cons getting a guy nearing the end of his career? Does Tubby have any fire left in him coming from Minnesota to compete in the ACC (when it recovers, and I think it will)?

  6. Daily Update 02/28/2011 at 10:56 AM #

    ^Agree Waxhaw. Not a perfect analogy with TOB, but still close.

    Tubby has been to the S-16 with three different schools. He made the S-16 in his 3rd season at Tulsa. Made it in his 1st season at Georgia. Won the national title in his 1st year at UK. And got Minnesota back to the NCAAs in his 2nd and 3rd years after taking over that program.

    He is a highly respected, established coach. One of the best in the game over the last 20 years. I think he has a good chance of keeping our roster intact and winning(NCAA tournament) in his 1st year. I am not sure if he has a high upside, but he would probably produce NCAA tournament teams for most of his tenure. Then we can hire the next coach from a better position.

  7. StateFans 02/28/2011 at 11:11 AM #

    How many National Titles did Dave Odom have?

    How many different schools had Dave Odom turned around?

    I don’t see the Odom/Tubby comparison at all. Tubby has IMMEDIATELY succeeded at four different Division One programs – Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky, and Minnesota.

    That is a lot of track record.

  8. Daily Update 02/28/2011 at 11:14 AM #

    Tubby has essentially turned down Oregon/Nike and Arizona(maybe others) in the last 24 months. What major conference jobs did Dave Odom turn down?

  9. BJD95 02/28/2011 at 11:15 AM #

    I’m upset DU didn’t use the proper “Tubby!” in the title.

    Yes, this Gopher team went off the rails. Shit happens. Tubby! has a track record. He has won a national title (yes, at Kentucky – but IIRC, that team was ranked around #16 in the pre-season, and was not “star driven”). He has elevated every program at which he coached.

    No inside info on this one, but I interpret it as a “shit or get off the pot” signal from Team Tubby! to NC State.

  10. thebigwood 02/28/2011 at 11:16 AM #

    I guess it was just a thought I was contributing to the conversation…but I mostly meant in terms of hiring an older coach for his swan song. I was at South Carolina during the Odom/Horn transition and it seemed Odom was looking towards retirement his last two seasons and his teams woefully underperformed.

  11. BJD95 02/28/2011 at 11:17 AM #

    This we know about Tubby! Smith:

    1) He would instantly stabilize a program that could be in utter shambles after the season.

    2) He is significantly better and more accomplished than Herb Sendek (a B-minus coach at NC State).

    3) Combining factors 1 and 2, I don’t see how this isn’t an “A List” hire, even if he doesn’t personally excite you.

  12. BJD95 02/28/2011 at 11:19 AM #

    1) Tubby! is more driven and a better coach in general than Dave Odom.

    2) NC State is a much better hoops job than South Carolina.

    3) Tubby! is motivated to have great success on his last coaching stop, and possibly position his son to succeed him or get another major D-1 job.

  13. BJD95 02/28/2011 at 11:22 AM #

    I will use a poker analogy. Tubby! is a pocket pair of Jacks or Queens. Not an unbeatable hand, but a MADE hand. Even an excellent starting hand like Ace-King (or smaller suited connectors) is just a hand with potential. More likely, you are looking at coaches who are equivalent to Ace-9 offsuit. Solid hand with potential, but I’d rather push my chips to the middle pre-flop with Jacks.

  14. PackInsider 02/28/2011 at 11:22 AM #

    I would take Tubby Smith in a heartbeat. IMO, he’s the #1 realistic option for us that I’m aware of (I don’t consider Sean Miller, Rick Barnes, or anybody else at a high Div. 1 school right now realistic for us at the moment). Scott Drew might be #2, but Tubby’s resume would make him, IMO, the best potential hire on paper NC State would have ever gotten. Even better than Tom O’Brien IMO. I realize championships aren’t won on paper, but the man’s resume is unreal and for him to be an option for us would be fantastic. Plus, I think he could keep the existing talent in place (should any of them be on the fence about leaving due to a coaching change) and wouldn’t miss a beat recruiting wise.

    I also think he’s good enough to win the ACC, right now.

    Forget about age. Roy and K are both over 60. Gary is the oldest at 65. That stuff is overrated.

  15. Wulfpack 02/28/2011 at 11:32 AM #

    If GT lands Tubby and we’re still trying to figure out what we are going to do with Lowe, I’ll be pissed. It’s one thing if they put a better offer together, but it’s another to be asleep at the wheel. These next 2 weeks, to me, are agonizing.

  16. PackInsider 02/28/2011 at 11:32 AM #

    BTW, what’s the story with his team this year? I know they had a couple of tough injuries, but it looks to be a free fall here at the end. I’ll admit to not having followed it very closely.

  17. Daily Update 02/28/2011 at 11:34 AM #

    Lost a double figure scorer to transfer in Dec. Lost a senior strating PG in January and a freshman center right after that.

    No backcourt. No chance.

  18. newt 02/28/2011 at 11:36 AM #

    For perspective – My understanding is that in his video on defensive strategy, Gregg Marshall begins by discussing why he decided to employ a “Tubby Smith”-style defense.

  19. packalum44 02/28/2011 at 11:38 AM #

    I just fear a Marylandesque program (of more recent years). Tubby and Gary are similar in my mind. Both are grade A+ coaches, on the same level as K. Both have a track record of inconsistent recruiting.

    If I’m Yow, I get comfortable that his recruiting will be commensurate with his coaching skills.

    Remember he struggled to recruit at Kentucky hence the breakup. Gary had the same problem at MD and came close to breaking up under out current AD. This is why I’m surprised Yow is fond of him.

  20. jbark 02/28/2011 at 11:43 AM #

    I for one would love having coaches we can nickname TOB and TUB.

  21. codebrown 02/28/2011 at 11:52 AM #

    Tubby would be nice, but Yow probably wouldn’t go for a splash hire right away. Bottom line is that even with Tubby, the program may still tank. So it would be wise for Yow to hire a younger gun with something to prove. We wouldn’t have to pay him the bank and there’s no expectation to succeed right away. If he over-achieves, Yow would look like a genius. But if we give Tubby the keys to the bank and he flops, Yow would be in a very bad situation. Yow is not dumb, i’m sure she’s weighing the possibilities.

  22. tvp1 02/28/2011 at 11:55 AM #

    I’m not quite as high on Tubby as BJD, but I’d still welcome him with open arms.

    My brother, Akula Wolf, and I have been profiling mostly mid-major coaches at Backing the Pack, and after going through about 10 guys it’s readily apparent just how much of a crap shoot this is. I really like Marshall. Other than that, it’s a total leap of faith.

    There are age and recruiting concerns with Tubby, but hire him and you could almost guarantee that we’ll be in the NCAAs next year as long as there’s no mass exodus from the roster (and I don’t think there would be). One thing we do have to thank Lowe for is that he’ll leave a nice stable of talent for the next guy (again assuming no mass exodus).

  23. JEOH2 02/28/2011 at 11:56 AM #

    Ive said it before and Ill say it again…

    The opportunity to hire a coach with the pedigree of Tubby Smith comes once in a lifetime…

    The opportunity to hire a mid-major coach w/ potential comes once every year…

  24. packbackr04 02/28/2011 at 11:59 AM #

    cant tubby hire someone to recruit for him?

    i dont really think Tubby and Gary Williams’ recruiting shortfalls are the same. For a few years there, Gary was opposed to recruiting kids who had handlers. that is why DY wanted to get rid of him. As dirty a business as it is dealing with handlers, its part of the job now. DY realized it, she saw the talent level drop at MD after the Championship and tried to dump gary if he wasnt willing to play by the AAU handlers rules. gary woke up and is now recruiting those kids (and his talent level has increased since).. so for better or worse, I dont really see the relation in tubbys recruiting woes compared to Garys

  25. Cardiac95 02/28/2011 at 11:59 AM #

    THANK YOU SFN!!! I’ll sleep much easier over the next few weeks now… 😉

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