Mich. might get what Tubby wants

by Andrew Cummins

Yes, Allen Iverson. We’re talking about practice. 

The University of Michigan yesterday announced plans for a $23 million basketball practice facility, and it’s well known that Tubby Smith has asked for such a building during his time so far at the ‘U.’

If the school’s regents approve the proposal Thursday, it would leave the Gophers as the only team in the Big Ten that doesn’t practice on a different court than it plays on. 

No doubt a facility would help with things like recruiting, but the athletics department here already has its hands full with finishing off the new football stadium and drawing up plans for a new baseball stadium to replace the outdated Siebert field.  Last winter Athletics Director Joel Maturi told the Strib that he couldn’t justify fundraising for a basketball facility before TCF Bank Stadium was completed.

Additional obstacles to Smith’s dream could be the porous overall economy and the fact that practice facilities are usually located very close to the arena where the team plays.  There’s not exactly a plethora of space next door to The Barn.