Big Blue Fans For UK Basketball,
A Site Dedicated to the Preservation
Of UK Basketball History, Traditions, and Lore
From the Fans' Perspective
Welcome To The Concerned Fans Page
We Are Pleased That You Have Taken Your Time
To Review This Part Of the Big Blue History
ABOUT CONCERNED FANS FOR UK BASKETBALL
When BigBlueFans4UK.com debuted in June 2006, I simultaneously announced that a group of Concerned Fans would use this website as its internet platform to advocate a change in the head coaching position for the Basketball Program. Concerned Fans expressed their clear vision that the program would not return to national prominence so long as Tubby Smith remained at the helm of the UK program, and expressed confidence that the right man in that chair would return UK to prominence.
On March 22, 2007, a mere 9 months later, Concerned Fans For UK Basketball achieved its only goal as Tubby Smith resigned and ran to a waiting plane at Blue Grass Airport to make his escape to Minnesota. At that time, Concerned Fans Closed Its Membership Roles while it monitored how the program responded. The rest is history, with a return to the final four in 2011, and the program's 8th National Championship in 2012. Following John Calipari's 6th season, the Cats have played in 4 Final Fours, winning the championship in 2012. In 2015, the Cats rewrote the record books, 31-0 regular season, and 38-0 before falling short of the program's 9th championship in the Final Four.
Yes, Concerned Fans were right. UK is the premier program in all of the land once again. The return to glory required four seasons before the Final Four saw another UK team, and five seasons to bring home the trophy. Looking ahead to the 2016 season, the Cats again boast the nation's #1 recruiting class for the 6th time in Calipari's first 7 recruiting crops. The Cats will again enter the season as a concensus #1 or #2 pick.
UK fans must remember the past, good and bad, and remain vigilant that the mistakes known today as the Tubby Smith Era must not be allowed to ever repeat. This is why this site will always preserve the documentation of the activities of the Concerned Fans movement. Concerned Fans members have a quiet confidence about the important role they played in rescuing the UK Basketball program from the mediocrity that Tubby Smith embraced.
Please maintain your vigilance. The program must NEVER repeat this set of mistakes. One way to remain vigilant is to know this part of UK basketball history, which the Concerned Fans Activities document. Use the "Concerned Fans" Navigation Button in the Left Frame to access this section of our cyber-museum.
Oh, yes, what happened to the master of mule train basketball? His tenure at Minnesota ended in his firing. The Golden Gophers needed six of his 20 win seasons (actually failed to get 20 wins in his 4th season) to understand that he could not deliver a single season with a winning Big 10 record. Yes, dear Gopher fans finally figured out that Tubby Smith really is the total fraud of a basketball coach that Concerned Fans said he was way back in 2006 (and for several years prior). Smith then took his traveling snake oil show to Texas Tech, and in two seasons has posted a combined record of 27-37, and 9-27 in the Big 12, while dazzling the Red Raider fans with his plowing at the 320th faster pace in the NCAA.
Concerned Fans were right on the mark about every aspect of Tubby Smith's destruction of the UK Basketball program. Some even believed he implemented an intentional act of destruction, but as the record since 2007 clearly shows, the UK platform served to mask his complete ineptness as a college basketball coach. Good Luck with your man Texas Tech. At least the Knight clan produced overall winning records for your program.
Big Blue Fans Must Never Forget!!!!!
TO RELIVE THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE CONCERNED FANS MOVEMENT IN ITS ORIGINAL CHRONOLOGICAL SEQUENCE, READ FROM THE BOTTOM TO THE TOP
THERE ARE MANY LINKS THAT EXPAND THIS EXPERIENCE
PLEASE FOLLOW THEM, AND
WHEN YOU RETURN, PICK UP AT THE LINK THAT YOU EXPLORED
When Tubby Smith left the University of Kentucky to replace Dan Monson at the U, we provincial Northerners sneered at you.
Sorry. I meant to say, "Y'all.''
We assumed that if a coach of Smith's stature decided to leave one of the five greatest programs in college basketball, it had to be the fault of obsessive fans who have been known to spend entire evenings second-guessing the execution of a first-half inbounds play.
We figured a pungent blend of idiocy and racism drove Smith from a university built for and around basketball greatness, a place where he won a national title and his son played point guard.
Our suspicions were not baseless. Drive through Kentucky, and you still can find the odd Confederate flag and a museum featuring a dinosaur wearing a saddle, celebrating the belief that man and Magnosaurus co-existed.
To those Kentucky fans who based their assessment of Smith on facts and trends, though, let us apologize. You were right.
Four seasons after his arrival, Smith's tenure at the University of Minnesota is officially a disappointment.
Kentucky fans complained that Smith runs no discernible offense.
That he failed to recruit outstanding talent.
That his program had lost momentum and had slid into mediocrity.
Smith won the national title in his first season at Kentucky, with Rick Pitino's players. He continued to be remarkably successful through 2004-05, when he reached the NCAA Elite Eight for the fourth time in eight years.
Since then, Smith appears to have become a different coach. Since then, Smith's teams have been mediocre, and he has appeared increasingly aloof and sensitive.
At Minnesota, he is 31-35 in Big Ten games and has failed to win an NCAA tourney game. Since his last Elite Eight appearance, he is 49-49 in conference games and 2-4 in the tournament, despite having enjoyed the immense advantages provided by Kentucky.
If a coach without Smith's résumé had performed to that level over the course of eight years, he probably wouldn't get fired, but he wouldn't be treated as a conquering hero, either.
This week might have provided the low point of an impressive career. Smith not only coached poorly; he became whiny, an unseemly characteristic for a supposed leader of young men.
After his team lost to Ohio State last Sunday, Smith linked his team's weak play to Minnesota's lack of a practice facility. Smith actually told Minnesotans that it was hard for his players to walk across the street in the cold to lift weights, one of the most pathetic excuses in the history of sport.
After his team lost to a struggling Illinois team at Williams Arena on Thursday, Smith called out a handful of his players for gutless or unintelligent play. He even criticized Blake Hoffarber, who is playing out of position and with a troublesome knee, for failing to draw more fouls.
This is scapegoating at its worst. In college basketball, coach is king, and the program is his fiefdom. He is responsible for recruiting, player improvement, roster makeup, offense, defense, game management and public relations.
He reaps the rewards when he wins; he should accept blame when the program that is a manifestation of his skills and decisions implodes.
Hoffarber is playing point guard because Smith failed to recruit or keep enough other players who could handle the position. He ran off Devoe Joseph, whose presence would have guaranteed an NCAA tournament berth by now, and Justin Cobbs.
Thursday, Smith complained about lacking "men'' on his roster like last year's upperclassmen, Lawrence Westbrook and Paul Carter. Carter left the program. It is well-known on campus that Smith did not like Westbrook. Suddenly, Westbrook and Carter are role models?
Nearing the end of a remarkable career, Smith is becoming increasingly petty as his coaching skills appear to wane.
So congratulations, Kentucky. We thought Tubby viewed Minnesota as a place he could win. Turns out that when he looks at Goldy Gopher, all he sees is a 401(k).
Concenred Fans knew 4 years ago when Minnesota hired Tubby Smith away from UK, that UK would be the big winner, and Minnesota would learn the truth about Tubby Smith soon enough, probably within 4 years. Some of our members even said that Tubby Smith would not survive at Minnesota more than 5 years. February 13, 2011 is about 1 month shy of 4 years, and almost 1 year to the day since our Member, Badboy [Dynasty Defender screen name] issued the following OPEN LETTER TO MINNESOTA BASKETBALL FANS.
"From what I've read, he's a real hard worker," said Jerry Hale , a UK player in the 1970s. "He's proven that right off the bat Coach ( Tubby ) Smith was a little complacent. I don't know if his heart was in it.
"Coach Gillispie has the right attitude to get Kentucky back to elite status."
Richard Cheeks , the adjunct professor who served as a spokesman for the fan group that sought a change in coaches, is pleased.
"I'm tickled to death," he said. "I love his work ethic, the energy, the excitement he's brought to the program."
Cheeks, who like Hale has not met Gillispie, likened the new coach to the Kentucky basketball icon: Adolph Rupp .
"There's a total commitment and interest in basketball," Cheeks said. "And he wants people around him to share that commitment."
"When a Kentucky baby is born
his mother wants him to be president,
like anothe Kentuckian,
If not president, she wants him
to play basketball
for the University of Kentucky."
Concerned Fans For UK Basketball believe that Tubby Smith is not Good For UK Basketball and that Tubby Smith should move on sooner, rather than later. We have explained the basis for this Opinion in the Editorial entitled:
"Why Concerned Fans For UK Basketball
Believe Tubby Smith Should Resign"
You can read this entire Editorial using the "Editorials" Navigation button in the left frame of this page and following the links. When you are done, you will have an opportunity to add your name, as a Co-Signer of this Editorial, to the Growing Group of Concerned Fans.
Please Add your Voice to Ours, so Together We can Speak in a Unified way about this Important Issue. In this way, other fans, the Press, the Boosters, and the UKAA will hear from Concerned Fans and know that UK Basketball Fans want a coaching change NOW.
The Low Point of 2005-06
UK v Kansas
Dick Vitale's Comments About
Tubby Smith's Team After Concerned Fans issued their press release on June 7, 2006,
Dick Vitale appeared on Lexington radio to provide Tubby Smith
complete support, and characterized Richard Cheeks,
spokesperson for Concerned Fans, as a whacko.
So be it, but listen to how Dick Vitale described the
quality of performance of Tubby's team last season.
Many UK Basketball fans are concerned about the current state of the UK Program after nine years with Tubby Smith as Head Coach. On June 7, 2006, these Concerned Fans emerged from the background and issued a Press Release to leading journalists to set out the basis for these concerns. View the entire Press release with the following link:
Did you know that the quality of play declined immediately after the Pitino to Smith coaching change during the summer of 1997? Did you know that the quality of play by UK's basketball teams since this coaching change has continued to slide? Did you know that even during the 1998 championship season [Tubby's first year at UK] that Tubby tried to immediately install his Tubby Ball, but the players reverted to the Pitino Ball they knew could win. To learn more,
Concerned Fans believe that Tubby Smith has had nine seasons to demonstrate his ability, and he has done so effectively. That is why Concerned Fans believe that Tubby Smith is not good for the UK basketball program. However, the UK Administration has made other decisions.
What will happen to the UK program should Tubby Smith be allowed to complete his current contract, through 2011, if the trends of the last 9 years continue for the next 5 years? To learn more,