The one positive is that I think Conley may finally be earning his first All-Star bid next year by the way he's playing right now.
This is the time most of the national guys will see him, and he's putting on a show. This is the best I've ever seen him play.
Excellent analysis, Mr. Lipe. Great to see the Grizz grind another one out.
I was at Game 1 and 2 of the 2015 NLDS. Reading this article now sent me back. In hindsight it really seems like those two games represented the turning point for the organization. It also sent me back to Game 5 of the 2014, when I saw Oscar Taveras pinch hit in the top of the 9th. His death still jolts me. It's a selfish fan thought, but it's hard to imagine what might have transpired in the last two seasons if he was still with us.
I almost felt bad for soon to be 40 Manu Ginobili. In 10 minutes of scoreless play, his wide open, uncontested 3 almost broke the backboard and his careless stepping out of bounds with the ball right into the 2nd half, which led to a Gasol 3 and 9 pt Grizz lead, well, you can see the basketball grim reaper knocking at his door. He was never even in position to hopefully draw one of his patented flops.
I love Zach. But if he can't get any offense going quickly, the burden of his defense is far too heavy for the team to bear for anything beyond spot minutes.
We discuss this every year since 2011 but the story is the same. Grizzlies have never had 3 good players playing together and scoring. MC and MG never seem to both play well in same game.
Rest of the team is in some kind of spectator sport. JMG does not want to become primary scorer. Who else is left to score. Zebo has been figured out by SAS since 2011 so I don't expect anything from him
Mike Wallace needs to go. He has failed to draft good players, failed to identify talent that could have flourished (Seth Curry, Whiteside etc. ) and never recruited good players.
They should blow this team up next year and start again.
At least the Spurs don't have a player on the perimeter that can kill you that we really need Tony to be out there defending. Nope, definitely no one on the Spurs like that. Certainly no one whose name rhymes with The Y Skynnard. Nope, nothing to worry about.
Seriously, I think this pretty much takes the long shot chance the Grizz had and squashes it.
Hey Memphis get it straightened out so when you play Louisville Cards the competion is like it used to be and Tubby and Rick can talk about Uk before the game
Couldn't agree with you more, Joseph Russell.
I want Coach Smith to succeed because I love watching the Tigers play deep into March.
But I know that this job is on a level above the likes of Texas Tech, Minnesota, Tulsa, or Georgia.
I know Memphis isn't on Kentucky's level but they certainly pay the coaches like they are and the fans expect nothing less.
So expectations are overly high but the boosters pay coaches enough to strive to meet those high standards.
Memphis basketball is about to hit its nadir. Had coach Smith kept Keelon Lawson on his staff as an assistant coach, we would been guaranteed to have amazing players for the next 5 or 6 years. Now, the cupboard is bear, very bear!
I understand that coach Smith did not hire Keelon Lawson, he inherited him. But, he inherited a pipeline of top-notch players for the next five or six years. If he did not want to take advantage of that pipeline and wanted to relegate Keelon to less of a position than he had originally agreed to, he should have been beating the local bushes and kissing the local babies' booties, to insure a future influx of talent.
He chose to not respect Keelon and to not kiss booty. He will do things his way with mediocre players and Memphis may or may not make an NCAA appearance during his reign. If we do make one, it will be short-lived.
We had a stubborn Josh Pastner who was, for several years, a great recruiter and a terrible floor coach. All he needed to get the ball rolling was to hire a decent XO assistant and lean on him. Had he done so, Memphis would have been a perennial top 25 team. Josh did not do this, until he reached Georgia Tech, where the AD insisted he do so. Guess what Josh, it worked! Now we have a stubborn Tubby Smith who has the keys to success in front of him; kiss the booty of the local high school and AAU coaches, the local parents, and the local prospects or let Keelon be an assistant coach, as he was hired to be.
Tubby has chosen to keep his own staff, let his lone recruiter work himself to death, mostly unsuccessfully, and not engage the local talent. I am not sure if his approach is lazy or stubborn or both, but it is not smart.
I hope Tubby will surprise me, but I doubt it!
@GroveReb84 and @Salim Rivers; All valid points, well stated, but the U of Memphis basketball program is sadly becoming just a memory of past glory. I too, respect Coach Smith. He's done some remarkable things. But, the truth is, his glory days are behind him. Hate to hit another raw nerve, but look at the success Josh has had at GA Tech in such a short time. Lotta folks couldn't wait to see him leave. He was young, he was Calipari's Asst. and he had a great basketball IQ. But he was too mellow and polite. All this blathering reminds me what I heard Alabama fans gripe and cry about when Bear Bryant croaked. Honestly, no coach worth his salt wants the Memphis job. Look at the talent that left under Josh and now Tubby. John Calipari was still a fairly young man when he got the Memphis job, but mature enough to reign in the egos. All of whom weren't from Memphis. I emphasize the word ego. So many of these young players were just too big for their britches. Their "talent" wasn't what they thought it was. Yet, the coach falls on the sword. The coach isn't on the court missing free throws and taking bad shots. If this gets any worse, it's back to C-USA. Memphis will simply be a non-factor in college basketball and the local talent will keep fleeing for greener pastures. Kudos to Tubby for trying and keeping it classy.
And I like Coach Tubby Smith and want him to succeed. But Memphis isn't Minnesota, it isn't Texas Tech, the Tigers and its fan base thrives on big name players taking the team deep into the tournament. If you don't know that, you are not a true blue Tiger basketball fan!
"but if he had the talent Calipari recruits he would have 2 or 4 national titles." Then why hasn't Tubby recruited that talent in order to win 2 or 4 national titles? Mike does it at Duke, Roy does it at UNC, why can't Tubby do this?
You may be right.
I just don't see Tubby being the type of coach to accomplish what Memphis wants to accomplish with its program.
What makes Memphis's program attractive is not the name on the jersey, the conference, any of that. What makes the job attractive is the abundance of local talent that you can easily have if you know how to manage the system in this city and if you can manage the off court headaches that come with local talent and so many local interested parties that want to have their hands in the program.
The hard part is managing the families (see: the Lawsons). Those that have managed that in the past have had success (Finch/Bartow). Calipari was a different type of success, and Tubby isn't going to go that route either.
If Tubby isn't going to leverage the local Memphis talent or have the stomach to do what has to be done to leverage that talent, then the Memphis program is no better than Minnesota or Texas Tech for him, and the results he achieved at those schools are no better than what Pastner gave the Memphis program. Time will tell, but I think it's a bad sign that he's showing an unwillingness to work with the typical Memphis talent base.
Why does everyone always repeat this thing about Penny Hardaway loves to play golf, as if that will keep him from coaching on the college level. Last I checked he loves being around basketball also.
He doesn't need the money, but he certainly takes the time to be in the gym coaching during the high school season and during the summer AAU circuit. Couldn't he be playing golf instead of coaching high school aged players.
Seems to me he loves being around the game of basketball more than chasing a little white ball on the golf course.
It's not a mess. It's the inevitable result when a new head coach comes on. Folks leave if they don't like the new flavor. Tubby needs a crew that buys what he is selling on gameplay and coaching style. Given previous evidence, this leads to national quality play.
Give the coach his due. The Lawsons are just in it for the Lawsons.
I disagree with some things said, mainly in the comments. First, Penny is NOT going to become the Memphis head basketball coach IMO. Why would he want to? Yes, he bleeds blue, but he doesn't need the money, he has the glory and he loves to play golf. He can work high school and AAU and it not interfere too much with his personal life. A head college basketball coach doesn't have a lot of free time most of the year.
Secondly, Tubby has been to some NCAA tournaments but other than the championship at Kentucky, what highly sought after recruit has he signed? That's not him. He probably should be an NBA coach.
The bigger question here is how does Memphis get out of this mess?
Tubby has only been at the helm for one season and shake ups are to be expected. In spite of all, Memphis still had a winning season and if had not been for the dive in the latter season, we probably would have gotten into the NIT at least.
May be, will,be,Better,without, them! GO TIGER'S GO!!! Tubby,now,has,his,way!!!
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