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LSU Search Includes – Of Course – Minnesota’s Smith, VCU’s Smart

For those in the LSU family who want ex-Tiger player and assistant Johnny Jones — currently the head coach at North Texas — to be hired in Baton Rouge, the latest news on Joe Alleva’s search probably won’t please them.  According to Jeff Goodman of, the school has been in contact with Minnesota’s Tubby Smith.

Well, of course, it has. 

We’ve long joked that if the job of dog-catcher in Muskogee, Oklahoma came open, Smith and Jon Gruden would be mentioned as candidates to fill the vacancy.  They’re mentioned whenever a basketball or football gig, respectively, opens.  VCU’s Shaka Smart has recently joined those two as a member of The Always Mentioned Club.  And, he too appears to be on LSU’s radar.  Naturally.

Alleva seems to be channeling Captain Renault from “Casablanca.”

As for Smith, he just completed his fifth season with the Golden Gophers and his track record in Minneapolis looks like this:

2007-2008:  20-14, NIT bid
2008-2009:  22-11, NCAA bid (first-round loss)
2009-2010:  21-14, NCAA bid (first-round loss)
2010-2011:  17-14, No postseason bid
2011-2012:  23-15, NIT bid (runner-up)

His teams have gone 38-49 in the Big Ten during that span including back to back 6-12 league marks the last two years.  Going back further, his last two Kentucky teams went 22-13 (9-7 in the SEC) and 22-12 (9-7 in the SEC).

In addition, Smith will turn 61 in June which means he’d likely be a short-term solution on the Bayou.  Do those facts wow Tiger fans?

Glenn Guilbeau of The Shreveport Times reported late last night that an LSU plane was also tracked to Virginia where it’s believed Alleva is interested in Smart or Virginia’s Tony Bennett or both.

WFAB-TV  in Baton Rouge reported last night that LSU has already spoken with Murray State’s Steve Prohm, too.  Prohm just finished a 31-2 season with the Racers in his first year at the helm of the program.

Alleva made it clear upon Trent Johnson’s departure for TCU that he would rely on his own coaching contacts to find the best possible fit for the Tigers.  It appears he’s truly scouring the country for that person.  Heck, he’s already admitted to talking to Harvard’s Tommy Amaker, too, though, the ex-Duke player turned out to have no interest in the LSU gig.

On Tuesday we wrote that Alleva would likely reach out to a big name or two to satisfy his fanbase before finally turning to Jones.  We continue to believe that’s what will happen.  But the more candidates Alleva meets with, the more doubts about Jones’ eventual hiring creep into our cabezas.



To me a UT fan - That LSU job seems like it could potentially the 2nd or 3rd best job in the SEC. Seems they should annually be competing for the SEC.

Good in state talent, decent bball fanbase and I assume they have money at there disposal


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