I was among those who jumped up and down waving my maroon and gold pom-pom's when Tubby Smith announced he was coming to be our basketball coach. Smith was a winner, he had a championship pedigree and he picked us. Fast forward six seasons and not only has the team not produced, the program is in the midst of one of the worst collapses in sports history. You heard me, in the history of sports.
With the latest meltdown in their loss to Ohio State, it is painfully obvious that Smith has completely checked out. When the Gophers rang in the New Year they had just defeated Tom Izzo and Sparty it appeared as though team Tubby was in for an influential run. They were 15-1 and the base couldn't wait until March when the team would finally make a mark in a tournament not known as the NIT.
Since then, the team is 5-8 with embarrassing losses to Iowa and the Buckeyes. To say the Gophers played lifeless basketball would be giving them entirely too much credit. Think about the fact that this team was ranked number 8 in the nation earlier this year. Now they are not even a sure thing to make the NCAA tournament.
15-1 to not in, are you serious?
A man on a white horse might be on the horizon.
To coin a phrase from Star Wars, ‘help us Shaka, you're our only hope'.
Shaka Smart made himself a household name when he took his VCU Rams to the final four in the 2010-2011 season. Smart has a 100-31 career record, he is better equipped to relate with today's players (which is a nice way of saying Tubby is old) and our favorite team has a pipeline to him in our Athletic Director Norwood Teague.
When Teague came here from Virginia Commonwealth in June of last year and as all A.D's do, they want to make their own mark. Smith's buyout will cost the University $2.5 million, but with this season as our guide, we'd get just as much out of Smith paying him to sit home.
As the losses have piled up, the noise surrounding Smith has become louder. To a point where like a car wreck, you have to watch just to see what happens next. A major donor along with Teague had a front row seat to watch the Ohio State meltdown where the Gophers only mustered 22 second half points and went over 10 minutes without a field goal. That statistic is totally unacceptable for a Division I college basketball team and a coach that has the pedigree that Smith has.
A change needs to be made. The answer is easy and obvious.
The answer is Shaka!