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Is Flip Saunders good fit for Gophers?

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10:13 AM ET 03.30 | Coaching searches generally drive people cuckoo. They combine anticipation with agony and make every hour feel like an eternity. We've officially arrived at that destination with the Gophers basketball situation. The latest twist in the daily soap opera focused on Flip Saunders, the populist pick and reported front-runner who faces a fascinating dilemma: Does he want to coach the Gophers or possibly run the Timberwolves? Pretty sure NCAA rules and time constraints prohibit him from doing both, though both organizations could use his services at this point. Saunders wasn't athletic director Norwood Teague's first choice, or maybe not even his second. But his hiring would be a smart decision, one that energizes a restless fan base and breathes life into the program. Teague is no dummy. His Villa 7 program is wildly successful and a wonderful idea, but the "Hire Flip" outcry has reached a fever pitch and necessitates action. Why continue to look elsewhere when a solid candidate is sitting in the back yard?

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Flip Saunders, Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images Flip Saunders, Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
March 30, 2013  10:19 AM ET

He's a perfect fit. Has never won anywhere.

March 30, 2013  10:20 AM ET

Can Flip Saunders appeal to 17 year-old kids? More importantly, can he embrace the sleazy underbelly of AAU coaches, street agents and money launderers? That's how you get ahead in CBB. Ask Kentucky.

March 30, 2013  11:06 AM ET

$2.5 million buy-out of Tubby Smith's contract seems penny-wise and pound-foolish right now. Minny had a decent season in a competitive B1G, drew the #11 seed in a very loaded South Regional, and had to play an excellent Florida team. No shame in any of this, yet the Gophers cut Tubby loose. Too bad.

March 30, 2013  11:22 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

$2.5 million buy-out of Tubby Smith's contract seems penny-wise and pound-foolish right now. Minny had a decent season in a competitive B1G, drew the #11 seed in a very loaded South Regional, and had to play an excellent Florida team. No shame in any of this, yet the Gophers cut Tubby loose. Too bad.

I asked that question yesterday and got an earful from the Minny faithful. Evidently TS wasn't that good. Never had a winning season in the B1G...among other travesties

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March 30, 2013  11:52 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I asked that question yesterday and got an earful from the Minny faithful. Evidently TS wasn't that good. Never had a winning season in the B1G...among other travesties

I can understand the impatience of Minny fans, but in his six seasons with the Gophers, Tubby got to the Big Dance three times and to the NIT twice. He signed a contract extension in July of '12. He was relatively successful again this season. It's a head-scratcher to me. Most programs would call that a positive attainment, if not progress. Guess they figure Flip will now lead them to the Promised Land.

March 30, 2013  11:56 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

$3.5, but I digress. He has not had a winning conference record in the 7 years he was here, and never finished higher than 6th. He has failed to recruit, and several players transferred out under his watch.

Begs the question as to why these players transferred from Minny's program. Tubby not connect with these kids? Too strict?

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