March 25th, 2013 at 2:10 PM ^

This was his job as soon as they lost in the B1G tourney. Sweet 16 or bust. The sentiment around the Cities was that this is his best team. If he cant get win the conference with his best team or make it to the Sweet 16 with his best team then he is not good enough. I agree they had a a really fun team to watch and the win over IU was huge for the program. Also, does Minny really want another Brewster to follow after Mason.

I made this argument to my MN alumni friend and he said sure, but we will get Shaka Smart. I said, he turned down U of I. He said, Minny's AD was the AD at VCU and he and Shaka are besties. I said, oh, then he should get fired.

turd ferguson

March 25th, 2013 at 2:33 PM ^

If that's true, then this decision can essentially be evaluated by whether or not they get Shaka Smart.  If they get him, great move.  If they don't, I'd be shocked if they get someone much better than Smith to come to Minnesota right now, especially knowing that Smith's performance at Minnesota could get you fired.


March 25th, 2013 at 6:49 PM ^

I don't know. Shaka seems like a different sort of cat. I could see him picking Minny over UCLA because of loyalty and/or a great relationship with a former AD. I mean, we're talking about a guy who after VCU's final four run basically had his pick of where he could have gone, and he chose to stay at VCU.


March 25th, 2013 at 3:21 PM ^

They didn't do that well this year.  They went 8-10 in Big Ten play with a pretty talented roster.  They did win their first tournament game in over a decade, though.  I would have thought that win would have bought him an extra year.


March 25th, 2013 at 4:54 PM ^

If UCLA fired Howland because of the embarrassing loss to MN, in hopes of getting Shaka Smart to replace him...  Then when MN loses, they fire their coach in hopes of getting Shaka Smart...

Shaka must have an awesome agent calling AD's as their teams get bumped from the tournament...


March 25th, 2013 at 6:48 PM ^

The comparison of Minnesota's firing of Tubby Smith to the football firing of Glen Mason is the first thing that comes to mind.  While it is frustrating that it seems like Minnesota can do no better than making the NCAA's and maybe winning 1 game, I am not sure the successor they bring in can even expect to do that well.  If Minnesota is able to bring in a big-time coach like Shaka, that would be one thing.  However, I would have to think Shaka would need to be offered one of the premier jobs in the country to leave VCU right now.  Minnesota, while definitely a step-up, is not one of the premier jobs in the country.  Glen Mason seemed to consistently go between 7-5 and 9-3 ish and didn't do well in bowl games and never won the B10.  Still, his results were better than what came before or what is going to come after him.  Minnesota football has a ceiling and it isn't the Rose Bowl.  That program wasn't going to do any better than what they were doing under Glen Mason.  I am not sure the Minnesota basketball program will do much better under another coach either.  I was kind of surprised when Tubby even took the Minnesota job in the first place coming after a National Championship at Kentucky.  I understand the frustration and the disappointment the Gopher faithful have over this year's team not meeting expectations but I just don't think B10 Titles or Final 4's are realistic at Minnesota.

snarling wolverine

March 25th, 2013 at 7:40 PM ^

In 1997, Minnesota won the Big Ten and went to the Final Four.  (They did later vacate that season, though IIRC it was due to academic fraud and not recruiting irregularities.) Basketball is a different can of worms from football.  The state of Minnesota will probably never produce enough talent to sustain a quality football program, but they can get it done in basketball.  You only need a couple of stars and can fill out the rest of the roster with role players.  You don't need 85 guys like in football.



March 25th, 2013 at 3:24 PM ^

They were ranked in the top 10 early on in league play.  But that made their collapse (they lost 12 of their last 18 games) that much more inexplicable.  Whether this was a fireable offense, I don't know, but I definitely thought they underperformed. 




March 25th, 2013 at 1:31 PM ^

You don't have to win the national title to be relevent, especially considering I would consider us relevent and we are in the sweet 16 for the first time in 19 years.

Minnesota lost to one of the best teams in the tournament after a very good season. They were certainly relevent and I'm shocked Tubby got fired.


March 25th, 2013 at 2:43 PM ^

Its all relative and semantics at this point.  What does "very" mean??  Minnesota has been an average (above-average?) program for years and they had a very good season in a tough conference.  I think that much is clear.  But did they have a "very" good season compared to Indiana or Michigan?  I guess maybe not. 

All that said, I'm not sure Minnesota will get much better under someone other than Tubby Smith.


March 25th, 2013 at 3:44 PM ^

Minnesota has been an average (above-average?) program for years and they had a very good season in a tough conference. I think that much is clear.

Is a 21-13 (8-10 conf.) season really "very good," given that this was the year Minnesota had been pointing to for years? They had quite a bit of talent this year, and occasionally they showed this (beating IU and MSU, demolishing UCLA). But far too often they didn't.


March 26th, 2013 at 7:15 AM ^

Their AD obviously disagreed.

We sound pretty patronizing here.  We would not be thrilled to never post a winning Big Ten season in six years and win only one tournament game in that time, so why should Minnesota? 

Beilein and Smith were both hired in 2007.  In their first year, Michigan went 10-22 overall and 5-13 in Big Ten play, while Minnesota went went 20-14 and 8-10, respectively.  At that point, Minnesota's program seemed in better shape than ours.

This year, Michigan has gone 28-7 and 12-6, respectively.  And Minnesota?  21-13 overall and 8-10.  We improved; they spun their wheels.  I'm surprised that he did get fired after finally winning a tournament game, but I can understand it completely.



March 25th, 2013 at 1:50 PM ^

The comparison to Glen Mason is faulty for several reasons. The most important one is that the state of Minnesota produces some very good basketball talent. 2 of the top 10 players in the 2014 class are from MN and there is another highly regarded 4 star. In contrast, Minnesota is a wasteland for football recruits. Furthermore, the basketball program has a history of success that does not outdate the forward pass. Minnesota went to the final four in 1997 (yes this officially off the record books due to kids not doing there own homework).

Whether this proves to be a good decision is completly dependent on who they hire. Rumor here in MN, is that a coach has already accepted an offer.



March 25th, 2013 at 12:50 PM ^

surprising at all.  To say that they did pretty well in the tournament this year is to forget that this team was in the Top 10 in January.  They have 3 potential pros.  Getting to the second round of the tournament is not doing well the tournament for a team with that talent.  Minnesota has been underacheiving pretty consistently under Smith and from watching him this season I don't think his heart was in it.


March 25th, 2013 at 2:23 PM ^

Minnesota was down after suffering sanctions following its final four team. This is very comprable to how Michigan was down following the Fab 5.

I dislike the Gophers as much as almost anyone else on this blog (I left MN to go to undergrad at Michigan), but I think you guys are over exageriting how low of expectations Minnesota should have.


March 25th, 2013 at 2:33 PM ^

No, there is no real hatred for UofMN from Michigan fans in my experience. The Little Brown Jug is so onesided that is impossible for real hatred to exist. My point was only that I have more reason to dislike the Gophers than most on this board and that people are being excessively pessimistic about the Gophers' future in basketball.


March 25th, 2013 at 12:51 PM ^

Reasons this is perplexing: Tubby got Minny to tourney 3 out of 6 seasons (NIT two seasons); prior to that, Minny made the tournament ONE time since 1989 (if you don't count the "unofficial," wiped out Haskins' seasons).  Also, Tubby isn't a great coach by any stretch; but he recruits well, and frankly, I'm not sure what more Minny honestly expects?  This feels like a Glen Mason situation.


Reasons this makes sense:  Tubby recruits great, but doesn't get a ton out of his talent.  Again, not a great coach.  Finally, Minny's AD is really plugged into CBB coaching, having started Villa 7.  Dude also hired Shaka Smart at VCU, so obviously he thinks he knows what he's looking for.

We shall see.  Seems really, really risky to me.


March 25th, 2013 at 1:03 PM ^

I remember thinking when Glen Mason got let go that Minnesota had a coach who is consistently in the bowl games and finishes in the upper half of the Big Ten -- why would they let him go?  Do they really think that they'll become Ohio State or Michigan without the history, money or recruiting base?

I feel the same way about this decision -- they made the round of 32.  They had an exciting, albeit inconsistent, team.  I realize that Minnesota probably looks east and says -- if Wisconsin can do it in football and basketball we can too.  That's possible, but it's more likely that they become Penn State or Nebraska in basketball.