VOL. 133 | NO. 61 | Monday, March 26, 2018
Tubby May Land at Alma Mater High Point
By Don Wade
For a change, the breaking news isn’t about Penny Hardaway getting a new job. This time, it might be Tubby Smith.
Hardaway, of course, made the headlines last week when the University of Memphis, as expected, hired him to replace Smith.
Tubby Smith (Daily News File/Andrew J. Breig)
While Memphis fired Smith with three years and almost $10 million left on a five-year contract, it now appears Smith won’t be the sideline for long. ESPN reported that the 66-year-old Smith is expected to become the next coach at High Point; Smith played at High Point in the early 1970s.
Smith was 40-26 in two seasons at Memphis, including 21-13 this season. The Tigers failed to reach the postseason both years.
If Smith becomes the next coach at High Point, it will be his seventh job as a college head coach. Before Memphis, he coached, in order, at Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky (where he won a national title), Minnesota and Texas Tech. Smith led all those schools to at least one NCAA Tournament.
High Point, a Big South member, finished 14-16 overall this season and 9-9 in the Big South.
Meanwhile, there hasn’t been much movement with Hardaway filling out his staff. On the day he was formally announced as the Tigers coach, he said former teammate at U of M, Tony Madlock, would be a staff member. Madlock most recently was an assistant at Ole Miss and then the interim head coach after Andy Kennedy resigned.
Former Memphis and current Kentucky assistant Tony Barbee was rumored to be a candidate, but on Sunday Kentucky.247sports.com reported Barbee was no longer a candidate at Memphis. Also rumored to be a strong contender was former Grizzlies player Mike Miller, who confirmed late last week in a local radio interview that he met with Hardaway and was interested. Miller also said he would like to retire as a Grizzly, leaving open the possibility the team would sign him before season’s end so he could fulfill that wish.
Larry Brown, who has both an NBA and NCAA title on his resume – as well as multiple run-ins with NCAA enforcement – also has been mentioned as a possible staff member.
GRIZZLIES’ ROAD LOSING STREAK STILL ALIVE
Losers of 23 of their last 24 games overall, the Memphis Grizzlies will try to snap a 17-game road losing streak Monday night at Minnesota. The Grizzlies last won away from FedExForum on New Year’s Eve at Sacramento. This is the Grizzlies’ longest road skid since dropping 18 in a row from Jan. 4-March 19 in 2008.
The only victory in the last 24 games came on March 17 when the Grizzlies defeated Denver 101-94. In the 23 losses, they have allowed 100 or more points 21 times.
The last loss on Saturday, March 24, at home to the Los Angeles Lakers, came without Tyreke Evans. The veteran guard missed the game due to personal reasons. The Grizzlies are now 0-21 when playing without Evans. And their record without Mike Conley is 12-49 (.197).
The Grizzlies also signed guard Marquis Teague to a 10-day contract; he had been playing for the Grizzlies’ G League affiliate Memphis Hustle.
TOP PITCHING PROSPECT FLAHERTY CALLED UP TO CARDINALS
Rookie Jack Flaherty, the St. Louis Cardinals’ No. 1 pitching prospect, will break camp with the big club after the team placed veteran starter Adam Wainwright on the 10-day disabled list with a hamstring injury.
Flaherty earlier had been optioned to Triple-A Memphis, but Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told media that Flaherty would start the fifth game of the season in Milwaukee.
John Mozeliak, the Cardinals’ president of baseball operations, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he was not overly concerned about Wainwright’s hamstring injury, adding, “It’s a nice reward for Jack. He had a nice camp.”