According to many national analysts, Kentucky fans were being unreasonable with their constant criticism of Tubby Smith and his lackluster recruiting efforts; However, these days according to many national analysts, Kentucky is on its way back to the top with new head coach Billy Clyde Gilispie.
Back in early March, when Tubby left Kentucky, Dick Vitale took a shot at Kentucky fans saying ‘Tubby Smith took enough abuse from the passionate fans in Lexington’ and ‘did not get enough respect for what he accomplished’. While UK Alum and Atlanta journalist Mark Bradley suggested that losing Tubby was ‘Kentucky’s loss’. Yet with almost every college basketball article written lately, there is an excerpt of how Kentucky is well on it’s way back to elite status with Billy Gillispie at the helm. One of Kentucky Sports Radio’s favorite columnist, Gregg Doyel, believes Gillispie ‘is going to win huge at Kentucky. He won’t just win there, or win big there. Huge.’(link) Even ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi is drinking the kool-aid ranking Kentucky the #1 program best positioned for success over the next 10 seasons.
How ironic is this: Kentucky has managed to add 2 recruits ranked in the Top 50 of the 2007 class(Patrick Patterson and Alex Legion), scheduled an Elite Camp that’s hosting some very talented prospects, and has received an early commitment from the 2009 class(GJ Vilarino) in less than 3 months. The reason? A new energetic coaching staff that believes in exhausting labor. Having a strong program isn’t based solely on recruiting, but winning becomes a lot easier when you have players of superstar caliber on your roster.
Does this mean that Kentucky is already back on top? Not yet, but it’s coming. Taking advantage of every single loophole like holding Elite camps, recruiting 24/7, being more accessible for the media, and just down right hard work will be the key ingredients needed for this Elite recipe. And if the first 2 1/2 months of the Gillispie Era are any indication of what is in store for Big Blue Nation , it’s plain to see the sleeping giant known as Kentucky basketball is now awake and ready to be heard once again.