Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Tubby Gopher

So, Tubby Smith is leaving Kentucky and moving to L'Etoile du nord.

Obviously, this is rife with implications for the Big 10 and the SEC, in particular Kentucky, who apparently didn't think Smith was going anywhere. As the ghost of George Washington said on the Simpsons, "There were quitters during the Revolutionary War, Lisa. We called them Kentuckians."

Smith is out of sons to recruit, I believe, though his oldest son may have kids near college age, soon, and the Gophers would certainly take Saul Smith, Jr to be their point guard over that guy whose name no one knows that they have now.

Tubby is a hell of a coach who was somewhat disserviced by coaching not just in the SEC, but in the crucible of Kentucky as well. Not to mention he followed one of the most successful coaches and recruiters in the college game in Pitino, not to mention that there were obvious racial politics demonstrated from the moment Tubby picked up the clipboard in Kentucky.

Welcome to Minnesota, where the obvious racial politics are never mentioned! It's impolite, you know. There will be questions about Tubby from the get-go, though. To my eye, at least, he seemed to have trouble recruiting quality players to Kentucky. Rajon Rondo was his best player who was not his own son in the past 7 years, and he was streaky at best. Tubby will enjoy a lot of the benefits when it comes to recruiting that he did in Kentucky--it's a major conference, it has Top 10 teams in the league, TV exposure, all the rest. It didn't help Dan Monson much, though. And let's face it--1994 Final Four run or no, Minnesota is no Kentucky.

Tubby is going to have to coach his ass off next year, and hope that Wisconsin tumbles a bit with the departure of Alando Tucker (seems likely) and that Greg Oden isn't serious about staying in school for at least two years.

But in the meantime, I feel like the phrase "A Tubby Gopher" needs to have a new definition. We've invented a few neologisms here are IDYFT, and I do plan to start sneaking them into wikipedia soon. But I'm looking for suggestions for what exactly "A Tubby Gopher" means. Perhaps it's a disappointing hook-up--for example, ladies, you could say, "Sure, he was totally cute at the bar, but then we started fooling around, and he turned out to be a such a Tubby Gopher."


Update (which includes a little editing fix a misspell or two, and to clear up my Simpsons reference). One of our newest favoritest blogs, Rumors and Rants (you'll see them on our blogroll) is also weighing in on Tubby to Minnesota. They call shenanigans on Kentucky basketball fans (I like the comparison of them to Nebraska footballs fans). Good stuff.


Badcock said...

Spot on, Big BM.

However, I think we'll have to see how Smith does in MN before a proper neologism can be coined. Otherwise we'll be left with things like:

"I know she was a Tubby Gopher, but I just wasn't drunk enough" or

"Thank god I'm so rich that I can send my Tubby Gopher to pick up the Chinese food."

Miwacar said...

Let's remember that Monson faced several years of radically reduced scholarships to offer and other NCAA sanctions thanks to Clem. He had little to work with talent-wise and little to offer any new talent. Tubby has an advantage right away in that department.

extrapolater said...

Gophers tunnel underground, so I think it might have to be a metaphor for bad oral sex. Too much teeth action, perhaps?

Jess said...

I agree that the jury should be out on just how we should use the phrase, "A Tubby Gopher" until we see what Tubby does.

I'm still kind of in shock at what my alma mater managed to pull off with this hire. In a few years (I'm certainly not going to get my hopes up for a while), it might be fun to be a Gopher baksetball fan again. A girl can dream, right?

Anonymous said...

Tayshaun Prince was a pretty good recruit!

Big Blue Monkey said...

I always forget about Tayshaun Prince. I think in my defense, he's ended up being a better pro than he was an a college player.

But again, I'll admit to not remembering Tayshaun all that well.

lupyles said...

Also, though he might not be the caliber of Tayshaun Prince or Rajon Rondo (in a few years, at least), Chuck Hayes was also a prominent recruit. He provided a solid, reliable presence and leadership during his years. And he even gets to play with Yao!

Anonymous said...

Minnesota's F4 run was in 1997. Just sayin'.

Jess said...

According to the record books, there was no Final Four run in 1997. I find that hard to reconcile with my memories, though, because I swear I was at all the home games that season and I distinctly remember watching the game that put them into the Final Four at BW3 in Dinkytown.

But there is no longer a BW3 in Dinkytown, so maybe that was all just a dream. The memories are so real though.