Despite all the excitement and enthusiasm that teams like Florida Gulf Coast and LaSalle have generated over the past several days, all news coming from the NCAA Tournament has not been good.
In the past two days UCLA’s Ben Howland and Minnesota’s Tubby Smith have been fired from their jobs for supposedly underachieving. Howland, who had previously taken the Bruins to three Final Fours, guided UCLA to this year’s regular season Pac 12 Championship.
Smith, who won an NCAA Championship while at Kentucky, took over an abysmal Minnesota program and brought it back to respectability if not national prominence. The Gophers were ranked as high as #8 earlier in the season and beat teams such as Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Indiana.
Both UCLA and Minnesota made it to the NCAA Tournament as “at-large” picks, something that even Kentucky could not do this year. Both UCLA and Minnesota chose to pay out millions of dollars in buy out clauses than keep their coaches, which has to make me wonder if there is something going on behind the scenes that no else knows about.
Anyway, here’s some sound advice that Tubby Smith once shared with author Pat Williams:
- Be very involved with your players. Be able to adapt to your personnel.
- Have a plan and work it. From top to bottom, everyone has to know what the goals are for your team.
- Be highly organized and prioritize your schedule. Good time management is essential.
- Do what it takes to be successful. You’ve got to have an outstanding work ethic to stay ahead of the competition.
- You’ve got to have a sound philosophy and a certain image you want to project tot he public.