Friday, October 26, 2007

Tubby Lands Sampson

Tubby Smith's 2008 recruiting class has just gotten a big-name boost. Ralph Sampson III, as reported by the local television media last night and today by the Pioneer Press, is going to be a Golden Gopher.

Sampson is a 6-11 225 pound center from Duluth, Ga, and picked Minnesota over Georgia Tech and Clemson, though it was reported that others were in the mix for his services as well, including Tubby's successor at Kentucky Billy Gillespie. The Gophers have myriad holes, but with the graduation of Spencer Tollackson after this season, the addition of Sampson and Colton Iverson, could give Tubby a very solid low-post prescense in the years to come.

The Pioneer Press story quoted a recruiting expert as saying that Sampson is Tubby's first "breakthrough recruit" at Minnesota. Sampson, the son of the former Virginia great, joins Iverson, JUCO forward Devron Bostick and JUCO forward Paul Carter in the 2008 class. According to hoopsline.com, per the PiPress article, Tubby's 2008 recruiting class is ranked 7th in the nation and second only in the Big Ten to Ohio State.

I was one of those Gophers fans who listened too much to the haters at Kentucky, who argued that Tubby wasn't a good recruiter. His first class at Minnesota is turning out to be top-notch.

The recruitment of Sampson was relatively quiet until earlier this year when Sampson's play began to make coaches take notice. Give Tubby a lot of credit here, he was in touch with and recruiting Sampson before many of the other big name coaches. The PiPress' Marcus Fuller picked up on that in his conversation with Sampson's AAU coach.

"If somebody recognizes you right away and wants you, that shows," Georgia Stars coach Bo Bell said. "He was very high on Tubby. Tubby saw his ability, and the kid took advantage of it."

Tubby has done a great job with the 2008 recruiting class, setting him up for a quick turnaround job at Minnesota. If he can land locals Royce White and Rodney Williams to flesh out his Class of 2009, Tubby will be well on his way to the upper echelon of the Big Ten.

3 comments:

lonebadger said...

I hope this doesn't lead to many in-state signings. How else will we field a team in Madison without a bunch of Minnesota kids to fill out our roster with?

PJS said...

Time to start worrying, lonebadger.

Anonymous said...

"I was one of those Gophers fans who listened too much to the haters at Kentucky, who argued that Tubby wasn't a good recruiter. His first class at Minnesota is turning out to be top-notch."

I told you otherwise. He's THAT good.