Marcus Fuller posted a really good interview with Dan Monson yesterday. Tubby Smith is the perfect fit for the Gophers and he is truly a class act. But I would also argue that Dan Monson was also class act and represented the University of Minnesota very well. He came into a very difficult situation that was created for him by Clem Haskins and he did an admirable job getting the program back on it's feet. He was not very successful but he did manage to guide the program through some tough times.
Fuller: Did Smith reach out to you before he took over the Gophers' basketball program in 2007?
Monson: Some guys are first-class guys in the media, but Tubby lives his life that way. Who people perceive him to be in the media is who he is. He's one of those guys that everybody roots for. He called me before his press conference when he first got the job. We haven't talked this year, but the first year or so he reached out a lot to me. I've seen so many coaches in this business that have been fired and even though it's their players playing for that school, they would root against them. It's because the other coach didn't give them any credit or because it's out of jealousy that another coach is doing well with their players. Tubby has made it so easy for me to cheer for those guys, and not have that animosity toward the University of Minnesota. It's because of the way he represented himself and reached out to me.
In my opinion Monson's ultimate undoing were his assistants. A successful coach always has great assistants but guys like Vic Couch and Bill Walker didn't do him any favors. Jim Molinari is the exception that kind of proves my point, it wasn't until he came in and taught this team how to play defense that they made the NCAA Tournament. But typically his staff was not very good at recruiting, struggled to really teach defense and worse at developing players. Personally I really like Monson and appreciate what he did for the U, but I am thankful that Tubby is leading the program at this point.
- Speaking of embattled coaches, here is another really good interview. This time with Charlie Weis. This is a must read.
What would you rather watch Nebraska football or Oprah? The good people of San Antonio will be treated to Oprah reruns, rather than Nebraska vs. Colorado.
- Butler is coming up tomorrow night, check our On the Horizon to get a grip on the Bulldogs and the Horizon League.