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.
I’ve tried my best to resist the temptation. Don’t need Rick Pitino to get me excited for hoops. Nor Rick having Tubby Smith on the court like 1989 at UK. But I give up. Bring it on. Give me just one more UKIT. High Point vs Iona then UK vs Tarleton State. Merry Christmas to all. pic.twitter.com/Zx58foCIZx
— Oscar Combs (@wildcatnews) March 31, 2020
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.