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Old 03-06-2007, 09:35 PM   #1
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Default Kentucky to fire Tubby?

I was a huge Tubby fan until the last two years. The media is blasting Kentucky for even considering firing a two-time coach of the year and winner of a national championship, but the time has come. The numbers speak for themselves. Tubby has been good, not great. But he inherited a top program and has led it down a steady path of mediocrity. Twenty wins and an NCAA berth might be acceptable at most schools, but not the No. 1 all-time winning program.

Tubby's inability to recruit and his style of play has run the program into the ground. It's so bad that the AD issued a statement saying he will wait until after the season and hopes the team "can play up to its potential." Boosters are reportedly willing to come up with the multi-million dollar buyout. Tubby's last call-in show didn't take any calls from fans because of the outrage sure to ensue.

Behold:

--First UK coach to go 8 straight years without a final four.

--First UK coach to have to play on Thursday in an SEC tournament since the expansion to the current 12 team format.

--The First UK coach to lose 10 or more games three years in a row, and 4 of the last 7 years.

--The first UK coach to lose to Vandy in Rupp

--The first UK coach to be swept by Vandy in a season in 32 years

--The first UK coach to lose 4 straight to an SEC opponent in 30 years.

--Only coach to lose to Ole Miss at Rupp

--Only coach to lose to Vandy twice at Rupp

--Only coach to lose 4 home games to SEC Opponents

--More Home losses than any previous UK coach

--Most Double Digit loss seasons of any UK coach

--1st UK coach to not finish at least 2nd in the East since the SEC expansion

--Most transfers and problem players of any UK coach

--Never recruited a player to play in a final four in 16 years as a head coach

--Fewest NBA draft picks of any coach with at least 5 years (only 2 1st rounders in 10 years)

--47% of his recruits don't make their senior year

--Current 5 game losing streak to florida could soon be a new record

--Only coach with the overall #1 seed in the NCAA to lose in the 2nd round

--Lowest Average Points Scored Per Game since the 3 point shot was introduced

--Worst loss to Indiana ever (26 points)

--Only UK coach to lose consecutive games to Kansas

--Worst Loss on Senior Day since 1919

--Only UK coach with a losing record vs Michigan State (2-4)

--Only coach to ever lose to a number 1 ranked team at rupp.

--Only coach to ever begin the season ranked in the top 10 and finish the season unranked.

--Worst average attendance at Rupp Arena for one season, under Tubby (00-01 avg.21,014), since it opened in 1976.

--Rupp Arena hasn't averaged 23,000+ since the 98-99 season in other words attendance is down due to his slower style of play.

--Has only defeated one Top 20 team in the NCAA tourney since 1998 (#18 Utah in 2005). Also, has not defeated a single team seeded 1 - 4 in the NCAA tourney since 1998.

--Is this our first season with 0 wins against ranked opponents going into the tournaments in 33 years.

--From 1902-03 to 1997 Kentucky had only lost a total of 11 ten loss seasons, Since Tubby has been at UK he has already lost 5 more to that total in 10 years.

This shows how much Tubby has let the program fall over the last 2 years. These our are regular season stats:

Won/Loss record:
Probation - 36-20 (64.29%)
Past 2 yrs - 38-20 (65.52%)

SEC record:
Probation - 24-12 (66.67%)
Past 2 yrs - 17-13 (56.67%)

Wins against ranked opponents:
Probation - 5-6 (45.45%)
Past 2 yrs - 3-12 (20.00%)

--Outside of probation, this will mark the first time we have finished back to back seasons unranked since 1959-1961 (46 years).

--Already the most losses over a two year period (outside of probation era) in the history of our school.

Keeping these in mind, which way would a trend line point, up or down?

Percentage of games ranked in top 5:
Tubby 16%
Pitino 59% (53% if you include probation year)

Number of games in top 5:
Tubby in 326 games ranked 54 games in top 5
Pitino in 269 games ranked 142 games in top 5

Number of Home losses:
Tubby 19
Pitino 5 (7 if you include probation year)

10+ loss seasons:
Tubby 4 (in 7 years - soon to be 5 in 8 )
Pitino 0 (1 if you include the probation year)

Average number of losses per year:
Tubby 7.9 (about to push that up over 8 )
Pitino 4.8(throwing out the 1st year)

Games played as #1 ranking: Pitino 10 Tubby 4
Games played as #2 ranking: Pitino 44 Tubby 14
Games played as #3 ranking: Pitino 33 Tubby 10
Games played as #4 ranking: Pitino 18 Tubby 15
Games played as #5 ranking: Pitino 37 Tubby 11
Total games with top 5 ranking: Pitino 142 Tubby 54

Team Turmoils:
Tubby 2
Pitino 0

Transfers out of the Program:
Tubby 14
Pitino 7

NBA 1st round draft picks:
Tubby 2
Pitino 10

Rick Pitino's 1st year 14-14 probation team averaged more than 10 ppg than ANY Tubby Smith team except 2. It averaged 8.9 ppg more than those 2 teams.

Rick Pitino - Points per Game
1989-90 88.82
1990-91 85.89
1991-92 85.72
1992-93 87.50
1993-94 86.88
1994-95 87.39
1995-96 91.44
1996-97 83.13

Tubby Smith takes over
1997-98 80.08
1998-99 75.41
1999-00 69.09
2000-01 79.79
2001-02 76.88
2002-03 77.28
2003-04 73.91
2004-05 73.62
2005-06 70.77
2006-07 72.32

Final Fours
Pitino 5 (3 at Kentucky)
Tubby 1

Championship games
Pitino 2
Tubby 1

NCAA tournament
Pitino 22-5 (.783) (at Kentucky)
Tubby is 23-8 (.663) (at Kentucky)

*Pitino beat 11 teams seeded 5th or higher in 6 NCAA Tournaments.

*Tubby has beaten 4 teams seeded 5th or higher in 9 NCAA Tournaments.

*Tubby has beaten just one team seeded 5th or higher since his first season at Kentucky.

***

UK has 6 seasons of 9 or more losses in a 10 year period under Tubby.

That is 61 losses over the course of those 6 years.

His 4 years of other than the ones mentioned above he has only 19 losses.

I'll let you decided if 4 out of 10 seasons is acceptable at a top 3 program as UK clearly is.

***

7 out of 12 of Tubby's top 30-ranked recruits (Carruth, Parker, Stone, Allison, Crawford, Morris, and Azubuike) he has brought to Lexington have

A. Openly questioned the program.
B. Ignored Smith's advice to skip the draft even to the point of not being selected.
C. attempted to transfer.
OR.....
D. transferred outright.

***

Kentucky is 1-7 vs. teams ranked in the AP top 10 when they played them over the last three years. The only win was over a #4 Louisville team in 2005 that eventually failed to make the NCAA tournament. In contrast Kentucky was 8-3 vs. top 10 teams during the first two years that Tubby was the coach in 1997-98 and 98-99. (0-2 in 2004-05, 1-2 in 2005-06, 0-3 in 2006-07).

Kentucky is 8-15 vs. top 25 AP ranked opponents over the past three seasons including 0-6 this season. (4-3 in 2004-05, 4-6 in 2005-06, 0-6 in 2006-07).

Kentucky is 1-6 vs. teams ranked in the AP top 20 in the NCAA tournament since the championship season of 1997-98. Again in contrast, Kentucky beat 4 top 20 teams to win the championship in 1998.
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Old 03-06-2007, 10:10 PM   #2
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You "might make a full-length SC column out of this"? Haha. That's a scary thought if this was the cliff notes version.

I've been hearing the Fire Tubby drumbeat for years from my fellow UK alums. I thought I'd heard just about every anti-Tubby stat out there, but you've opened my eyes to a handful of new ones. I think some of the stats are unfair or misleading, but the overall case that Tubby is "good, not great" is pretty well done here by Marc.

I think the main reasons Tubby is still around: (1) Current administration wants to emphasize academics more than ever (pushing for more Top 20 programs); (2) He's nice; and (3) He's competent, always with a winning record and a NCAA bid.

My main problems with Tubby: (1) Recruiting is okay, but dumb. Yes, Crawford, Morris, Azubuke, and a few others have had top-level talent. But Tubby ignores the wrong positions, leaving us without a real shooter from Cameron Mills until Bobby Perry (Sparks only masqueraded as one due to necessity), and without a single competent backup to Randolph Morris over the last three years. And he gave us the poor-character Rajon Rando, who would've fit better on some punk team. There has been a serious lack of Top 100 players-- Pitino used to thrive with the Top 50-100 guys, I wish we'd go back to that. Now we've got Crawford and Morris and a bunch of third-rate talents in over their heads. (2) The trademark "Tubby lull". In every big game over the last 5 years, it seems like the Cats go 10 minutes stretches with no points or few points. I love defense too, but how about running a play? (3) Top-talents don't improve. Morris is about the only exception, but he's motivated by NBA cash. Tayshaun I guess, too. But how many guys pass through the program as talented freshmen and forgotten seniors? Crawford, Erik Daniels, Ramel Bradley, Lukasz Orbzut, Sheray Thomas, Josh Carrier, Jules Camara, etc. all came in with promise and will leave with promise. Other guys transfer before we can even know. Under Pitino, some of these guys might've been the next Jamaal Magloire, Heshimu Evans, or Wayne Turner who went from nowhere to stars under his tutelage. Tubby's players never seem to surprise me and make an unexpected leap. (4) Losses in big games versus good teams. Tubby just can't seem to pull out the close ones, also see Marc's stats against ranked teams. This year they're #2 in the RPI, but they haven't beat anyone better than Indiana.

I'm in the Fire Tubby camp, as I have been for about three years. My only question is: Can they find someone better? After all, Tubby could be worse. I was okay with Tubby as a holdover so far, but I've got to wonder if there isn't SOMEONE better for this job after all this waiting. Look harder!

We love you Tubby. You've just got to go.
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Old 03-06-2007, 10:12 PM   #3
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Who's available to coach if Tubby gets the ax? The only top-tier coach I can think of without a job is Mike Montgomery. If not him, who should Kentucky pry from another program?
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Old 03-06-2007, 10:28 PM   #4
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Meh, I don't know about Montgomery though. I don't know that he has any real ties to the Midwest/Mid Atlantic region that he would want to have to recruit.

Seth Greenberg from Va Tech has done a great job getting that program on the map.

Do they maybe make a run at John Thompson III?

Southern Illinois' Chris Lowery or Winthrop's Greg Marshall are surely going to be getting some looks from some of the larger programs this spring.

Dana Altman's name always comes up whenever a job comes open in one of the major conferences.

Butler's Todd Lickliter is sure to get some calls as well.
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Old 03-06-2007, 10:42 PM   #5
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Good question Ken. Let's make a list to send to the UK Athletic Director. Coaches I like better than Tubby:

Tom Izzo
Bruce Pearl
Rick Pitino
Bo Ryan
Stan Heath

Probably only Heath could be had. (No, I don't like Billy Donovan.)

There's got to be more out there.
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Old 03-06-2007, 11:16 PM   #6
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Yeah, and Stan Heath has not exactly done an overwhelming job at Arkansas to begin with. Something tells me 'Cats fans would just as soon keep Tubby then get Stan Heath.
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:28 AM   #7
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Perhaps Gonzaga's Mark Few?
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Old 03-07-2007, 06:34 PM   #8
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He wasn't even willing to give Indiana much more than a courtesy call I don't know that he would be overly interested in the Kentucky job.

He has a pretty sweet gig in Gonzaga and has gotten them to the point where the program is gaining a lot of respect on a national level. He is basically a God there why go to Kentucky where he could be out on his butt in three years when he fails to make a Final Four or win a title? The main reason Tubby has lasted this long was that he had such a great run out of the chute winning with Pitino's kids and he has not given the NCAA any reason to come snooping around. He probably would have been run out of town four or five years ago if he did not win that ring right out of the chute.
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Old 03-11-2007, 10:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by da12ken View Post
Who's available to coach if Tubby gets the ax? The only top-tier coach I can think of without a job is Mike Montgomery. If not him, who should Kentucky pry from another program?
Let me remind you:

This is Kentucky. #1 all-time in wins, 7 national titles, 41 SEC titles. Lead the nation in attendance. Kentucky doesn't have to go find someone unemployed ... we take who we want. I realize that sounds inflated, but it is a major, major position.

I hang out on Kentucky forums and here are who the fans like (in order):

Billy Donovan — There is a rumor that Donovan has a clause in his Florida contract (which expires after this year) saying he doesn't need permission to talk to Kentucky, his "dream" job, ala Roy Williams and North Carolina. He was an assistant under Pitino at Kentucky in the glory days of the mid-'90s, so he has connections. Further, even though he is loved in Florida, he will ALWAYS be second fiddle to UF football, period. Coaches like him have egos and want to be #1 one at their school. I would LOVE for Billy to come to Kentucky. But the Florida gig IS great and it is far from certain. But my top choice.

John Calipari — This is the most likely; he almost left for NC State last season and Memphis can't hold a candle to Kentucky's program; he could do wonders with Kentucky's resources in terms of recruiting and playing uptempo. Imagine Calipari vs. Pitino in the same state. Calipari has a chip on his shoulder for being second-fiddle and he's a guy I think could excel if given the job.

Billy Gillespie - Hot coach who turned A&M around overnight and can recruit and plays uptempo.

Thad Matta - What a recruiter!

Tom Izzo — No way. If you notice, he hasn't done much better than Tubby except a few more Final Four appearances. And his style is slow like Tubby's. Not what we want.

Basically, Kentucky fans want a younger coach to energize the program, recruit top-level talent, and play uptempo. Money is not an object.

If Kentucky loses to Villanova in the first round, Tubby is GONE. The AD's public statement basically confirmed the fact that they are not happy the way things are going. This is two awful seasons back-to-back and it will be even worse unless Tubby lands these two remaining All-Americans.

Tubby's firing is exactly like Larry Coker being fired in Miami. When you don't live up to expectations, you're canned. Elite programs can't be compared to the rest of the field, and 20 wins and an NCAA berth doesn't cut it at Kentucky.
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Old 03-11-2007, 11:16 PM   #10
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To be honest I don't know I'd want John Calipari. A lot of the talk around here when he was rumored to be coming to NC State was that while he not flagrantly commit violations he is prone to doing things that push the envelope at times. I don't know there is just something about the guy I just don't like. To be perfectly honest I am not entirely convinced he would survive at a big time program in a major conference with the spotlight on him.

I am fairly certain that Calipari had no real intent on coming to NC State. He just used them to leverage a better deal from Memphis as the speculation was that he got cold feet once he found out he was not going to be able to recruit the borderline eligible kids that he can at Memphis and he found out that NC State actually expects their players to attend class and stay eligible.

I seriously doubt Thad Matta or Tom Izzo are going anywhere. If I am not mistaken Izzo is exactly where he wants to be anyway, and I don't think money is ever an issue for OSU's athletic department.

I had forgotten about Billy Gillespie he was one of the guys NCSU fans were clamoring for last spring.
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Old 03-13-2007, 01:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc View Post
Let me remind you:

This is Kentucky. #1 all-time in wins, 7 national titles, 41 SEC titles. Lead the nation in attendance. Kentucky doesn't have to go find someone unemployed ... we take who we want. I realize that sounds inflated, but it is a major, major position.

I hang out on Kentucky forums and here are who the fans like (in order):

Billy Donovan — There is a rumor that Donovan has a clause in his Florida contract (which expires after this year) saying he doesn't need permission to talk to Kentucky, his "dream" job, ala Roy Williams and North Carolina. He was an assistant under Pitino at Kentucky in the glory days of the mid-'90s, so he has connections. Further, even though he is loved in Florida, he will ALWAYS be second fiddle to UF football, period. Coaches like him have egos and want to be #1 one at their school. I would LOVE for Billy to come to Kentucky. But the Florida gig IS great and it is far from certain. But my top choice.

John Calipari — This is the most likely; he almost left for NC State last season and Memphis can't hold a candle to Kentucky's program; he could do wonders with Kentucky's resources in terms of recruiting and playing uptempo. Imagine Calipari vs. Pitino in the same state. Calipari has a chip on his shoulder for being second-fiddle and he's a guy I think could excel if given the job.

Billy Gillespie - Hot coach who turned A&M around overnight and can recruit and plays uptempo.

Thad Matta - What a recruiter!

Tom Izzo — No way. If you notice, he hasn't done much better than Tubby except a few more Final Four appearances. And his style is slow like Tubby's. Not what we want.

Basically, Kentucky fans want a younger coach to energize the program, recruit top-level talent, and play uptempo. Money is not an object.

If Kentucky loses to Villanova in the first round, Tubby is GONE. The AD's public statement basically confirmed the fact that they are not happy the way things are going. This is two awful seasons back-to-back and it will be even worse unless Tubby lands these two remaining All-Americans.

Tubby's firing is exactly like Larry Coker being fired in Miami. When you don't live up to expectations, you're canned. Elite programs can't be compared to the rest of the field, and 20 wins and an NCAA berth doesn't cut it at Kentucky.
This is typical for UK fans. Berate Tubby for doing poorly in the tourney and then bring up Donovan and Calipari and Izzo.... who just happen to have very similar tourney success (1-2 good runs and a bunch of flops... seriously, Donovan and Tubby are each one title away from being Kelvin Sampson or Lute Olson or Bobby Huggins). Selective memory. And assume that anyone would want the job, even Izzo and Coach K and guys like that even though they'd never leave their programs. Don't get me wrong, I like "10-Loss Izzo" better than Tubby. I'm just saying the Cats fans are insane and irrational. It's like the basketball equivalent of Alabama Football.

I'll say this about a new coach. Energy's great, recruiting's great, uptempo's great. But not youth so much. Youth is probably not something I'd search for unless it came with experience-- you have to have more than a year or two experience with a large program. Running UK Basketball is like running a corporation. In other words, we're looking for someone with Tubby's resume when he came to us a decade ago.
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Old 03-18-2007, 01:49 PM   #12
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Maybe the coach of Alabama could do well up there. NOT!:lol:
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Old 03-18-2007, 08:36 PM   #13
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Tubby did a very nice coaching job in both games this weekend. The KU game was lost on signing day. Most glaring recruiting weakness being the lack of a competent backup for Morris

Watching Crawford force shots was frustrating too. I guess that is partially Tubby's fault for only recently going to the "all Morris, all the time" offense and allowing Crawford to get used to 1-on-everyone as a legitimate offensive strategy before that
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Old 03-18-2007, 10:37 PM   #14
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They did as well as they could against Kansas. I think that he will stay and should. He deserves one more year.
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Old 03-19-2007, 07:24 AM   #15
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I caught most of the KU and UK game on the radio yesterday, and the Kansas announcers (who have to be two of the worst broadcasters, and the absolute, most biased radio crew in the country) spent a good portion of there broadcast mocking Kentucky fans for even considering getting rid of Tubby Smith.

They even went as far as saying "only in Kentucky would you a fire a coach that got you to the tournament and only lost eleven games all year."

Truthfully, I think Jayhawk fans are cut from the same cloth as Wildcat fans, and I heard plenty of talk about how Bill Self wasn't the right man for the job after KU was tossed from the tournament in the first-round the last two seasons.

Unless Kentucky thinks they can land the big name coach they want, I believe Smith deserves to be around and will be around as Wildcat coach next season.
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