Memphis Commercial Appeal
King Tubby Meets Ballers M-Town: While not without some unexpected drama, including an apparent attempt by Texas Tech to counter-offer to keep its coach, veteran coach Tubby Smith reached an agreement this morning to become the new men’s basketball coach at the University of Memphis, Jason Smith is reporting.
There’s no telling the future, and college hoops is a different animal, but this reminds me a little of when the Grizzlies hired Hubie Brown, a move that was greeted with plenty of disappointment and surprise. But the veteran ball coach replacing an overmatched predecessor brought structure to a messy situation and got the “program” turned around. All indications are that Smith is a first-rate coach who’ll need a staff geared around doing the dirty work in recruiting. It’s the opposite of the Pastner hire in pretty much every way: Age, experience, temperament, strengths and weaknesses, race if it matters (and as a matter of recruiting and public diplomacy, I wouldn’t say that it doesn’t). Pastner was reluctant to put together a staff that shored up his weaknesses. Will Smith make the same mistake? I doubt it. ...