This report crossed at 4:17 - updates to come
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Kentucky's Tubby Smith will be the University
of Minnesota's new basketball coach, a Minnesota school official
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because Minnesota
had not yet announced the hire. The Gophers fired coach Dan Monson
Minnesota announced a Friday news conference to introduce its
new coach, but did not name him.
Smith met with the Kentucky players earlier Thursday, said
basketball spokesman Scott Stricklin.
Stricklin said he didn't know what Smith told the players and
had no further comment.
The news was first reported by ESPN.com and SI.com.
The Wildcats went 22-12 this season and made it to the NCAA
tournament, but lost the first weekend. Kentucky hasn't been to the
Final Four since 1998, and the program has lost 10 or more games in
a season five times under Smith - more than any other coach.
Smith will take over a Minnesota program that struggled for
years under Monson, who was hired to rehabilitate the Gophers
program after an academic scandal under former coach Clem Haskins.
Monson cleaned up the program, but the Gophers didn't win.
He was forced to resign seven games into his eighth season with
a record of 118-106 and only one NCAA tournament appearance.
The Gophers didn't get into any trouble under Monson's watch,
but he failed to keep a handful of in-state high school stars from
choosing other schools and wasn't able to find consistency on the
court. Many of his starting lineups were cobbled together with
transfers and never found the cohesiveness needed to become a
first-division Big Ten team.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)