Sunday, March 30, 2008

Men's Hoops Schedule Improving

When one reads about the nickname "Ten Loss Tubby" Tubby Smith was bestowed in Lexington, Ky, it is often overlooked that the former Wildcats coach traditionally played one of the more strenuous schedules in the country.

Aside from an already-tough SEC schedule, Tubby Smith scheduled tough opponents of all kinds, from the UCLA's of the world to A-10 teams like UMASS. And after one season in Minnesota with a schedule filled with teams with nicknames like the Jackrabbits, it looks like Tubby Smith is working hard to improve upon Minnesota's non-conference schedule.

Sid Hartman reports that the Gophers will face Louisville in December as part of a double-header at University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona. The Gophers will also play host to the National Association of Basketball of Basketball Coaches tournament in early November. No other teams have been announced, but hosting that tournament (a byproduct of Tubby's involvement with the group) could well bring another upper-echelon foe to the schedule.

From the Barn notes this schedule announcement and suggests a win would be a "fluke." Well, Louisville will be without graduating star David Padgett next season and the Gophers will look entirely different. The Gophers will have five--and I'm led to believe probably six--new recruits playing significant minutes next season. If the Specner Tollackson-led Gophers were facing Louisville, I'd quickly agree and say it would be a shock if the Gophers won. But until we see Ralph Sampson III, Devoe Joseph, Colt Iverson, Paul Carter, Devron Bostick and others in maroon and gold and competing for the Gophers ... positive or negative predictions seem a little silly.

To date, the Gophers have also scheduled Cleveland State, Cornell and Iowa State.

Meanwhile, Shooter Walters has also reported that the Gophers were trying to get UCLA to schedule a game but have been turned down. The Gophers also have had a chance to schedule California, but the Golden Bears apparently didn't appeal to Tubby Smith.


Friend Of Tubby said...

Scroll back from 2007 (when UK had #1 SOS) through 1999 and you'll find UK's weakest SOS was #30 then.

Twice UK had #1 SOS (2007 and 2000) and several more in Top 5 or Top 10 SOS, using RPI method.

UK was 228-79 in those 9 seasons. That's 25-9 average W-L record.

The Sports Guy said...

California or Army? Come on Tubby - a Pac 10 team would be an upgrade on our schedule.

I do like Louisville, though. Cornell with Ryan Wittman isn't bad. Cleveland State was improved this season. Iowa State is a winnable game over a major conference team.

We still need more.

Freealonzo said...

I'd like to see Marquette as a regular Williams Arena visitor. Other Big East Schools would be cool to. Georgetown anyone?

whogoofed said...

If your non conference schedule is roughly 10-12 games I would want maybe 5 games that are against lower tier teams, maybe 3-4 games against middle tier teams and 3-4 games against marquee teams like Louisville or UCLA. This would allow some room to build confidence as well as testing the team.

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