Sid Hartman: Summer change fires up Tubby Smith

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 1, 2012 - 12:46 AM

The NCAA is allowing college basketball coaches up to two hours a week to work with players enrolled in summer school.


Gophers coach Tubby Smith, giving instructions to players during a practice last fall at Williams Arena, says an NCAA rule change that allows him to guide players in summer school this offseason is something coaches have been campaigning for.

Photo: Jerry Holt, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

After a young Gophers basketball squad finished the season with a run to the NIT championship game, coach Tubby Smith is really enthusiastic about the fact that a new NCAA rule will enable him to work for two hours each week with his young players who are enrolled in summer school and make them a lot better.

Add to that the fact that senior center Ralph Sampson III could be the only player to leave the team and the possibility that Trevor Mbakwe will not turn pro and take advantage of the sixth year of eligibility the NCAA granted him, and it could make for a great season next year.

Asked about the advantages that being able to work with players over the summer gives the coaching staff, Smith said they were numerous.

"Those are times, development times, you can be 1-on-1 with them, work on their ballhandling, their passing, their shooting, and kids want that, they need it," Smith said. "It will give us access to our players in the summer, which we haven't had. What they'll have is, they'll be able to do eight hours a week that they can lift [weights] and do other stuff, and only two of those eight hours can be used in individual workout sessions.

"So say a kid is having issues, we can find out more about him 1-on-1 as a coach, and he's here in summer school anyway. It's something that coaches have been fighting for for a long time and we appreciate the NCAA understanding how important this is."

Smith believes it will be good not only for his players' athletic development but also their academic development.

"You can help Rodney Williams work on his shot," Smith said. "You can work on the footwork of Andre Hollins and get his lateral quickness better. You can work on some guys. Especially with such a young team and with so many freshmen and we have two freshmen coming in, we have a lot of work to do. I think it's going to be the best thing the NCAA has done in a long time."

Smith said that the Gophers weren't prepared physically when Mbakwe went down earlier in the year.

"In the Big Ten, we didn't really have that real physical presence inside," Smith said. "I think everybody has that and everybody needs that. Look at Michigan State, they had two big bodies. Everybody has to have a big body inside. Wisconsin had a big body. But we'll get [Maurice] Walker back and Mo is playing well. We'll have Oto [Osenieks] back, we'll have Elliott [Eliason] back. We should be fine, with Trevor we'll be much better. That's just a fact.

"Next year, Andre Hollins will be much more mature, he'll be a sophomore and he's a very good point guard who can deliver the ball. Julian [Welch] will be a senior. Maverick Ahanmisi, those guys will be able to handle the point, but I'm really looking forward to putting the ball in Andre Hollins' hands next year."

Smith expects help from his two incoming recruits, as well, saying: "Wally Ellenson [of Rice Lake, Wis.] is a good outside shooter, has a great stroke, excellent shot. We need a three-point shooter. Charles Buggs, the kid from Hargrave Military Academy [in Chatham, Va.], he'll be a big help also. He's athletic, he reminds me of a Damian Johnson, he's active and all over the court. He has an old-school type game, but he's got the athleticism to go along with it. I like him. And he can shoot the outside shot at 6-7."

The way the Gophers finished should give them a lot of confidence. You look back at the fact that they lost five games by five points or fewer and have to imagine that experience will benefit the team next year.

New announcer is 'perfect fit'

The Twins have a new play-by-play announcer this year in Cory Provus, and nobody knows him better than current WCCO radio program director Bob Shomper, who hired Provus in 2007 to be a part of the Cubs Radio Network broadcast team.

Provus was teamed with veteran play-by-play man Pat Hughes and late Hall of Famer Ron Santo in Chicago before moving to Milwaukee to work with legendary Bob Uecker on Brewers radio broadcasts.

Provus hails from Highland Park, Ill., and before joining the Cubs did play-by-play for Alabama-Birmingham.

"Cory is a perfect fit for the Twins," Shomper said. "After his stints with the Cubs and the Brewers, he is primed to a truly great major league play-by-play announcer. He will be a terrific ambassador for the franchise and the state of Minnesota. Cory is one of the most likeable guys in the business. We're lucky to have him."

Good words for Tolliver

Kevin Love is a big supporter of fellow Timberwolves forward Anthony Tolliver, who has filled in well for injured players in recent weeks after not playing much for a time.

"He stays ready," Love said. "He is the type of guy that continues to work. Just keeps working on his game, whatever the team needs. Whether it is guarding the best players, hitting open shots, getting rebounds, getting extra possessions. He is just a do-it-all guy we have around."


• Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said that sooner or later there will be an NBA rule passed that will prevent college players from turning pro after their first or second year. The problem is the players union would vote for one year, the way it is now, and the owners for two. Once they agree, something will happen.

• Gophers hockey coach Don Lucia doesn’t believe star sophomore Nick Bjugstad, who was drafted in the first round by the Florida Panthers in 2010, will turn pro, even though Florida has a record of getting its top draft choices signed rather than having them stay in school for an extended period.

• Former Twins closer Joe Nathan continues to have some trouble this spring with his new squad, the Texas Rangers. In six innings over six games, Nathan had an 0-3 record with a 12.00 ERA.

• The Gophers traveled 9,330 miles in playing five NIT games, the first three on the road at Philadelphia (La Salle), Miami and Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Middle Tennessee State), before playing the final two in New York. It’s possible the team was a little worn out when it came to the Stanford game, as the Gophers collapsed after playing so well up to that point.

Trent Lockett, the former Hopkins basketball standout who is expected to leave Arizona State for his senior season because he wants to be closer to his cancer-stricken mother, will likely wind up at Iowa State, where coach Fred Hoiberg has done a great job securing transfers from big schools.

• In the United States Hockey League, Gophers recruit Taylor Cammarata entered Saturday eighth in league scoring with 25 goals and 34 assists in 54 games for Waterloo; on March 23, he had two goals and three assists in a 7-0 victory over Sioux Falls. Goalie Adam Wilcox is 22-18 between Green Bay and Tri-City, his current team.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Utah 101 FINAL
Orlando 94
Charlotte 109 FINAL
Philadelphia 91
Brooklyn 91 FINAL
Cleveland 95
Washington 105 FINAL
Miami 103
Minnesota 98 FINAL
Boston 114
Toronto 110 FINAL
Detroit 100
Chicago 103 FINAL
Memphis 97
Portland 129 FINAL
San Antonio 119
LA Clippers 106 FINAL
Denver 109
Oklahoma City 100 4th Qtr 1:05
LA Lakers 101
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 3
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Ottawa 6
NY Islanders 2 FINAL
Detroit 1
Boston 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Dallas 2 FINAL
Calgary 1
Wilberforce 71 FINAL
Youngstown St 92
Jackson State 49 FINAL
Tulane 56
Siena 66 FINAL
Radford 76
Stillman 49 FINAL
Alabama 69
Case Western Reserve 65 FINAL
Bucknell 88
Niagara 62 FINAL
Buffalo 88
SD Christian 46 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 69
Concordia (MI) 60 FINAL
Central Mich 97
Northern Ill 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 58
North Florida 83 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Hiwassee 71 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 91
Tennessee St 54 FINAL
Hampton 66
Kent State 71
Central Penn College 65 FINAL
Liberty 94
Eastern Ky 72 FINAL
Miami-Florida 44
Northern Ky 83 FINAL
Morehead State 60
Northern Ariz 62 FINAL
Norfolk State 81
MD-Eastern Shore 43 FINAL
Old Dominion 60
St Marys-CA 47 FINAL
St Johns 53
Clemson 45 FINAL
South Carolina 68
Tenn Tech 58 FINAL
Tennessee 61
Washington-MD 46 FINAL
William & Mary 86
Bethune-Cookman 46 FINAL
Mercer 67
Furman 78 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 83
South Dakota St 53 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 49
Milligan 53 FINAL
Lamar 80
LSU-Alexandria 71 FINAL
ULM 76
Southern Utah 57 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 73
Chattanooga 58 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 68
Seattle 57 FINAL
Minnesota 92
Lipscomb 55 FINAL
Princeton 77
Winthrop 71 FINAL
SE Louisiana 81
Dickinson State 48 FINAL
North Dakota 78
New Orleans 56 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
TX-Pan American 60 FINAL
Creighton 75
Colorado State 85 FINAL
Denver 84
Alabama A&M 49 FINAL
Marquette 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 51 FINAL
Texas Tech 72
Eastern Wash 67 FINAL
California 78
Idaho State 56 FINAL
Utah State 69
Arizona 46 2nd Half 7:23
Texas-El Paso 41
Hawaii 55 2nd Half
Chaminade 32
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
Ohio Valley 33 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
East Tenn St 48 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 61
Cal-Irvine 44 FINAL
Purdue 69
Campbell 63 FINAL
Stetson 76
Jacksonville St 70 FINAL
Charleston Southern 43
Louisiana 64 FINAL
Alcorn State 57
Denver 63 FINAL
Wright State 72
Blue Mountain 30 FINAL
Central Arkansas 71
Texas State 51 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 40
Albany 62 FINAL
Pepperdine 36
TX-San Antonio 53 FINAL
Houston 56
Yale 66 FINAL
Bucknell 73
Northern Colorado 56 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 69
Belmont 86 FINAL
Mercer 83
Massachusetts 66 FINAL
Georgia State 71
George Mason 69 FINAL
Winthrop 57
Portland State 33 FINAL
Princeton 104
Samford 52
Mobile 30 FINAL
Alabama State 66
Nicholls 49 FINAL
Texas Tech 76
Toledo 65 FINAL
Nevada 56
UMass Lowell 48 FINAL
(13) Duke 95
St Marys-CA 49 FINAL
Virginia 62
McNeese State 55 FINAL
Rice 57
McMurry 49 FINAL
Houston Baptist 69
Seton Hall 74
(6) North Carolina 65 FINAL
Maine 36
Lafayette 58 FINAL
Stony Brook 60
Siena 62 FINAL
Binghamton 53
Longwood 56 FINAL
Clemson 72
Savannah State 51 FINAL
Florida State 97
(19) Syracuse 72 FINAL
(9) Baylor 74
Buffalo 68 FINAL
Manhattan 58
Canisius 43 FINAL
Michigan 79
Davidson 66 FINAL
NC State 82
Northern Ky 63 FINAL
Delaware 58
Saint Louis 81 FINAL
Austin Peay 86
(25) DePaul 64 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 98
Ohio U 74 FINAL
La Salle 63
Florida Atlantic 60 FINAL
Long Beach St 85
Miami-Florida 65 FINAL
Tulane 70
Miss Valley St 39 FINAL
Memphis 62
Ark-Pine Bluff 56 FINAL
UAB 65
Bowling Green 58 FINAL
Illinois State 54
Arkansas State 78 FINAL
Missouri State 62
Wichita State 57
(16) Oregon State 71 FINAL
Southern Ill 55
Pacific 67 FINAL
New Mexico St 62
No Dakota State 79 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 86
Utah State 92 FINAL
Sacramento St 102
Bethesda (CA) 61 FINAL
Fresno State 83
Utah Valley U 44 FINAL
Montana 68
UC Santa Barbara 45
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters


Gophers Football Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon




question of the day

Poll: How much do you like the Gophers going to the Citrus Bowl?

Weekly Question