I understand Minnesota didn’t quite live up to its potential this season. Many thought the Golden Gophers were good enough to contend for the Big Ten championship. Instead, Minnesota stumbled miserably after such a promising start.
Yet, the Golden Gophers did make the NCAA tournament, and while the run only produced one win, I’m a little surprised Tubby Smith was shown the exit door on Tuesday.
Smith is one of the more prominent coaches in the country. He won a national championship at Kentucky and was 124-81 in six seasons with Minnesota. He won at least 20 games in five of those seasons.
Sometimes a program does need someone new in charge to get things on the right track, but I’m not sure if that was the right move for Minnesota to make. Smith did take his team to the NCAA tourney this year. The Golden Gophers even won a game in the tournament.
I think sometimes fans tend to forget how difficult it really is to make the NCAA tournament. They don’t view it as a huge accomplishment unless the team gets to the Final Four or wins a national title.
Smith’s accomplishments weren’t enough to overshadow his failures, and so Teague decided to go for the quick fix. He better hope he finds it. What he should have done, though, was give Smith one more year to get it right with the Golden Gophers.
Brian Lester is a college basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993.