In my view, this is a great day for Kentucky basketball. While it is easy to remember what might have been, today should be a day that we celebrate what actually is…..and that means that UK has hired itself one heck of a coach. Billy Gillispie is basketball obsessed, a strong X and O guy and a person known for rebuilding programs when it seems they are at their lowest. He took a UTEP team that was in the toilet, and after one year of struggles, got them to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in a long time. He then went to Texas A&M and found an Aggie program in the pits, 0-16 in conference the year before, and in the first year took them to the NIT, second year to the NCAA (scaring the heck out of a Final Four bound LSU team) and this year to the Sweet 16. It is clear he knows how to build a program and he will bring that strength to UK.
Some have expressed concerns about Gillispie the recruiter. They point to the fact that Acie Law and Antoine Wright, both likely first round picks, were left to him in College Station. However that leaves aside the fact that he was the head recruiter under Bill Self for an Illinois team that used the talent he brought in to go to the Final game of the NCAA Tournament in 2005. He also has recruited DeAndre Jordan, a 5 star center that many believe to be the 2nd or 3rd best center in America. Jordan has been quoted as saying he might follow Billy wherever he goes, a decision that could have a dramatic impact on the Cats next year.
Over the last few weeks, people I respect have all tried to convince me that Billy G was the guy. I was skeptical all year, until I watched Texas A&M in the NCAA against Louisville. I saw a well-disciplined team, who took the Cards best shot, on a hostile floor and still came out on top. I was then convinced that Billy G could do the job and I am ecstatic about the hire.
Mitch Barnhart deserves a lot of credit. Just 24 hours after hearing the Donovan news, Kentucky will be introducing a new coach. Great preparation and execution during the two weeks where we waited on the NCAA to end. The press conference is at 12:45 and I will be there live. We will have a report afterwards here on this site. Until then, read the New York Times article below, the story by Gregg Doyel (who knows Billy) below on why Gillispie is a great candidate, listen to the INTERVIEW at the bottom of the PAGE with Doyel where he explains in detail why Billy G is the best choice and if you havent seen the videos below giving access to a Gillispie practice, check them out as well. This is our new coach and lets get to know him well………
Doyel on why Gillispie is the best choice
INTERVIEW FROM SPORTS MOB ON GILLISPIE AND HIS BACKGROUND