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: Sep 24, 2007
Posted on: March 26, 2009 6:37 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

 My selfish interest  is that  Travis Ford remain  the coach of Oklahoma State University for the next  ten years.   I am a tremendous fan  of tom Izzo and I  just  feel like  Michigan  State is a perfect fit for him.     Some  kentucky fans  would have went nuts in the early season, if kentucky experienced the injuries that plagued MSU at the Old Spice  Classic.

 Calipari and Donovan.. I just dont see them    wanting to react to those   fans  when the  bad season occurs.   Some kentucky fans  expect to be playing for a NT every year.   last time was  2001  I believe.

 Gillispie   should not  be fired, but now the A.D. is trying to save his own skin and job.  So the next coach   will be on even a shorter leash and the  A.D's  fate will be tied to his.

  kentucky isnt even making it  easy on its  favourite sons, Ford and Phelphrey.   one kentucky fan  didnt want either as  head coach , but wanted them to leave their D1 head ocach job and come back to UK as an assistant and learn the game.

 Of course  Ford and Phephrey  will get right on that  assine thought.  Seriously  any program that spits out Tubby Smith and   then only gives BCG   two years   is  thinking too highly of themselves.

 If  I were the kentucky Boosters  I would get ready for a SEVEN year  3.5 million dollar contract  to try and  keep  egg off the Kentucky's AD  face  as he trys to buy   the coaching services  of  Donovan

 If Coach Ford is the FOURTH option, I will be interested to see what his answer is.  I bet his phone  rings.   I guess I am saying the  kentucky AD is like the indianna AD  he is going to lose his job over a basketball hire

Since: Jan 14, 2009
Posted on: March 26, 2009 6:31 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: March 26, 2009 6:28 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

If I were in charge at UK, Donovan is target #1.  He is young, proven and knows how to win in the USUALLY tough SEC.  For all you SEC fans who are going to cry about me calling it usually are the numbers

Postseason records for the six BCS conferences as of today (including all 4 men's postseason tournaments) with teams remaining and % of teams that made the postseason


ACC......7-7 (.500) 2 teams remain (UNC and Duke) 9 out of 12 teams in (75%)

Big East....14-5 (.737) 6 teams remain (Louisville, Connecticut, Villanova, Syracuse, Pitt in the NCAA, Notre Dame in the NIT)  11 out of 16 teams in (68.75%)

Big Ten....9-6 (.600) 3 teams remain (Michigan State and Purdue in the NCAA, Penn State in the NIT)  9 out of 11 teams in (81.81%)

Big Twelve.....13-5 (.722) 4 teams remain (Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma in the NCAA, Baylor in the NIT)  9 of 12 in (75%)

PAC-10.....11-7 (.611) 2 teams remain (Arizona in NCAA, Oregon State in CBI finals)  9 of 10 in (90%)

SEC....7-7 (.500) 0 teams remain...7 of 12 in (58.33%)

Conferences with better winning %s than the SEC....West Coast (4-2 .667), Colonial (5-3 .625), A-10 (6-5 .545) C-USA (6-3 .667)  Oh yeah and each of them has at least one team remaining.

Don't give the garbage that the SEC beats up on each other and blah blah blah....the other conferences do the same but still get the job done.  This is a down period for the will come back though, too much tradition and money among those 12 to let it stay down.


Anyways...after Donovan I would go after Calipari 2nd because he recruits some unbelievable talent.....and he might be looking to get away from the obscure C-USA (even though its all but a guaranteed NCAA trip each year).  Izzo would be the last of the three choices in my eyes due to his history basically being completely in Michigan.

For anyone who says Kentucky is the premier job....HA.  I can think of at 10 better jobs than Kentucky right now (Kansas, Duke, UNC, UCLA, Pitt, Marquette, Michigan State, Syracuse, Louisville, Villanova)  The one thing Kentucky has going for it (and also Indiana....another "premier" position) is that the resources are there to turn the troubles around so the turnaround would be easier.  Kentucky still has the name Kentucky though and as long as they don't change that, they will be able to lure a top notch coach.

Since: Jan 19, 2007
Posted on: March 26, 2009 6:26 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

Has Gillespie piised off someone?  Why the short 2 year leash?  My impression was that he was taking over a program that had been in decline for five years.  Why not give him at least 3 years to turn the corner with his own players.  I don't follow SEC that closely, but as a Longhorn fan, I was damn glad to see him leave A&M.  I thought he was a helluva coach, and he just had a presence about him that said "I know I'm good."  Sort of a BB version of Bob Stoops.  I think UK would be making a mistake to let him go.

Tell me Wildcat fans, what am I missing?  Two years is an awful short term unless there's more to the story than X's & O's.

Since: Jul 24, 2007
Posted on: March 26, 2009 6:26 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

Say it isn'so. The people of Tucson would love Billy's work ethic and his desire to make his team the best. If he could bring a couple of recruits with him, every Arizona Fan worldwide would love him.  Talk about great timing. Kentucky fans are just too spoiled to see what they have. Didn't they know what they were getting when they hired him? But, they let Tubby go even with a National Championship. Go figure. Arizona fans want a coach who loves the game and his players. They also love to win, but not to the point that Kentucky is, I guess.

Since: Sep 25, 2007
Posted on: March 26, 2009 6:23 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

Donovan... will be the guy. He left Florida once, for a day, already. If Kentucky waves enough greenbacks at him, he will be in Lexington next year. 

Since: Feb 5, 2009
Posted on: March 26, 2009 6:18 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

Tom Izzo isn't going anywhere. He's turned down the NBA on more than one occasion, so Kentucky will hold no appeal for him.


MSU all the way!



Since: Nov 25, 2006
Posted on: March 26, 2009 6:17 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

 Those three guys are proven...but if he wants to bring in somebody that's not already a superstar coach but has a track record I have the perfect name for you...........Reggie Theus.

He coached under Pitino at Louisville, Tubby broke the color barrier for him already, and he can flat out recruit and proven at New Mexico State.  Dude is a great choice for Kentucky.  Won't happen I know, actually I'm hoping that NMSU gets him back. lol


Since: May 21, 2008
Posted on: March 26, 2009 6:05 pm

Arizona > Kentucky > UConn

Zona is the top job this year... top 5 job according to Roy Williams.

Kentucky is too messed up with conflict b/w boosters, AD, crazy expectations, etc.

UConn will be slapped with heavy sanctions

If Cal or Izzo, or Pitino, or other top coach leaves, it's not for Kentucky or UConn. 

Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: March 26, 2009 6:04 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

I love Travis Ford, but he hasn't proven himself to be the coach at UK.  Sure he would be given more rope than BCG because of his past, but when the honeymoon is over and we still don't have a National Championship, he'll be run off just like all the others, except Pitino. 

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