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RandBall: Pitino hire gets a "B" grade; Tubby gets a "B+" from Yahoo.com

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • April 18, 2013 - 5:00 PM

In yet another example of how the national perception of Tubby Smith differs from the local perception (or that in Kentucky, for that matter), here is Pat Forde from Yahoo.com grading all of the coaching hires in college basketball this offseason -- including Richard Pitino and Tubby Smith:

Texas Tech: Hired Tubby Smith after relieving interim Chris Walker, who replaced troubled tyrant Billy Gillispie. Taking an older coach who was fired by a Big Ten school and owns a championship ring? The formula worked once for Tech with a guy named Bob Knight, give or take a salad-bar confrontation or two. Knight made the Red Raiders respectable, with five 20-win seasons and four NCAA tournament appearances. The hope in Lubbock is that the 61-year-old Smith can do the same with a program that has backslid drastically. Smith needs to reinvigorate his staff, and he got a start on doing that by reportedly luring Pooh Williamson (who played for Tubby at Tulsa) away from TCU. Grade: B-plus.

Minnesota: Hired Richard Pitino from Florida International after firing Tubby Smith. There is little doubt that if his name were Richard Pittman, the Gophers would have looked elsewhere. But it's Pitino, and while the bloodlines are excellent so are the early returns on Richard as a head coach. He went 18-14 and nearly made the NCAA tournament at FIU, a school that had not even come close to having a winning record since 2000. The job will not be easy at Minnesota and there figures to still be a significant learning curve ahead, but Pitino has shown signs of having the total head-coaching package: recruiter, tactician, motivator. Grade: B.

What do you think, Gopher Nation? How would you grade Forde's grades?

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