- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. Tubby Smith and his staff had no idea they were about to be fired Monday morning as they sat in a staff meeting at 10 a.m. going over recruiting, offseason workout plans and evaluations of the Gophers' loss to Florida the previous day. Members of the Minnesota staff said they were sitting in the meeting when they started receiving text messages from coaching colleagues telling them they had been fired. Smith told them that he had to meet with the administration at 1 p.m. It was then, according to the staff, that Smith and ultimately the staff found out they had been fired. Minnesota athletic director Norwood Teague obviously has the right to fire Smith and the staff. But he should have handled this differently. This was akin to how Seth Greenberg and his staff found out he was being fired a year ago at Virginia Tech. Greenberg was unaware that a decision had already been made. A news conference had been called but Greenberg wasn't informed of the details of the event. ADs need to make sure the staff knows before the public. That's called common courtesy.
2. Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips is expected to name a coach to replace Bill Carmody by the end of the week, according to a source. I'll be surprised if it's not Chris Collins of Duke. The Duke associate head coach has been interested in this job for years. The timing is right for him to leave Duke and forge his own path. He'll energize the program. But he'll need to have an experienced staff to deal with going against coaches like Tom Izzo and Bo Ryan. Collins shouldn't fret about being in crazed environments. He's done that his whole playing and coaching career at Duke.
3. I don't understand why schools are releasing that players are checking out the draft process but will make up their mind by April 16, the arbitrary NCAA deadline. There is no need to go public when all they're doing is seeking an opinion from the NBA advisory committee, which players do every year through their college coaches. There is no more testing the waters. And even if a player decides or states publicly he's coming back on April 16, he still has two weeks to tell the NBA he's in the draft. The NBA's deadline is the only one that matters for entering the NBA draft.