Practice facility tops list as Smith lobbies for resources

  • Article by: MYRON P. MEDCALF , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 14, 2011 - 12:51 AM

The Gophers coach said the true gauge of the university's commitment to men's basketball will come down to dollars and cents, an issue he's carried to school officials.

hide

Gophers men's basketball coach Tubby Smith.

Photo: Jerry Holt, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Gophers men's basketball coach Tubby Smith rarely speaks to the media after the season.

But he said he decided to talk this week because he wants to get the disappointing finish to 2010-11 out of his system and focus on his team's future.

To build the program he envisions, Smith said, he will need additional resources, including the practice facility that tops his wish list.

"I think there's a lot of room for improvement in areas and we've come across some that we're discussing with people on campus and that's where it ought to stay," Smith said. "I'd like to see something done to help basketball. We've done our part. We need to get that done because there really hasn't been anything done for basketball since I've been here in a major way. ... I think it's just the times. You had the financial economic struggles. But I think the university as well as the economy is starting to move in a different direction."

During a 30-minute interview with the Star Tribune on Wednesday, Smith said he is addressing his concerns about resources for his program with school officials. Other than naming the practice facility as a need, however, Smith didn't address any other specifics.

But he made it clear that he expects the school to make a greater commitment to the program going forward.

"[It's] kind of like the NASCAR. You want to win? You better put some money in there," he said. "You got to [have] the right engine, you got the right people running it, you've got to have the right pit crew. You'd better be changing and looking to evaluate every day. You've got to have that because you're competing. You're competing against everybody else."

The Gophers were the 17th-most-valuable program in the country last year, according to Forbes magazine. The publication estimated the Gophers' worth at $13.5 million, which included the $9 million profit it recorded that year. The school also spent $176,177 on men's basketball recruiting, the 17th-largest sum among public schools, according to Bloomberg News.

But Kentucky, Smith's former employer, topped the list by spending nearly $500,000 on recruiting in 2010. The Wildcats have a practice facility. And Smith flew on private jets when he recruited players during his decade-long tenure at the school.

Minnesota's proposed $15 million practice facility still looks like a fantasy, as the school's fundraisers continue to pursue major donations. Smith flies commercially on recruiting trips. And the Gophers' home venue, Williams Arena, is more than 80 years old.

But Smith said he plans to stay, despite perennial rumors projecting his departure to schools with the kind of facilities and resources he wants at Minnesota.

"There are some things I'm really not going to talk about publicly. And I think they need to be addressed internally around the university. But that's a given, and I think they're in the process of doing [that]," he said. "Obviously, we've got a new president coming on board. ... He'll try to mesh his goals and his vision of what athletics [should be] and what his expectations are. We still are a department, an arm of the university, not really the university, although we are a pretty good window to the university."

Gophers athletic director Joel Maturi did not respond to a request to comment on Smith's statements Wednesday. But in an interview last week, Maturi said Gophers men's basketball needs new resources, especially a practice facility. But he also said greater investments don't always result in better performances.

"I think it's proven that there's dollars and a commitment to a program [that's] certainly proven to help when you talk about facilities and getting the right coaches and the right staff and those things. But I think you also can point to several programs that have all of those things and haven't won. So there are no guarantees," Maturi said. "I think you'd better be careful with that statement of more money is going to result in more success. I don't necessarily feel that that's the answer, and yet there does need to be the commitment for the right things to be successful, including us having a basketball practice facility."

Note

Junior college players Julian Welch (Yuba College in California) and Andre Ingram (Butler County Community College in Kansas) signed national letters of intent Wednesday, the first day of the late signing period, and will join the team next season.

  • GOPHERS BASKETBALL

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cincinnati - M. Leake 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Minnesota - T. May 6:05 PM
Baltimore - M. Gonzalez
NY Yankees - C. Capuano 6:07 PM
Toronto - M. Buehrle
Philadelphia - D. Buchanan 6:10 PM
NY Mets - J. deGrom
Boston - A. Ranaudo 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
Miami - T. Koehler 6:35 PM
Atlanta - E. Santana
Cleveland - D. Salazar 7:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Vargas
Detroit - J. Verlander 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - S. Carroll
Texas - S. Baker 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Oberholtzer
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks 7:15 PM
St. Louis - S. Miller
Colorado - C. Bergman 8:40 PM
Arizona - J. Collmenter
Oakland - J. Lester 9:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
Los Angeles - D. Haren 9:10 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Washington - J. Zimmermann 9:10 PM
Seattle - F. Hernandez
Milwaukee - W. Peralta 9:15 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Atlanta 24 FINAL
Jacksonville 14
Detroit 23 FINAL
Buffalo 0
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 35
Kansas City 14 FINAL
Green Bay 34
NY Jets 7 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
St. Louis 13 FINAL
Miami 14
Carolina 10 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
New England 13 FINAL
NY Giants 16
Washington 24 FINAL
Tampa Bay 10
Baltimore 22 FINAL
New Orleans 13
Chicago 13 FINAL
Cleveland 33
Denver 27 FINAL
Dallas 3
Minnesota 19 FINAL
Tennessee 3
San Francisco 40 FINAL
Houston 13
Arizona 9 FINAL
San Diego 12
Seattle 31 FINAL
Oakland 41
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Houston 7:00 PM
Sporting Kansas City
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Phoenix
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pm
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pm
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. TBA
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Gophers in their season opener

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close