NCAA Basketball: Top 15 Players to Play for Tubby Smith

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RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – MARCH 17: Head coach Tubby Smith of the Texas Tech Red Raiders reacts in the second half while taking on the Butler Bulldogs in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at PNC Arena on March 17, 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Head Coach Tubby Smith has had a great career in NCAA Basketball. Here’s a look at the 15 best players to ever suit up for him.

There might not have been a head coach with a more fascinating career than Tubby Smith, who’s been sort of a rolling stone in the sport. Since 1991, he’s been the leader of six teams (Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota, Texas Tech, and Memphis), and it’ll actually become seven in the 2018-19 season, where he’ll become the newest head coach of his alma mater, High Point University.

For those who may not know of Smith’s longtime career, he’s never been fired for “performance-based” reasons. But each situation – and eventual departure – had its unique circumstances. What can’t be debated, however, is his coaching abilities.

Out of 899 total games coached, he won 2/3 of them, spanning over five different conferences. Smith won a national championship in 1998 with the University of Kentucky, and help set up the now high expectations with Big Blue Nation. He’s also one of two active head coaches (Lon Kruger being the other), to lead five different programs to the NCAA Tournament.

What’s hurt Smith’s reputation a bit has been the lack of achievements in the last decade plus, with the newer fans not having a full appreciation for the longevity of his career.

So what I decided to do was remind folks of Smith’s career, by going back in time and researching the best players to ever play for him. I had 26 years and six schools to sort through, but I’m comfortable with this being the proper rankings of his players while incorporating each school that he coached at.

And remember, this is based on of college performances, not NBA results. Here’s a look back in time to Tubby Smith’s top players.

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