Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Guest Contribution: Tubby for Life

Paul Rome is undeterred by Gopherhole hate...Tubby though seems upset.
Ah, Paul Rome.  He is back again in all of his third person speaking greatness.  We know he can rub many of you the wrong way, but for many others he scratches you right where you itch.  Today he is professing his love for Tubby Smith, even though Tubby's squads have been pretty mediocre since his arrival at The Barn.  Enjoy!

First off, Paul Rome would like to thank all the STOB'ers and Gopherhole fanatics for giving him a warm welcome to the Minnesota sports fraternity. I appreciate the warm response I received from my fellow Gopher fanatics on Gopherhole for my Gopher Football recruits article on the Gopherhole football message board this past Monday night.

Regardless of what anyone says about the great Paul Rome, if you’re a Gopher supporter, you are Paul Rome’s friend. Alright, time to get to the whole point of this rant. Tubby Smith should be given a lifetime contract to be the head coach of the maroon and gold men’s basketball team today.


Before I dive into that, I want to give a shout out to my three heroes. I’d like to thank my Uncle Jim for being the coolest, cockiest sports personality out there. You are a true example of greatness. Second, mad props to the greatest wrestler of all time…The Miz. Like the Miz, “I’m awesome!!!” Last but not least, New York Knicks’ guard Stacy Patton (played by the late and great Malik Sealy) from the smash hit movie “Eddie.” Much like Paul Rome, you excel at speaking in the third person and for that, Paul Rome tips his hat to you.

Ok, enough about Paul Rome for once. You read that fifth sentence correctly. Tubby Smith should be given a lifetime contract to be the head coach of the maroon and gold men’s basketball team today. I can already here my fellow friends at Gopher Nation belly aching. Let Paul Rome give his two cents and then you can decide, but PR is never wrong.

Let’s go through all the reasons why you might want to can coach Orlando Smith.

  1. All his recruits leave school or transfer- Let’s see here… this list includes Justin Cobbs, Devoe Joesph, Paul Carter, Royce White, and Colton Iverson. Dominique Dawson did too, but he never played much so I’m sure not too many people cared about that.

Justin Cobbs left because he was homesick by all reports and went back to Cali to be a Cal Golden Bear. Tubby played him a lot as a freshman so he couldn’t gripe about lack of playing time or possibly not playing down the road in a starting role. My guess with Joseph is he was upset that he was the 6th man behind Blake and Nolen. He was probably causing team chemistry issues because of it and whined about not being a starter. That or it was academic related (this all speculation so take it for what its’ worth). Notice how Tubby never went public about disciplining him? Notice how Joseph never went public after leaving the U (probably because Devoe was in the wrong and Tubby was being a class act and keeping the details private from the media)? It makes sense though it may never be proven.

Paul Carter left to be closer to his sister back in Chicago so you can’t blame Tubby for that. Iverson was not going to play that much this year and I like Colton, but I like what I’ve seen from Eliason a lot more already. Royce is an unbelievable talent, but he had that incident at the Mall of America and when you break the law, it’s really out of the coach’s hands. The whole stolen laptop thing Tubby had no control over as wel. That can be pinned on Maturi, the U of M police department, or Royce White depending on what really happened. I’m not going to speculate on that.

  1. Tubby keeps complaining about a New Practice Facility- I hate hearing Tubby talk about this, but Tubby has a valid point. Kids are spoiled these days and want the best equipment, jerseys, stadiums, and practice facilities. I think of that scene in “Friday Night Lights” when Booby is raving about his black Nikes and Comer starts scribbling black marker on his white Adidas shoes to drive home this point. That’s what these athletes want.

If all the other Big Ten schools have a practice facility, that puts the U in a hole. The other 11 coaches in the Big Ten will always bring that up to a recruit who wants to be a Gopher.

  1. Tubby hasn’t lived up to the hype- I’ll put that one on bad luck. Had Mbakwe been cleared of that case down in Miami a lot earlier, he would’ve helped that 2009-2010 NCAA tourney team immensely with Blake and others as a strong supporting cast. Everyone gripes about what happened last year with Joseph and Nolen. “Tubby didn’t have enough depth at point guard last year” is something I’ve heard time and time again. Paul Rome thinks that’s hog wash. It’s very rare that one, let alone two point guards are lost in the same season due to whatever circumstances. Tough break. He had Ahanmisi as depth and if you ask me, I’d take Blake running the point over MavDevoe or Al, we would’ve easily made the Big Dance.

Everyone was complaining about no depth behind Mbakwe at PF earlier this season once he shredded his knee. It looks like that problem was soundly solved with RW 33 taking care of business and the three guard line up coming into its own. Plus, two NCAA tourney appearances in four years is pretty impressive for a program that’s been historically middle of road at best in the Big Ten. You can’t blame Year 1 on Tubby since he was playing with Monson’s guys, but I do remember him taking that team to the Big Ten tourney semifinals were they lost a tight contest to Illinois. Last year was a perfect storm of bad things and Tubby deserves a pass. There was nothing he could do to salvage that season.

Tubby has this team on the verge of making the Big Dance on the strength of some talented freshman he brought to the U (Joe Coleman, Dre Hollins) and the emergence of Sophomore Austin Hollins and Junior Rodney Williams. Losing an All-American would kill most teams’ seasons, but Tubby has these guys firing on all cylinders and making a bid to dance. That deserves Big Ten coach of the year votes just for making these guys competitive in a stacked conference that lacks true bottom feeders.

Mr. Smith has scored upset victories over top 10 teams (eventual #1 seed Louisville and at #8 Indiana this year) and some big time programs in North Carolina and Butler. The fact the Gophers knocked off storied programs North Carolina and Louisville still blows my mind. Let’s also mention he has done well against Wisconsin, winning three in a row before losing a nail biter at the Kohl Center last year.

To end this statement of truth, Tubby Smith should be given a lifetime contract right now, regardless of what happens at Iowa or Nebraska or the rest of the season. His track record speaks for itself and he has already worked wonders in Minneapolis. So to all you Tubby haters, get off his back. Thanks

I am Paul Rome and I am out!!!

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