Tubby Smith's Future At Kentucky?

Monday, March 12th 2007, 9:33 am
By: News On 6

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said in an interview Monday with The Associated Press that high school basketball players being recruited by Tubby Smith should have no reason to believe Smith won't remain as their coach.

Although Barnhart stopped short of saying Smith would remain in charge of the Wildcats, who are a No. 8 seed in the NCAA tournament for the second straight year, he acknowledged fans had misinterpreted a previous statement by him as meaning a head coaching change was near.

"They were reading way too much into that," Barnhart said of the statement, which called on fans to wait until the postseason before making any judgments on the state of the program.

"Tubby's our basketball coach," Barnhart said in the interview. "He's done a great job of representing the platform of Kentucky basketball. We'll always look to make adjustments to the things we've got to do to get better. Tubby and I will do that collectively."

Barnhart pointed out Smith's credentials and said the two would sit down at the end of the season to discuss changes. He declined to say whether any assistant coaches might be replaced.

"His winning percentage is .700-plus," Barnhart said. "Since I've been here, we've won a couple conference championships, been to two Elite Eights, we've been the number one seed twice. We've had a couple years here that have been a little un-Kentuckylike, but I don't think that's a reason to panic or put ourselves in a position where we're not making objective calls in terms of the things we need to do to be better."