Feel the same way about Tubby Smith. How he landed in their lap is because the current Red Raiders' administration deserved a good break after former AD Gerald Myers hired Bob Knight in 2001.
While hiring Knight did result in a few successful seasons, and a Sweet 16 in 2005, the way he left put Tech in an impossible situation. Knight was always a band-aid. But when Tech allowed Bob to name Pat his replacement it started this downfall that Tubby can make right. Bob naming Pat his successor was the most obvious abuse of power the man ever exercised in a career loaded with double-standards.
Had Tech not allowed Bob to give the job to his son, who was not ready for this job, it would not have triggered the fall off in recruiting that began under Bob Knight and has not stopped until Tubby came in and provided the type of positive stability required to win.
The Red Raiders are 10-8 and 2-3 in the Big 12. If somehow Tech sniffs .500 with this roster, build Tubby a statue.
Tubby Smith does not have a good team yet, but at least he has a clue. He has been around, and he will make Tech a threat in the Big 12.
He is also not making excuses. When Bob was coaching Tech, he told long time friend, the late former UTEP coach Don Haskins he did not realize how difficult it would be to recruit players to Lubbock. He did not appreciate the distance from Lubbock to DFW, Houston and other major metropolitan areas.
"I do think it is a lot better now than when Coach (Bob) Knight was here as far as the growth in this region," Smith said not wanting to do the unthinkable - say anything remotely bad about the notoriously thin-skinned Bob Knight.
"The growth around here has been phenomenal. You can get a direct flight to anywhere, easily. We have been able to sign a kid from Florida and one from Dallas. A lot of it has to do with what we have to offer - we play in one of the toughest conferences in the nation. We play a big-time schedule. We will go to Maui, and Puerto Rico (for pre conference tournaments). And then you package that with Texas Tech, there is a lot happening here."
All of that is great, but kids sign not with schools or towns rather for the coach. Given his history at Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky and Minnesota, they will sign with Tubby. And Tech will win with Tubby.
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