STORIES OF THE DAY
I did get a chance to watch the entire press conference and it was interesting. I mentioned yesterday in the comments that I do think that this was a real mutual decision, and the hiring of a head coach has to be a mutual decision within the rules and regulations of the Texas Tech system. It's been that way for years and I hope it is that way for years to come. Having one person in charge making any and all decisions is a dangerous proposition. The players in the play let will change, but the I do think the process should remain the same.
I do want to focus on Texas Tech's newest head coach, Tubby Smith. I'll call him Tubby, but I almost always refer to coaches by using their last names. I do genuinely like Smith and I think that's because he does seem genuine about what he's doing and what he thinks about Lubbock. This is a very different hire than the hiring of Kliff Kingsbury, but it is almost impossible to ensure that Texas Tech could duplicate that type of success with Smith.
Smith talked about getting some Texas ties to his coaching staff and he does expect to recruit from Texas as well as nationally because the world is more mobile and it is the way of the world with AAU basketball.
There wasn't any bravado when Smith talked. Confidence, but not bravado. I think that's the biggest difference between him and Tuberville. Smith joked about a question regarding a timetable of getting the program back on track and he wants to immediately competitive. I think that's the right answer. In talking with Brandon Rawe, he said he does want to compete for championships too, but I've said it before and I'll say it again, I want coaches that want to win championships. I don't know if it will happen, but that's always the ultimate goal. Maybe it is all in the delivery.
It is reported that the average yearly salary for Smith is $1.8 million and this is about right for a head coach with Smith's resume. I don't have the numbers, but I'd guess that this is right about the middle of where Big 12 coaches are in terms of salaries. Maybe my expectations are too low at this point and it is the result of covering a team that has been one of the worst teams in the Big 12 and an afterthought in terms of being competitive from game to game. I really want that to change and I do want to be proud of this program.
A couple of side-notes. Kimball SG Keith Frazier chose SMU as his college of choice and I think we all knew that Frazier and Chris Walker were very close and there was a strong possibility that if Walker were to get the Texas Tech job that Frazier would have followed. I'm okay with this. I would have totally welcomed Frazier, but I have no problem with the process of losing a player to hire the coach that the administration wanted.
The other item floating out there is that PG Josh Gray wasn't at the press conference, or at least that was what was reported. He's tweeted some things about being gone all summer and maybe he's not on board. I understand how you get close to someone to then have them taken away is a really rough situation. But I'd say that you have to give yourself some time. Get to know Smith. He has coached one of the best point guards in the NBA in Rajon Rondo. Smith just might be able to teach you a thing or two or be able to get you to playing professional basketball. Be open to opportunity. We focus on Gray, but it's the other players like Jaye Crockett, Jordan Tolbert and Toddrick Gotcher, who have run through three head coaches in three years.
Q. Given what this program has been through the past three years, how soon do you think you can build it into a contender?
TUBBY SMITH: That's a trick question. You know what, we're just going to give it our best effort. There's no timetable. We expect it to happen immediately, but we know the challenges that are involved. But if these young men that we have in the program and the things I've heard about them as far as their heart and their courage and their work ethic, then I think we're going to be very competitive immediately.
Now, what is that? That means that we're going to be -- when you see the Red Raiders play, you're going to see a team that plays hard, that plays smart, and they're going to play together. You're going to see a team that rebounds, and you're going to see a team that likes to get up and down the court because my teams have done that in the past. So that's the kind of energy and the type of style we plan to employ, one that's a winning style and one that we can -- we've got a bunch of three-point shooters over there, I'm sure they all think they can shoot the three. We could use a couple of those guys.
* AD praises interim coach Chris Walker, says school opted for experience when making basketball hire | Red Raiders
* Tubby Smith introduced as Texas Tech's new basketball coach | Red Raiders
* Kosmider: Tubby Smith faces his biggest challenge yet | Red Raiders
* Some tidbits and thoughts on Tech's hiring of Tubby Smith (Runnin' with the Raiders blog) | Red Raiders
* Scout.com: Smith: Building a Successful Program is Goal
* RedRaiderSports.com - Smith's eyes overpowered words
* Smith begins search for staff, recruits - The Daily Toreador: Sports