for all-time wins. Looking back to 2009…and be honest…what was your initial reaction to TB being hired?
I was a Tubby Smith guy. I was convinced he was the guy that could get us past Leitao and to the NCAA tournament on a regular basis.
When TB was announced, I was surprised. Not upset, not overjoyed, but surprised because he wasn’t on the radar. I was a Hornets fan for the LJ-Alonzo-Gill years, so knew TB as a player. Also knew he was a good coach at WSU, but knew they weren’t coming off of a great year, and didn’t know much about his style.
After 2-3 days after the hire, I was on board. I was worried he had never recruited the east coast, and didn’t have expectations that he’d compete with Duke & UNC as quickly as he did, but I got over Tubby pretty quickly.
Fwiw I think Tubby would’ve done ok here. Not anywhere in the same stratosphere as TB though.
I would’ve gone off of my dad’s reaction back then, and I remember him being confused at first. But much like many other fans, once he did some research into TB he started to warm up to it. The initial press conference fully won him over.
This was pretty much my reaction. I remember him at uw Green Bay and enjoyed his tournament runs. Got caught up in the tubby plane tracking hype and was initially disappointed but only for a few hours. Then after his press conference I was a Bennett ball fanatic. He lost me for a week after Tennessee as wasn’t seeing the step I thought we should be taking and thought the team was quitting on him. Then joe drove his truck to his house……
Definitely had some doubts after Tennessee. Not just that game but 2013-14 was supposed to be the year we turned the corner, and lost a few OOC games before Tennessee. Then we got slaughtered.
Believe the next game after that was FSU, and the team showed a lot winning that one. The one that made me think we could be special that year was at Pitt when Malcolm hit the game winner. Pitt was good that year, and we would have never won that type of game on the road before that.
The duke loss that 2014 year was when I told myself we were different. We were down +5 most of that game if I remember correctly. Usually we would just fold at Cameron but instead we not only took the lead but was a sulimon shitty bounce from beating them.
I kinda forgot about that 14 run but looking back it was special. I was coaching at the time and in the midst of leading a team to the post season but I remember tuning in to watch games from the road in hotel rooms on the field. I distinctly remember having my entire team in my hotel room after a game watching the 2nd half of the Cuse game.
I also remember the ACC championship. O was working a national team selection camp and had the game playing on my phone in my pocket. Probably not my best move as a coach but I knew something special was happening and didn’t want to miss out.
I remember the Tennessee game vividly. I was walking my dog and we just kept going. I was checking the score every few minutes thinking “it can’t get worse.” After that game, I came to believe that if you think it can’t get any worse, you haven’t thought hard enough about it. The only bright spot for that night was that a 6-mile walk wore the dog out.
Fast forward to March - sitting in a hotel room at the Arizona Biltmore with my best friend and fellow Hoo of 43 years (at the time), watching the game against Duke. Ended up jumping on the beds like we were 7, screaming suck it K, go Hoos!