Getting knocked out of the winners bracket in the Puerto Rico Tipoff Tournament was sort of expected when we played #16 Utah from the Pac-12. It was a tall order to play a team of that caliber this early in the season, but Tech never backed down and gave a good effort. Taking on the rest of the teams and hoping for wins in the consolation bracket was thought to be achievable. It turned out to be reality. The SEC gave us a run for our money, but we squeaked by to get the victory over Mississippi State. The last game in the tourney ended up being against the team who every Texas Tech basketball fan, player, and coach wanted to face all tournament long. It was against Tubby Smith’s former basketball program before Texas Tech, the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Coach Smith had been let go by Minnesota in 2013, right before Texas Tech scooped him up. The story to as why he was fired has many different sides (from www.startribune.com)…
Less than 24 hours after the Gophers were eliminated from the NCAA tournament with a loss to Florida, Gophers athletic director Norwood Teague held a news conference Monday to announce Smith’s firing — a decision, Teague said, that came as the result of months of evaluation.
The 61-year-old Smith, who led Kentucky to a national championship in 1998, was coming off his first NCAA victory in six seasons here when the 11th-seeded Gophers topped sixth-seeded UCLA on Friday in Austin, Texas. That was not enough, however, to dissuade Teague from what he called a necessary fresh start for the program.
“Obviously, we want to play for our coach and we feel bad because his career was in our hands, we controlled it,” outgoing Gophers senior forward Trevor Mbakwe said. “We let him down, and I guess we [caused] him to get fired.”
Teague gave the impression, however, that the decision was not based on one victory or loss.
“Our goal is to secure the best candidate to build a Big Ten and NCAA men’s basketball program that is a consistent winner,” Teague said. “We expect the new coach to manage and build the program. Expect him to recruit high-quality student athletes and develop them on and off the floor.”
Here is what Norwood Teague had to say about Tubby Smith’s buyout from the University of Minnesota…
Per the details of Smith’s contract extension, signed shortly after Teague took over as AD last year, he will receive $2.5 million as a buyout, up from $1.5 million it would have been before the extension.
“Anytime you spend money on buyouts it bothers me, as well, just like it bothers citizens of Minnesota,” Teague said. “I hope fans look at this one as an investment rather than an expenditure.”
Smith went 124-81 in six years with the Gophers, including a 46-62 record in the Big Ten. He won 20 games five of the six seasons and took the Gophers to the NCAA tournament three times and to the title game of the NIT once.
To catch everyone up, Richard Pitino the son of the famous coach Rick Pitino was hired in 2013 to take over the Golden Gophers.
AD Norwood Teague resigned at the University of Minnesota in August of this year after (according to www.startribune.com) –
… he sexually harassed two female university employees — inappropriately touching both at a university-sponsored event, and sending a slew of graphic texts to one.
Teague acknowledged his actions and expressed concern about his substance abuse in a text message sent to media members.
Now, back to the basketball game on Sunday. Where Tubby Smith and our Red Raiders took on Richard Pitino and the Golden Gophers in their final game of the Puerto Rico Tipoff Tournament. Texas Tech clobbered Minnesota to get the win at 81-68. The game was never really in jeopardy for Tech as we cruised to the victory.
Knowing the history behind the scenes, we all thought that it was a big win for Tubby Smith in a revenge factor sort of way (from www.twincities.com)…
If Pitino had his choice, he probably would have avoided playing Smith in this week’s Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament. But there they were, matched up in the fifth-place game. And this round went to Smith…
Smith, who was fired in 2013 after six seasons in Minnesota, admitted this one was personal.
“I’m really happy that we were able to come to a place like Texas Tech, where they celebrate you and you’re not just tolerated,” he said.
The third-year Red Raiders coach said his assistants were “fired up” about playing their former team…
…Devaugntah Williams, who scored 21 points Sunday, tweeted after the game that Smith was dancing in the locker room after the game. He was mimicking Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton’s “dabbing” moves.
“We’re just glad to get the win, glad this game is over,” Smith said. “There was a lot of drama. By that, I mean having coached at Minnesota and knowing Richard as well as I do … and seeing a lot of fans and friends from Minneapolis and Minnesota was a good homecoming.”
Here is that tweet from Williams –
Coach Tubby just 'dabbed' in the locker room ! #InProgress
— XII GOD (@DWilliams_0) November 22, 2015
For those of you that don’t know how to “dab” it probably went something like this –
Dab #camnewton https://t.co/KchPW7CgoB
— KJ (@KDJATX) November 24, 2015
Hell yes, Tubby Smith deserves to be “dabbing” in the locker room after this victory over Minnesota. I hope we keep up the momentum and keep winning games this year. If we can, then we all will be dancing come March! Wreck ’em Tech!!!