Thoughts on Rothstein / Smith Interview

I have a few quick thoughts on a very good interview / podcast that Tubby Smith recently did with Jon Rothstein:

  • Perhaps it’s attributable to his age, but it’s nice to have a coach who isn’t determined to give canned answers to interview questions in order to promote an agenda.
  • It’s been a while on that front for Memphis fans. For nearly a decade, John Calipari turned every interview into an opportunity to promote his cause du jour.
  • At least Calipari was entertaining. Josh Pastner, clearly trying to emulate Calipari, tried the same pre-packaged approach for the past 7 years, but with far less success.
  • Pastner’s interviews were hellish to listen to because (a) he’s not nearly as gifted an orator, and (b) he stopped winning as much.
  • Tubby is familiarizing himself with the roster and seems cautiously, though genuinely positive about the roster he might have in the Fall (assuming D. Lawson stays).
  • On Dedric Lawson: “If Dedric comes back, we’re gonna have some good, solid players.”
  • Tubby did indicate he is planning as if Dedric will be on the roster, but will be prepared for any circumstance.
  • He did acknowledge the lack of depth and the need to add more pieces in 2016.
  • The first player Tubby mentioned, without Rothstein even asking? PG Jeremiah Martin.
  • On Martin:“We have a young man, who was a Freshman, will be Sophomore this year, who we think can really help us a lot in Jeremiah Martin.”
  • Perhaps in Martin, Tubby sees a potential floor general. One of the maddening aspects of the last few years was that Josh Pastner never developed a true PG.
  • On Sophomore Forward Nick Marshall: “Big guy, takes up a lot of space inside. In workouts, he’s moved extremely well. He’s worked pretty hard, and done a good job.”
  • On incoming JUCO F Jimario Rivers: “Pretty talented.”
  • Tubby said he’s impressed with the AAC, but also understands that Memphis is positioned to try and move up in conference realignment.
  • Overall, it’s good to be excited about Tiger basketball again.