This is not a drill.
According to multiple sources, Kentucky head basketball coach "Orlando" Tubby Smith will be named head coach at the University of Minnesota.
Smith apparently met with Athletic Director Mitch Barnhardt to tell him the news, and sources also say he has informed his team. No word yet on the status of transfers, Randolph Morris or the two recruits who were waiting to find out about Tubby's situation.
The move ends a 10-year run for Smith that includes the 1998 NCAA championship, five SEC Tournament titles, parts of seven regular season titles, a 263-83 overall mark and lots of differing opinions.
One has to think that, barring a Billy Donovan arrival to Kentucky, Patrick Patterson and Jai Lucas -- the two remaining blue chip recruits considering the Cats -- will take their skills elsewhere.
Next up is a coaching search sure to include some familiar names, some big names and some unexpected names, including but not limited to Donovan, John Thompson III, Billy Gillespie, Ben Howland, Tom Crean and plenty of others.
ESPN.com article posted above mentions the following that I did not: Tom Izzo, John Calipari, Mark Few and Mike Brey.
The Brey name may surprise, but apparently he's a buddy of Mitch's. That pick, by the way, would be unbelievably poor. Expect some pro coaches to be mentioned as well, though no one can say if they'll be able to recruit at the college level. Mike D'Antoni of the Suns would be an interesting choice, in terms of playing style alone.
More details as we get them.
Looks like some folks are get their wish. here's hoping that the next coach understands what Tubby did wrong and that fans understand someday what Smith did right.
Update [2007-3-22 17:8:12 by Truzenzuzex]: Channel 32 News in Louisville is reporting that Smith will receive his $1.5M longevity bonus from UK, since he substantially fulfilled the terms.
I have not confirmed that yet, though ... Confirmed here.