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Billy Gillispie proposes tournament with Kentucky, Iona, Tarleton State, and High Point

Photo via USA Today Sports

Photo via USA Today Sports

Last month, Billy Gillispie was named the head coach at Tarleton State, which is moving to Division I in the 2020-21 season. What better way to make a splash than playing Kentucky, the school that fired him in 2009?

In an interview on the Lex, Buds & Pick ‘n Roll Podcast, Gillispie proposed a four-team tournament in Rupp Arena featuring Kentucky, Tarleton State, Rick Pitino’s Iona, and Tubby Smith’s High Point.

“Sure we would,” Gillispie said when asked if he’d like to play Kentucky in Rupp. “We’d love to. We could actually get all three of us together and Tubby [Smith] and just have a round robin tournament or something and just play for three or four days. I think it’d be a lot of fun. We’d love to come back. I have great memories of there, a lot of friends in Lexington and the state of Kentucky. They’ve been great to me since I left even though I wasn’t their favorite guy as a coach.”

“We’re trying to play as many great teams as we can,” Gillispie added. “For us to get to where we want to go, we have to play the absolute best and Kentucky’s been at the top of the heap for a long, long time. You’ve got to give Coach Calipari as much credit as anyone could give. He’s the perfect fit for that job and he’s done a great, great, great job and we’d love to come up there and play sometime.”

If it does happen, Gillispie joked that Kentucky fans will need to stock up on cold medicine because their throats would be sore from booing.

“Everybody would have to get some cough medicine because they’d be booing three of the coaches. They’d have to make sure they’d have somebody to take care of their throats.”

This is an amazing idea, but we have to give credit to Oscar Combs, who first proposed it on Twitter after Rick Pitino said he wanted Kentucky on Iona’s schedule last month.

A revamped UKIT featuring Kentucky, Tarleton State, Iona, and High Point. Billy Gillispie, Rick Pitino, and Tubby Smith in Rupp Arena once again. Thoughts?

To hear more from Gillispie, including his thoughts on Jodie Meeks’ 54-point performance at Tennessee, check out the Lex, Buds & Pick ‘n Roll Podcast.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

36 Comments for Billy Gillispie proposes tournament with Kentucky, Iona, Tarleton State, and High Point



  1. SuperTroy18
    11:09 am April 27, 2020 Permalink

    Ha! Good luck with that one, Billy…



  2. UKinIN
    11:11 am April 27, 2020 Permalink

    Why would we boo Tubby?



    • Go_Wildcats_Go
      11:15 am April 27, 2020 Permalink

      Agreed! I think Tubby would get plenty of applause versus boos. Good guy and good coach, just wasn’t the best recruiter.



    • RAGE
      1:00 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

      I disagree that Tubby was a good coach… I mean he may have been a good guy but was never a good coach IMO… Tubby took over the best program in the country and enjoyed immediate success… That carried over to being able to recruit good players.. That he always underachieved with over and over.. Then he basically run the program in the ground… Now I never liked the hire of Ole Billy and he shouldn’t even been considered for the job.. However he had no chance of succeeding here cause Tubby had stayed for four or five years too long… I was never a fan of Tubby and I ain’t saying he wasn’t a good guy I have heard great stories about how he was a good guy on campus and things he would do for students on the campus.. But to say he was a good coach is wrong IMO… Just look at his stops since Kentucky he was fired multiple times cause he wasn’t a good coach.. He should have been fired at Kentucky also



    • Newtype
      1:20 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

      He was actually only fired at Minnesota. He left everywhere else on his own. Memphis did do him dirty however to secure Penny and Wiseman. Also he is a good coach.



    • RAGE
      2:03 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

      Your opinion.. Just like I said that my comment was My opinion… He was fired at Minnesota and Memphis… I agree to quick but he was let go for Penny.. Still 3 jobs let go twice not good… But like I said just my opinion… Since I was a kid I have been a UK fan and honestly only time I ever cheered against Kentucky was Tubby last 4 or five seasons.. I loved Kentucky so much I pulled for them to lose so they would get rid of him… But again just my opinion but I have never understood why Kentucky fans now would ever back him up as this great coach… When he basically left Kentucky in a lot worse shape than how he took it over… Billy Clyde basically took over a program with not enough players to even play a pickup game cause he quit recruiting long before he left….



    • RAGE
      2:05 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

      But again not hear to argue with anyone… Just my opinion on Tubby as a coach… That doesn’t make me a troll either before someone says that… I love Kentucky and the sports articles here and sometimes give an opinion



    • Newtype
      2:37 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

      Fair enough. In leagues of coaches is put Tubby in the good category. But above him are great and elite.



    • RAGE
      3:00 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

      I see what your point is Newtype… I fed see your side and maybe I just let my memories of him at UK slant my views… But fair point I respect your opinion…



    • ready4nineNOW
      3:11 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

      Why would a kentucky fan ever root against uk? I can h ok nestly say i have never cheered against kentucky. Stupid comment



    • RAGE
      4:20 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

      That ain’t stupid.. I was just ok with them losing if it meant we could get a new coach… That would improve the program and bring it back to its former glory… That is completely rational at least in my mind… In a lot of cases sometimes you have to sacrifice now in order to get to a better place later… That was my thoughts at the time…



    • Fitz
      11:17 am April 27, 2020 Permalink

      Actually, why would we boo Billy Clyde. Just because he didn’t work out here, does not deserve booing. If you have a reason to boo a ex -UK coach, it’s Eddie Sutton.



    • UKinIN
      12:27 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

      I could see Gillispie getting booed because he was rude to Tom Leach. Just people looking out for Tom.



  3. secrick
    11:16 am April 27, 2020 Permalink

    Good idea , lets do it.



  4. UKFanSC
    11:21 am April 27, 2020 Permalink

    Dementia is so sad to watch…….



  5. Newtype
    11:39 am April 27, 2020 Permalink

    Do it



    • 4everUKBlue
      1:04 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

      So clever….



    • Newtype
      1:13 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

      Right? Which is why I said do it. It’s too good not to.



  6. 4everUKBlue
    11:50 am April 27, 2020 Permalink

    Billy’s hittin’ the bottle again….so sad.



    • Newtype
      12:23 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

      So clever. So original. So…. actually sad.



    • peaches76
      1:04 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

      I agree on both comments. It’d have way more interest than some of the non league games we play now.



    • 4everUKBlue
      1:03 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

      Why thank you newboy. You’re one of the low grade idiots on the site.



    • Newtype
      1:12 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

      Sorry if I don’t live up to the low bar geniuses like yourself set. I’m actually trying to clean up the trash on my stroll through the comment section slums.



    • Fitz
      2:52 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

      How do know? Did Billy Clyde drop off a urine sample at your house. So sad of you to say such a thing when you have no clue. I don’t know one way or the other but I bet Tarleton St.does. Besides, do you think a guy who just had a kidney transplant will resume drinking?



  7. bigblue98
    12:02 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

    Would like to see it. The UKIT gave non season ticket fans opportunity to get tickets. As well, would love to see a game played again in Louisville yearly. Maybe now without U of L having Jurich that might be an opportunity.



  8. JTHinton
    12:14 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

    I would love this!



  9. CatsfaninFL
    12:53 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

    Why would people boo? I get maybe Rick but my beef with him is gone now that he’s not at our in-state rival. Tubby was great and had 3 or 4 shots fallen differently (or ankles untwisted) he’d probably have a couple more FFs or a title. It was time for him to move on, but I have no ill-will towards him. I’d love to see all 4 in town at once.



  10. sprtphan
    1:33 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

    Sounds good to me.



  11. ukkatzfan
    2:49 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

    We play BCG and Tubby plays coach-2. Tubby owns coach-2 second to Cal. Was no coach better than Tubby when Tubby had the stink eye. He might not have had as many prepared for NBA. But he sure had them prepared for married life. Hahahaha



  12. CaliCat
    3:44 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

    Billy Clyde is the only coach unworthy of respect for his tenure at UK. Everyone has their foibles and things they could have done better, but Billy had few redeeming qualities.



  13. lribookend
    3:52 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

    I love the idea. But play the game at Memorial Coliseum to insure a sell-out. And have Joe B. Hall behind the bench.



  14. michaelb
    6:00 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

    I wish it would happen for bcg, he’s had some unfortunate set backs and stuff pushes on . I kind of admire him again at this point . He just wasn’t ready for uk. We can’t be mad at that , not many ppl can do this job . Namaste . No mass on the bcg hate



  15. VirginiaCat
    8:14 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

    My nightmare would be a loss to Tarleton State. If we could lose to the Evansville Purple Aces, anything is possible.



  16. dcforuk
    8:24 pm April 27, 2020 Permalink

    I’m all for it. Why not?