NIT

Recent Articles

March madness continues

 

 

The National Invitational Tournament (NIT) has a rich storied history dating back to pre-World War II days. The Women’s NIT since 1998 has tradition as well — just not as long as the men’s. However, present-day hoops fans and snobbish media types give both the Rodney Dangerfield treatment:

No respect for either of them. While there are those who only see one tournament, and while the men’s NCAA annually gets marathon King Kong coverage and barely Timberbell-like coverage on the women’s side, this reporter gives four-fold attention to the two bigger tournaments, as well as the NIT and WNIT. Both men and women Gopher squads this week are in their respective NIT sweet 16 — the men play Southern Mississippi Tuesday at Williams Arena, and the women go to South Dakota State on Thursday. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Another View Extra — Coaching Gopher basketball a career killer

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

 

Only two coaches in Minnesota men’s basketball history have ever led teams to a national championship: Clem Haskins won two NIT crowns in the 1990s, and Tubby Smith won the 1998 NCAA title at Kentucky. Both Black men have the most 20-win seasons: seven for Haskins and five for Smith. However, both men also have the dubious honor to have been fired at Minnesota. Despite a 511-226 career record in 22 seasons, Smith unfortunately is a victim of college sports’ “What have you done for me lately?” philosophy. “When you let a guy go with the character and the skill of Tubby Smith, you better have an idea of somebody who can turn things around, and I don’t know of any of the elite coaches [seeking the Gophers job],” says Washington, D.C. radio host Mark Gray.  “I don’t know what direction they are going, but you are trading a sense of value when you disrespect a guy who’s a Hall of Fame-caliber coach.”

Minnesota AD Norwood Teague thinks that the next coach will have an easier time than Smith did selling the idea to blue-chippers that playing in a “classic” Williams Arena, a place that only looks good when it’s full of people, is an urban hoopster’s dream. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Gophers fire a great coach rather than build a great team — Tubby’s gone. Who’s next?

 
 
 

Former U of M coach Tubby Smith was not fired last week but weeks earlier by the information bubble-blowing media. One knuckleheaded bubble-blower said on local sports radio a few weeks earlier that the only active Black coach to win a national championship “had no credibility.”

“We live in a state where we’re used to inconsistency and a lot of fair-weather fans,” notes former KFAN host Henry Lake. “They went all in emotionally when the Gophers got ranked eighth in the country, and when they started to struggle the fans got bitter… Also factor in the media pressure from certain individuals in town that built the momentum up and ramp it up for changes to be made.”

“I think [Smith] did a masterful job rebuilding a dead program in Minnesota,” says Washington, D.C. radio talk host Mark Gray.  

Gophers AD Norwood Teague, during his March 25 press conference following the announcement earlier that day of Smith’s firing after six seasons, claimed, “We made this decision based on an evaluation of the overall body of work.”

Then let’s look at Smith’s “body of work” and compare it to his three predecessors after their six years at Minnesota:

Tubby Smith (2007-12): 124-81

Jim Dutcher (1975-81): 108-61

Clem Haskins (1986-92): 89-90

Dan Monson (1999-2004): 100-86

Unfortunately, too many locals got Gopher-giddy when the team’s No. 8 ranking in early January ultimately didn’t mean Bo Diddly. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Why so little love for the NIT?

 

 

The National Invitational Tournament (NIT) and the Women’s National Invitation Tournament both offer “deserved opportunities” to men’s and women’s basketball programs that, for one reason or several others, don’t make the NCAAs. Yet, both by college basketball fans and snobbish media types, the two national tourneys that annually crown champions are treated like lepers. This is the 76th year for the men’s NIT. From 1938-1976, every tournament game was played at Madison Square Garden, which hosts both the tourney semifinals and finals. Its field has been as high as 40 teams but now stands at 32. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Wanted: more Black women athletic directors

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer

Less than 10 percent of Division I athletics directors are women, and only two percent are women of color. Schools can’t say they can’t find Black women to fill these roles when openings occur. They can’t say that there aren’t qualified candidates, especially since the NCAA regularly holds training opportunities to learn the nuts and bolts of athletics management. “Until we say that someone is held accountable for diversity and inclusion, it won’t happen,” Black Coaches and Administrators Executive Director Floyd Keith pointed out at a NCAA convention educational session in January. Some have suggested a Rooney Rule for colleges, but this NFL mandate sometimes is a perfunctory gesture as teams still hire a White head coach. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,