Tubby brings home title in first season

Tubby Smith

When rolled into Lexington to coach the men’s basketball team in the summer of 1997, he was given the task of taking a team riding back-to-back championship game appearances back to the big dance.

Smith’s squad would include two seniors in the form of guards and Cameron Mills.

Junior Scott Padgett, who had missed half the previous season with academic issues, went on to become one of the leaders of the team, which also featured future player mainstays and Jamaal Magloire.

Beginning the season ranked on the cusp of the top five, the Cats achieved a 35-4 (14-2 SEC) record on their way to becoming regular season champions.

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