There are really two hand grenade topics I could cover today. One would be the future of Tubby Smith and the other is trying to ascertain whether this was a successful season or not. I'll leave Tubby for another day, or at least until there is some definitive decision made on his future.
If I were to go back through all of the comments and articles written from October through March 25th, looking for what people expected from this team or what would define success I would get a smattering of differing opinions on the matter.
- Winning Big Ten record.
- Rekindle the good ole days of the Barn when we were difficult to beat on our own floor and we knock off a couple top-tier teams.
- Get to the Sweet 16.
- Win a game in the NCAA Tournament.
- Routinely make the NCAA Tournament.
- Finish top 5 in the Big Ten (for some top 4).
- Be in the Big Ten title hunt in the final week or weeks of the season.
The problem is that we all define success in different ways (capt. obvious here). The definition is dependent on your perspective and what your expectations were when this season began. This will be a debate among Gopher fans as it is hard not to consider this season a success when you look at the fact that we won our first NCAA Tournament game since 1997! We knocked off a #1 team in the Big Ten along with beating Wisconsin and Michigan State as well. We spent several weeks ranked, getting as high as #8.
On the other hand we were 15-1 (3-0 in the Big Ten) and witnessed a regression by this talented team like we've never seen before. We finished the season 6-12 with embarrassing losses to Northwestern, Nebraska, Iowa and Purdue. Our road record was abysmal and for most of the Big Ten season the offense was unwatchable.
So you tell me, was this a successful season?