There have been a number of overreactions around the Big Blue Nation following last Wednesday night’s embarrassing lost to Gardner-Webb. We have had people calling for Billy Clyde’s head and some who have suggested that the program is on a downward spiral from which it will never recover. Some have even read my comments (incorrectly) to mean that I have jumped ship (I havent) and that I believe Billy Clyde does not have what it takes to win at Kentucky. In fact, I think just the opposite. No site on the internet was clamoring for Billy Clyde more than this one and I think he will win and win big at UK. Yes it was a bad loss, maybe to the worst team in the school’s history, and yes a number of coaching decisions can be questioned, such as the decision not to alter the defense even after its overextension was abused on play after play. But I believe Billy Clyde is a star in the coaching ranks and it is only a matter of time before he makes Kentucky a yearly powerhouse that will be difficult to contain.
So while there have been a number of overreactions, none can approach the ridiculousness of Fox Sports’ Jeff Goodman. Goodman, who was a former writer for a UNC fan site such as this one, is notorious in his dislike for UK and has been difficult to tolerate for the two years he has been on the Fox payroll. But his latest article takes the cake. Here is his direct quote:
There’s a plethora of cliches that can be used, but we still maintain Gillispie wasn’t the right man for this job.
Beyond the absurdity of his use of the royal “we”, his contention that Gillispie wasn’t the right man for the job after TWO GAMES sets new standards in journalistic hyperbole and overreaction. Goodman goes on to suggest that Tom Izzo should have been hired, which seems like a great call unless you remember that he just lost to GRAND VALLEY STATE. Now I think Izzo is a great coach and would have done well at UK (although his style of play wouldnt have clicked with the fans after Tubby), but if you make the claim that Wednesday’s game proved you were correct about Billy Clyde, then how can you take up for a guy who lost a similar game to a Division II team (yes it was an exhibition…..but the Spartans were trying desperately to win). Goodman goes on to suggest that things are at rock bottom but “Gillispie will dig them out,” which is odd since Jeff earlier suggested he wasnt the right man for the job. It looks like intellectual inconsistency and journalistic double-speak in order to cover one’s proverbial posterior are not traits that only Andy Katz maintains on the college basketball beat.
I will do what I do with all of these guys when they write such articles and ask Jeff to come on the show and defend them. To Andy Katz’s credit, he did (although he essentially backed away from all comments), just as Jay Glazer backed away. We will see what Jeff Goodman decides. But until then, UK fans should focus on what an unbelievably horrendous article a member of the national media was able to come up with in such a short time. College basketball has a number of guys covering it who are talented and fascinating people. Buys like Jay Bilas, Mike Decoursey or Dick Weiss are well-balanced, thoughtful writers who take the time to consider all the angles. But college basketball is unfortunately “blessed” with guys like Goodman and Seth Davis, who come from ACC country where they graduated with a PHD in arrogant self-selected superiority, and unfortunately we have to put up with them too. But now in the days of the internet, we can call them on it. And we will.