WALKER: Tubby has earned the right to return

The speculation about Tubby's future needs to be resolved quickly because the area it hurts the most — recruiting — is the area you need to improve the most in. I think he has earned the right to have one or two down years. If he is up to the task of going out there to recruit and make the changes necessary in the program, I would like to see him be here.

Will Tubby Smith be back at Kentucky next year? I like Tubby and I would hope that would be the case. I think he has done everything by the book. Obviously, the last couple of years have not been the way fans want the program to be.

I think he has earned the right to have one or two down years. If he is up to the task of going out there to recruit and make the changes necessary in the program, I would like to see him be here. But I think that should be his call. I think he should be judged after the season and see if he will make the changes people are looking for him to make.

What changes should he make? That's tough to know. Obviously, I think the big thing that people are more concerned about than anything is recruiting, or lack of getting quality players in here. It all starts there. I think I would evaluate how I have been going about the recruiting process and what kind of things I can do to make it more attractive for kids to come here whether that is style of play or the people that are out doing the recruiting. I think at this point in time nobody is happy where we are, but the guy most frustrated is Tubby. I will be anxious to see what kind of plans he has because I think he realizes he has to do something.

People often ask me if I would have an interest in being on the Kentucky staff. But that would be tough because of the kind of lifestyle I have now. Obviously, it is an honor for people to feel like my name and things I could do might be a big part of Kentucky basketball. It is flattering, but I realize it is a lot of hard work. A lot of getting up early and staying up late at night. I guess the last six or seven years I have been able to go along at my own pace and I really enjoy that.

There is only one place I would ever consider coaching or doing anything like that and that would be at the University of Kentucky. With that being said, I would have to think long and hard about the commitment it would take even at Kentucky.

I do know that the speculation about Tubby's future needs to be resolved quickly because the area it hurts the most — recruiting — is the area you need to improve the most in. If word gets out that Tubby might not be here or there is uncertainty about his future, it will impact what kids think about coming here. They want to make decision and knowing Tubby Smith might not be at Kentucky, that it is a problem. I think it is very important when the season is over to resolve this. And the sooner the better because the more it drags on, the more it will hurt Kentucky.


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