Rand: Tubby vs. Monson. How much improvement?

  • Updated: February 16, 2012 - 6:54 AM
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Gophers men's basketball coach Tubby Smith

Photo: Jerry Holt, Star Tribune file

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Most people -- even hardened pessimists -- would agree the Gophers men's basketball program is in better shape now than when Tubby Smith took over five years ago. That said, certain comparisons can be made between Smith and his full-time predecessor, Dan Monson. The Star Tribune's Michael Rand looks at both coaches and their time with the Gophers:

Tubby Smith: Four full seasons, in the midst of fifth. Dan Monson: Seven full, fired during eighth.

MESS HE INHERITED

Smith: Team went 9-22, including 3-13 in the Big Ten under Monson and interim coach Jim Molinari the season before Smith was hired, meaning he had a massive rebuilding project. Monson: Had to deal with NCAA sanctions and the fallout from the academic fraud scandal that ended the tenure of Clem Haskins, a task that proved very difficult.

OVERALL RECORD

Smith: 97-62 (.610). Monson: 118-106 (.527).

BIG TEN REGULAR-SEASON RECORD

Smith: 37-48 (.435). Monson: 44-68 (.393).

RECORD IN GAMES FEB. 1 OR LATER

Smith: 21-35 (.375). Monson: 35-50 (.412).

NCAA TOURNAMENT APPEARANCES/VICTORIES

Smith: 2/0. Monson: 1/0.

NIT APPEARANCES/VICTORIES

Smith: 1/0. Monson: 4/6.

MAJOR INJURY WOES

Smith: Al Nolen last season and Trevor Mbakwe this season. Monson: Michael Bauer and J.B. Bickerstaff in 2000-01 season.

SHINING MOMENT

Smith: Rallying Gophers to 4-2 record in final six regular-season games, then a run to Big Ten tourney finals to earn berth in 2010 NCAA tournament. Monson: Four close victories in a row down the stretch to earn his only NCAA tournament berth in 2005.

HE WOULDN'T HAVE PREDICTED FIVE YEARS INTO HIS TENURE ... Smith: He would still be waiting to get a practice facility built. Monson: Just how much the NCAA probation would hurt the program.

MICHAEL RAND

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