SEC MEDIA DAYS: Smith Looking Forward to Teaching

Birmingham, AL - Tubby Smith wasn't going to dodge any questions concerning the freshmen class yesterday at the SEC Media Days.

So he didn't.

Instead the Wildcat head man focused on the expectations on the season and the challenge ahead.

"Every year is a new challenge, but with the loss of the majority of our experienced players, its going to be even more challenging," Smith said. "Those players are going to be hard to replace and we are going to hurt from the loss of their valuable experience, but as always, the expectations are high for us, though realistic.

And in typical Tubby Smith fashion, a conference championship was first and foremost in importance.

"We plan to compete for the SEC Championship."

In order to accomplish the goal of winning another conference championship, Smith will rely heavily on his freshmen class, whom he has done everything but coddle since they arrived on campus four months ago.

"All of our new kids are fundamentally sound and played on outstanding teams in high school," Smith said.

"Teaching is something I have to do and expect to do everyday, but I am excited because I have a lot to work with in these freshmen."

But as the coach formerly noted, their is always a way to hide inexperience and it comes with natural athletic ability.

"You make up for inexperience with athleticism," Smith said. "It's safe to say we have plenty of that on our basketball team right now."

As far as the early anticipation of a national title run, Coach Smith made it a point to illustrate its magnitude at this early juncture.

"I don't really put a lot of stock in polls. We will be a contender for the title, but we have to come together as a team in order to reach our goals.

"We will need to mesh our freshmen and upperclass men in order to be successful."

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