I spoke with someone this morning who was very close to one of Tubby Smith’s former programs. He had some interesting things to say.
He got to know Tubby well and said he’s “truly a great person.”
Like everyone else, he recognizes the good fit:
“Memphis is much easier to win at than Minnesota and Texas Tech.”
He also echoes the other narratives about this hire:
“There is no better representative of the program than Tubby, he’s as good of a person as you’ll find at this level, but it’s a concern if he still has the passion and fire in the belly.”
Regarding the staff, he had some interesting things to say:
“If he brings Vince Taylor, Saul Smith (Tubby’s son) or Joe Esposito it’s a bad sign. If he hires local Memphis guys who are great recruiters then you’ll be in good shape.”
“Vince is a great guy and the best recruiter of the three, but he’s not the relentless recruiter Tubby needs. Saul has been in over his head from the get go and had some off the court issues, and Esposito is way over his head as an assistant. Hire a couple of well connected AAU guys from the area and Tubby will have the program turned around quickly.”
So again, this is an exciting hire for Memphis – but Memphis fans should pay close attention to what Tubby Smith does with his staff before they start blocking off dates for future Final Fours.