TEXAS TECH COACH TUBBY SMITH @ MEDIA DAY
October 22, 2013INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by Texas Tech Coach Tubby Smith. Coach, welcome to the Big 12.
COACH SMITH: Thank you. I'm excited to be here. Looking forward to our first Big 12 press conference, Media Day, so we're ready to get started.
Q. Obviously, you've been around the game a long time. We just heard Curtis Shaw talk about the new hand checking rules. What are your thoughts on that and the impact they're going to have on the game?
COACH SMITH: Well, I really haven't had a chance to?? in fact, we're going to have a scrimmage this weekend. And we've been allowing our guys to play the way they normally play, play aggressive, play physical.
But it will probably add something to the offensive?? I think you'll see offenses be a little more explosive. Because if you disallow that hand checking and physical play at the point of attack with the point guards and the guards, it's tough enough because guards can really break you down off the dribble.
So you're going to see a lot. I think offensive scoring will improve, so it should be an exciting time. It's going to be, obviously, enforcing it and calling it is always a challenge. As long as it's consistent throughout the year, then I don't think coaches or players will have a problem adjusting to it.
Q. What was it about the Texas Tech situation that attracted you there, because obviously you could have gone a lot of other different places, you could have bided your time? When you look at that situation that you stepped into with the changeover they've had with coaches and the roster, what are your priorities coming in?
COACH SMITH: Well, first, when you're fired from a job, you never expect that. I've been in the business 39 years, and you provide a service for programs and communities and universities. So we did the best we could.
Now, I think we've done it the right way over the years. So I wanted to take some time. But sometimes it doesn't go that way. What happened was I get a call maybe the next day or two days after I was let go in Minnesota by the folks at Texas Tech, and it's good to be wanted. Certainly I feel like it's an opportunity. They have a need there, and they want some stability and some continuity. Certainly the commitment is there by the administration at Texas Tech. So that's sort of how it happened.
Again, you're right. When you're in that predicament and you're no longer working, which you've been able to do for so many years. It never was my ability to lean on coach and been questioned?? well, I'm sure I've been questioned by a lot of people, but never to that level where you're going to be fired.
I was impressed with the facilities. So I think Lubbock is the largest city in the Big 12. The United Spirit Arena is a beautiful facility. Certainly they've had a tough time at Texas Tech. They've had some lean years over the last few years, so we felt like coming in there we could restore some pride and prestige to the program. I think we're on the right track with some good returning players that I think will help us. Because they were not far away last year. I think in watching some of the film and going back and evaluating their team from last year, they were very close from having a very good year last year. And I felt comfortable having been to Lubbock before. Not necessarily coaching, but through their recruiting, I've been impressed with the people there and the things they stand for.
Obviously, the Big 12 is an outstanding conference, as good as the Big Ten. So it's another challenge and another opportunity for ourselves to measure ourselves against the best.
Q. Coach, you've been in coaching a long time. How much did Gerald Myers figure into your decision to go to Texas Tech?
COACH SMITH: Well, he's one of the most respected coaches and administrators in the game of basketball and sports, in college sports. So that helped. It helped that Coach Knight and Coach Myers had good things to say about Lubbock, about Texas Tech. So that was a very convincing and very beneficial in helping me make the decision to come to Lubbock. They've both been very involved consistently and continuously over the last?? since I've been here. Certainly Coach Myers has been a great help and a great asset.