Saul Smith

Minnesota’s Saul Smith will return to the team in November

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Saul Smith, son of head coach Tubby Smith, will not be fired as an assistant coach following a drunken-driving arrest earlier this week and will return to the Golden Gopher sideline Nov. 13.

Smith spent the last five days on unpaid leave. Since then, he has been put back on the payroll by the university according to Athletic Director Norwood Teague, but will remain on administrative leave until mid-November, which means the Minnesota assistant coach will miss two exhibition and two regular season games, before rejoining the team.

According to a report from the Associated Press, Teague didn’t consider firing Smith and felt the punishment was suitable for a first time offender.

“Certainly we don’t always want to copy what other people do, but rarely have I seen a coach fired for something like this,” Teague said.

“We don’t take this lightly,” Teague later stated.

Smith was pulled over on a highway after leaving downtown when a state trooper saw his vehicle driving on the shoulder between 70 mph and 80 mph in a 55 mph zone. Smith’s breath test registered a 0.18 blood-alcohol concentration, more than twice the state limit of 0.08.

Teague said Smith’s behavior was embarrassing and intolerable for the university and that a repeat could result in termination of his employment. Smith also agreed to participate in alcohol counseling and education and to apologize to the team and share with the players what he’s learned.

This has been a difficult few months with the Golden Gophers program. In early September, Trevor Mbakwe pleaded guilty to a summer DWI.

The sixth-year senior’s recent trouble with the law was still not enough for Minnesota to dismiss him from the program.

Minnesota has been criticized for the way they have handled the cases with Smith and Mbakwe, but Teague – quoted in a piece by Ameila Rayno of the Star Tribune – feels the university has handled each one correctly:

“If we do our due diligent and make good decisions … I have a peace about what we’re doing, even if it gets criticized. Because there are so many layers and paths that you have to take when you think about something like this.

“We looked around the country at what others have done and their practices, and we are at least in line with them or have done even more … so I feel good about how firm we’re being … I’m sure it will get criticized, but we’ve done the right thing.”

Smith’s court date has been moved up from Dec. 3 to Nov.9. He will join the game for the game against Tennessee State on Nov. 15

Terrence is also the lead writer at and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Nevada coach to honor his father, Flip Saunders with unique warmup routine

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Nevada will be honoring Flip Saunders and Bill Musselman with a pregame warm-up routine they’ve been practicing for the past couple of weeks.

Bill is the father of Eric Musselman, Nevada’s head coach. He was coaching the Minnesota Golden Gophers that included Flip as a player when they used this warmup routine in the 1970s.

“We start almost every practice with this pregame routine,” Eric Musselman said. “It takes some time to get it down and we will perform it live for the first time before the Portland State home game at Lawlor Events Center on Nov. 25.”

The routine, which Eric found in a diagram after his father passed away, is similar to something you’d see the Harlem Globetrotters do.

CBT PODCAST: Indiana, UCLA, Ben Simmons and Thanksgiving sides

Ben Simmons
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New podcast!

In today’s episode, we talk quite a bit about Ben Simmons. How good of a prospect is he? Why do people insist on calling him overrated? Does LSU actually have a shot at missing the NCAA tournament?

[MORE: Why scouts are down on Simmons]

[MORE: Will Simmons be relevant in March?]

We also talk about Indiana’s disappointing showing in Maui, just how good Vanderbilt and Kansas have looked, Marquette’s ability to bounce back and whether or not we should be concerned about North Carolina and Maryland.

Oh, and Thanksgiving sides.

Do people really call stuffing ‘dressing’?

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here.