Mike Lantry, 1972
Minnesota has hired FIU's Richard Pitino, son of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, as head of ther men's basketball program.
One more time:
I find this surprising and depressing.
Sparty makes his way to the barn tonight at 8:30 Eastern for a matchup with Tubby Smith's golden gophers in a matchup that could put Michigan in the driver's seat for a big ten championship.
The spartans enter as 6 point favorites, and they obviously know their way around a barn, but it is a road game in the big ten, and if the gophers can find a way to hold onto the ball and big ten officiating holds to form they just might win one for the good guys.
The numbers are somewhat stacked against the gophers, but Julian Welch is on somewhat of a tear, going 7-12 overall and 5-10 from downtown against Northwestern.
Sparty is going to have to slip up for Michigan to have a shot, and their games at Indiana and against Ohio loom large in Michigan's hopes for a B1G championship...But a win by the gophers would certainly be huge--both for their ncaa hopes as well as Michigan's.
I guess what I am trying to say is...
As coach Beilein came into the same conference at the same time as Tubby Smith I think it is only fair they should stand as a measuring stick to the other.
Tubby took over a team that had gone 8-22 the previous year returning no highly rated recruits. Minnesota had been to the tournament twice in the decade preceding--in 1999 and 2005. Minnesota has been recovering from one of the worst academic fraud scandals in ncaa history(Leading to the purging of Clem Haskins from coaching in 1999). Minnesota's facilities are probably the worst in the big ten. So far as I know, there are no plans for a practice facility in sight. Most would probably consider Ann Arbor to be the better college town, the University of Michigan to be a better academic institution, and Michigan to be generally a better brand name.
Beilein took over a team that had gone 22-13 the previous year and returned one recruit of note-Deshawn--maybe one and a half if you want to count Udoh. Michigan had been to the tournament once in the decade preceding--1997. Michigan has an aging stadium, plans to break ground on a practice facility in the next year, and is still said to be reeling from the Ed Martin scandal which occured well over a decade ago as well.
On to the comparison: Tubby is 58-35 at Minnesota. Beilein is 44-49 at Michigan. Tubby has brought in 4 highly rated recruits: Joseph, Sampson, R. Williams, and crackhead White. Beilein has brought in one and a half: Morris and (.5 assist from Amaker)Manny. Tubby has brought Minnesota to the tourney once with no tournament wins. Beilein has brought Michigan to the tournament once with one tournament win.
Minnesota is hardly a recruiting hotbed--however those recruits who do wish to stay close to home have few other options, whereas relatively plentiful quality recruits in the state of Michigan(and northern Ohio/Indiana) have a lot of choices nearby.
Tubby obviously has won many more games--but at the same time some would say that Clemson win is more important than regular season wins and losses. However, it does seem as if Tubby is pulling in better recruits while Minnesota has considerably less to offer. What do you all think?