Blog Entry

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

Posted on: March 26, 2009 4:55 pm
Edited on: March 26, 2009 6:51 pm

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Even here in FedExForum, with four of the best teams in the country gathered for Friday night's games, the question I've been asked most today doesn't involve Blake Griffin or Tyler Hansbrough, or even Ty Lawson's toe. No, the question I've been asked most -- by coaches and other media people -- is this: When is the Billy Gillispie thing going down?

Answer: Soon ... barring a major change of plans.

Multiple sources -- and by multiple, I mean like 70 -- have told that Gillispie will almost certainly never coach another game at Kentucky, that it's simply a matter of making it official. The prevailing thought is that a humbled Gillispie could possibly save himself by acknowledging missteps and promising to better embrace the celebrity that goes hand-in-hand with coaching at Kentucky, but people close to Gillispie insist he's "too stubborn" for that, and that he'd take his $6 million buyout and walk away before ever greatly altering his personality.

So why the wait?

Sources have said UK would like to have a replacement lined up before it moves on Gillispie, that the ideal scenario has the school introducing its next head coach less than 48 hours after Gillispie is asked to resign.  More than likely, that means athletic director Mitch Barnhart is spending today trying to determine -- through intermediaries, of course -- if Florida's Billy Donovan will really jump, and if he won't then the next two likely candidates are Michigan State's Tom Izzo and Memphis' John Calipari, both of whom are still coaching their teams in this NCAA tournament and thus unavailable for the time being.

Here's a prediction: Kentucky will get one of those three.

Which one?

I'll let you guess, for now.

But any list that includes a fourth option is probably a list one name too long, because Barnhart will do whatever it takes to make a home run hire, well aware that he can't take a chance on a relatively young option and risk another mistake. Another mistake will cost him his job, but Donovan, Izzo or Calipari would extend it for years, no question.


Since: Mar 26, 2009
Posted on: March 26, 2009 7:55 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

Why would UK want Billy D?  Billy G has been to the NCAA tourney more time than him in the last two years.  With no recruiting issues why has Billy D only been to the NIT the last two years? 

Since: Mar 16, 2009
Posted on: March 26, 2009 7:55 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

I keep seeing Kentucky fans saying "we expect to be a final four team" every year because we are an elite school. Thats fine and its great to have high expectations every year. But how do you go about getting a great coach without giving them a chance? Yes, you can try to get one from another school, but that don't mean he will be as great there as he was where he left.

I have lived in Kansas all my life and have been a KU fan for 40+ years. We have had our share of some ups & downs also. When Larry Brown left for the NBA. We decided to take a chance on an unknown assistant from UNC (Roy Williams) and some fans thought it was a crazy move. Well we know the results now in hindsight, but it didn't shape up overnight either.

If you let the fans dictate the coaching decisions at any giving university, you can almost predict the outcome of that. Everything looks so easy from a lazyboy...... Just be patient and give a coach a chance and good things can happen....




Since: Oct 27, 2008
Posted on: March 26, 2009 7:50 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

Clarification...Eddie Sutton is the only coach who has had a tenure of less than 8 seasons.  He resigned in the midst of NCAA allegations.  Pitino is second shortest at 8 seasons and he left for the Celtics.  Tubby 10 (left for Minny) and Hall 13 (retired and still is a fixture with the program). There is NO history of KY firing coaches and not giving them a chance.  Do your homework before you throw those things out there. 

Since: Jan 2, 2008
Posted on: March 26, 2009 7:47 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?


 Won't be Calipari.  Even though the SEC is just a little tougher than Conference USA, Calipari likes what is good for Calipari - he won't win 30 at KY or in the SEC. He will use the disucssions to ask for more $$$$

Florida will pay whatever it takes to keep Donovan in Florida - they like champions and Championships.

Izzo is tough, his players are tough and that is Old School KY basketball - Izzo to the Bluegrass state and that would be the best hire.  He is not a primadonna, his players come first, he can recruit but, most of all, he plays tough basketball and that is what sells in the Bluegrass State.

Since: May 21, 2008
Posted on: March 26, 2009 7:46 pm

Why would IZZO want to leave Michigan?

Why would IZZO want to leave Michigan?, Oh, here's a reason:


Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: March 26, 2009 7:31 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

I think Izzo would be a fool to take the UK job.  I wouldn't if I were Calipari either, but I could see the appeal.  Donovan is the only one out of the three that should make the move.

Tom Izzo coaches a successful program in a successful conference.  Izzo has no reason to risk all that to go to a Kentucky program that is suspect at best as far as keeping coaches around.  Maybe Izzo would have a couple good years... but as soon as he hits a speed bump?  The fans and alumni would have his bags packed before he could even get home.  Then what... why give up Michigan State for that?

John Calipari could move up from CUSA to the SEC, but it's not like he is lacking anything in Memphis... the last couple years he has had a top program and the future of the program looks solid.  Like Izzo, why give all that up to go to Kentucky?

Donovan has had success at Florida, but Florida isn't an elite program at this time.  It would be an upgrade in the long run, yet wouldn't really be a downgrade in the short-term.  Donovan wouldn't really be making a HUGE sacrifice like the other two.


Since: Mar 26, 2009
Posted on: March 26, 2009 7:29 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

As a cat fan i want to explain why its time for Cal, Izzo, or Donovan to make the jump to a big time program like UK and why Billy Clyde has to go. First, UK basketball is the same the type of program as Duke, UNC, KU, UCLA, but has had the longest absence from the Final Four. It would be one thing if Clyde had the 'cats peaking in March so they can slide in to the Tourny. Given the talent they have with Meeks and Patterson alone, they should have come in 1-2 or at worst 3rd in a weak SEC. There is no excuse for the team to finish winning only 3 out of the last 9 games, thats not UK basketball. This was a team that was by all means talented enough to make the tournment but due to poor coaching they didnt deserve a shot. Clyde maybe a good coach at a school with no program but still he cannot hold a candle to a superior coach with a less talented team (check his record against Bobby Knight while he was at A&M, A&M was far more talented team but he still lost big games to Tech). I would argue he has over-achieved throughout his career and he is just not meant for the big stage at this point in his career. I did agree with letting Tubby go he ran the program into the ground and it is still recovering thats why UK needs a big time coach, not another unproven coach from a non bball confernece. I for one would love John C in Lexington. He already has Memphis at the top of what they can be. They are an elite program in the awful C-USA. He knows the area for recruiting and has proven that his programs produce NBA caliber players. Tom Izzo-- great coach, great program in MSU, i think he is comfortable in East lansing but time will tell if he is ready for a new challenge or if he wants to retire a Spartan--- either way he has earned the right to make the call. Billy D- would be a great fit for UK the only reason he would go now is b/c his gators had an off yr. No matter what he builds at FL, it would still rank behind UK for conference sumpremcy and that his draw.

Its time UK acts like they talk. I know myself as a UK fan and alum that we have high expectations, but the only way to meet the expectations is to get a big time coach. UK isnt the type of program where a young coach gets a shot to prove he can contend , its the type of program where only the most elite coaches should be considered. (that didnt work well for UNC either, but after they brought Roy in things are great again)


Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: March 26, 2009 7:28 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?


its comical that parrish would even mention calipari....the only reason he is worth mentioning is because, its possible they would try to get him but, rest assured.....calipari will be at memphis next season


Since: Aug 10, 2006
Posted on: March 26, 2009 7:17 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

I just listened to the coach Gillispie show and if he is gone then he is a master of covering it up.  He sounded very upbeat about the future of Kentucky and the players he has coming in next year.  He also stated that both Patrick Patterson and Jodie Meeks are planning on returning next year.  He was very cordial and upbeat with all the callers.  I am certain that the callers were screened as most of the callers chimed in their support for him and hope that he will be back for years to come.  Coach Gillispie started and ended the show by responding to the same question from the host as to his current status at Kentucky.  Gillispie stated that as far as he knows that nothing has changed in his job status and that he intends to keep working and going about bringing the Kentucky Wildcats back to being the Elite team in college basketball.  When he was hired 2 years ago it was stated repeatedly that year 3 would be the benchmark to evaluate how well he is doing.  Year 3 is next year so he should get one more year, at least.   

Since: Jan 14, 2009
Posted on: March 26, 2009 7:11 pm
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