Tubby Smith

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More should be done to honor Kwame McDonald

 

Why is it that we Blacks must often wait for the shortest month each year to be honored, to get our accomplishments recognized, to get our heritage respected? Why do we often have to be half-past dead to finally get our bouquets? It took one Black History Month and nearly half of another before the Minnesota Golden Gophers publicly honored the late Kwame McDonald, who died in October 2011. The belated recognition came Sunday at halftime of the Minnesota-Illinois men’s basketball game. The Gopher women are expected to offer a similar tribute at this Sunday’s Minnesota-Northwestern contest. Continue Reading →

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Message to student-athletes: ‘No means no!’

 

Apparently based on recent events, two suggested prerequisite courses for all college studentathletes at all three NCAA division schools should be, first, an English class on the true meaning of the word “no,” and second a class on “making right choices.”

A former Hamline University men’s basketball player was recently charged with felony second-degree assault after he allegedly hit a woman in the face while in Spokane, Washington on New Year’s Eve. When she heard about the incident, Crystal Flint briefly chatted with one of her sons: “I told him that no one knew how it was going to turn, [but] somebody has to do the morally correct thing and go…at least tell somebody,” she recalls. If Flint, herself a former University of Minnesota student-athlete, is successful in convincing her youngster to do the “morally correct thing,” it will help eradicate the notion of individual willfulness embedded in too many young people’s minds that falsely tells them that whatever they do, rightly or wrongly, is acceptable these days. This notion we adults have somehow, consciously or unconsciously, planted and watered in them, thus enabling them and bankrupting them morally. This is even more so if the young person has been tagged a “star athlete” in his or her formative years, depriving them of understanding and of consistently hearing the word “no.” Sometimes we see a dangerous pattern developing and allow it to go unchecked. Continue Reading →

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U of M assistant coach helps guards transition to college play

 

 

The main teaching point Saul Smith stresses to the Minnesota Gophers basketball guards he works with is tempo. “As a former point guard, I think tempo is going to be crucial to any player. “[Controlling] tempo — whether that’s faster or slow, whatever you play — you are going to be more successful. This is what we preach to our guys,” says Smith, the sixth-year assistant coach who helps develop the team guards. Does the fact that he once played guard in college help? Continue Reading →

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U of M hoopsters off to promising start

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2012-13 college basketball season is now underway. Both Minnesota teams opened their campaigns last week with wins, but it’s way too early to call the season a success…

The Gophers men’s team also was successful in their home opener versus American University last weekend, but like Borton, men’s coach Tubby Smith said one win can’t be satisfying. His team must be intense from jump ball to final buzzer, he noted. To read more about this story, pick up a copy of the MSR newspaper:

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New Gophers AD says increasing diversity is ‘high on my radar screen’

 

Has the role of today’s big-time college athletic director changed? We recently put that question to Norwood Teague, who was hired in April to succeed Joel Maturi as University of Minnesota athletics director. “It’s multi-faceted,” explained Teague, formerly the AD at VCU for the past six years, on his new job. “You have to be very cognizant of a lot of different areas.”

Even more so today, the athletic director is more CEO than cheerleader. “[College sports] has become a bigger business and a larger operation. Continue Reading →

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Clinic helps hoops officials polish their craft

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Last weekend at Tubby Smith’s team camp at Minnesota’s Williams Arena, we got five perspectives on what makes a good basketball official from a former championship head coach, a longtime assistant coach who played as a professional for over a decade, a current college player, present officials, and a supervisor of officials. Officiating “is the toughest job on the court,” notes Minnesota Head Coach Tubby Smith. “You make one mistake and it’s magnified.”

He also points out that officials must keep up with today’s athletes and their skills: “Things happen a lot quicker and a lot faster — you got to be in the right spot and anticipating,” says the coach. “The number-one thing for me is being consistent,” says Vince Taylor, who just completed his fifth season as a Minnesota assistant coach. “Set the tone from the beginning [of the game]. Continue Reading →

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Gopher men to get summer coaching help

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman 

Staff Writer

 

Tubby Smith last month became only the third Minnesota coach to lead the Gophers to the NIT championship game. The school is now 2-2 in such games played in New York City. The season  — nearly one-third of it, almost 80 days — was marred with injuries where Gopher players were hurt this season, including senior forward Trevor Mbakwe. To show just how much he was missed, despite only playing seven games before a knee injury shelved him for the remainder of the season, Mbakwe still finished as the team’s on-average scoring and rebounding leader (14 points, nine rebounds). That in itself tells the Gopher men’s story this year. Continue Reading →

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Kentucky wins men’s championship 67-59

 

 

It’s been a long time coming, but the Wildcats of Kentucky have quenched their thirst for a title. John Calipari in just his third year wins his first NCAA Championship 67-59 over the Kansas Jayhawks before 70,000 in New Orleans. Man, can Calipari recruit: Previously at Memphis he recruited NBA MVP Derrick Rose, who after leading Memphis to the NCAA Championship game was drafted number one in the NBA by the Chicago Bulls. Kentucky finished 38-2, losing to only Indiana and Vanderbilt during the season as they navigated the NCAA field of 72 teams to stand alone number one. It’s the eighth time that Kentucky has won the NCAA Men’s crown, their first since 1998 when Gophers coach Tubby Smith won it last in the Bluegrass State. Continue Reading →

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Bow-tie coaches raise prostate cancer awareness

 

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, but it’s one in five for Black men. Women college basketball coaches and its players annually raise awareness of breast cancer by wearing pink colors. The “Coaches vs. Cancer” campaign features men’s head coaches wearing sneakers during games. However, this might be a first united show of support by Black coaches since the 1980s when Proposition 48 was first proposed and opponents protested it as a way to limit Black players from getting athletic scholarships. Continue Reading →

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Three-point review of Gophers men’s and women’s basketball

 

 
 
By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer
 
A seven-game review of Minnesota women’s basketball at this point of the season yields the following three points:
First point: Billed before the season as the missing piece, Rachel Banham thus far seemingly has made a smoother transition as freshman starting point guard than her male counterpart Andre Hollins (more on him later). “I think she’s doing a great job getting a feel of things, and she’s playing a lot of minutes. She’s really pushing tempo and keeping our team playing fast,” surmises Coach Pam Borton. Second point: Will junior Leah Cotton ever play “unplugged”? Yes, she makes mistakes (i.e., silly fouls), but often makes up for it with hustle and ball hawking on defense. Continue Reading →

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