Minnesota Lost to the Cardinal in the 2012 NIT Finals in New York
Saul Smith breaks down the Gophers' guard play in this interview
Minnesota will be Looking to Capture its Third NIT Title
After helping Tubby Smith win an NCAA championship, three SEC Tournament titles and three SEC Championships as a player, Saul Smith just finished his fifth season on his father's bench as an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota. He oversees Minnesota's guard development and ball handling improvement.
Prior to coming to Gold Country, Smith served as an assistant coach at Tennessee Tech under head coach Mike Sutton from 2004-07. Smith was involved in all phases of the program, including player development, recruiting, organization, on-floor coaching and academics. When Sutton was stricken with Guillian Barre Syndrome, Smith assisted associate head coach Steve Payne with guiding the Golden Eagles to two of the most successful seasons in school history. In his three seasons at Tennessee Tech, the team never finished below third place in the conference, including a league championshipduring 2004-05.
Smith lettered four years at Kentucky under his father, head coach Tubby Smith, and started at point guard for the Wildcats in each of his final two seasons. He was part of winning three SEC Championships, three SEC Tournament titles and one NCAA National Championship. He also captained an SEC All-Star team that went 4-1 vs. the Japanese Olympic team.
Smith ranks 10th all-time in Kentucky basketball history with 363 assists. Smith led the Wildcats in assistsduring both the 1999-2000 and the 2000-01 seasons and in steals with 51 during the 2000-01 season. Smith played in 143 games during his Wildcat career, starting 70 times. He finished his career with 730 points, while never missing a practice.
After his Kentucky career, Smith was invited to the Houston Rockets' summer camp, before spending two years playing for the NBDL's Columbus Riverdragons.
Smith spent the 2003-04 season on the Kentucky coaching staff, while completing his bachelor's degree in economics.
Smith was named the Northeast Georgia Player of the Year by the Athens Daily News as a high school senior at Clarke Central High School. An all-state player, he averaged 20.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists as a senior.
Smith resides in Minneapolis.
SMITH AT A GLANCE
|Born||March 29, 1979|
|College||B.S. Kentucky, 2004|
|Playing Experience|| Four-year letterwinner at Kentucky
Part of three SEC title teams and the 1998 NCAA championship team at Kentucky
Spent two years with NBDL's Columbus Riverdragons
Collegiate Coaching Experience
|2004-07||Assistant Coach||Tennessee Tech|
Balanced Effort Leads Gophers Over Penn State
Nate Mason had 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, and Jordan Murphy added 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Minnesota Gophers in an 81-71 win over Penn State on Saturday.
Preview: Gophers vs. Penn State
Minnesota returns home for its final homestand of the year and final game in the month of February.
Traffic Advisory: Busy Weekend on Campus
Fans are advised to plan extra time for travel and parking on campus this Friday and Saturday due to multiple events taking place.