Tubby Smith was fired today. I like the move IF Minnesota brings in a big-name coach that can develop a great relationship with local 2014 recruits Tyus Jones, Rashad Vaughn and Reid Travis.
The three are desired by pretty much every school in the country. We all know about Jones, but Vaughn and Travis will be high level college players, too. Travis reminds me of Trevor Mbakwe. He's a beast down low and he's getting better every day. Vaughn is a total stud that might eventually be good enough to go to the NBA as a shooting guard that can dribble, shoot and fly.
There's no question Shaka Smart, Flip Saunders, Fred Hoiberg or Ben Howland could gaze into these recruits' eyes and lure them to Minnesota, but if it's anything less than an accomplished, big-name coach the Gophers will swing and miss and fail miserably.
Go big or go home has never been more true.
Shaka would be the biggest get, but I have a hard time believing a guy who could go anywhere would come to Minnesota. Sure, the summer's are nice but they're a heck of lot nicer on UCLA's campus. If he does leave VCU for Minnesota, it will be a pit stop at best.
Hoiberg would be outstanding. If Chris Babb doesn't get hurt 15 minutes into Sunday's game against Ohio State, Hoiberg is still coaching in the Sweet 16. He's a hot commodity but unless the NBA comes calling he won't uproot his home in Ames, Iowa.
Flip, in my opinion won't be the guy. I think he really enjoys his gig in the media too much.
Howland won't be the guy. If he is I'll be shocked. Why bring in a guy that watched 12 players leave UCLA under his watch. That's far more than Tubby saw leave Minnesota. Bringing back a guy with the same issue would be dumb.
Justin Gaard wants Jay Wright. The Villanova coach has won with less talented teams in the Big East. I love the idea. He would be able to come in an immediately develop a relationship with the star recruits -- maybe not to the level that Shaka, Flip or Hoiberg could -- but he's capable of landing big recruits.