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 11, 2009
Posted on: March 26, 2009 11:45 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

 The one name I'm not hearing much of when discussing the open Arizona and Kentucky spots (potentially) is Jeff Capel. Up and coming coach. Proven winner. Doing great things at Oklahoma, which is definitely not a destination job in basketball. He played for Coach K and he is obviously doing a great job recruiting at OU. If I'm Kentucky or Zona, I'm giving Capel a call.

That being said, in regard to Billy Donovan's name being floated around; why would he leave UF now, especially when he had the same exact opportunity just 2 years ago? His team is going to be loaded next year, especially if Calathes stays. Kenny Boynton is one of the top recruits in the country. I know he has UK ties, but I just don't see why he would leave now. That would basically be admitting that the last two years at UF were a total waste of time, and he should've jumped ship after the 2 titles.

You know UK and Zona will be trying to make a big splash, with big name hires. It will be interesting to see what happens, especially if a job like Louisville opens up if Pitino leaves for Arizona.

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: March 26, 2009 11:44 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?


Please stop talking about Izzo.  I shudder at scoring in the 40s or 50s every game.  B O R I N G.  He hasn't done anything of note in two decades with Michigan State either.   A final four or two in like 20 years.  Not exactly setting the nation on fire.  He might run the Big 10 every 3 or 4 years, but between then they are very average and by far, the most boring team to watch in NCAA.  I feel sorry for MSU fans.  I really do.  Its like the North Korean citizens being told by The Leader how great they have it...and they believe him, even as they sit with no socks, no furniture, no medical care and low standard of living.  They don't know any better because they have never experienced anything better.  To them they do have it great, half-starving and freezing, while worshipping The Leader.  Izzo is Kim Jong-IL of basketball land.


Now, enough of my sarcasm.  I dont' want Izzo as he is Tubby-ball on  valium.  The Big 10 deserves them both.  I can't wait until Minnesota and MSU hook up for a 39-37 game.  What a blast, eh?


Tubby was not run off due to racism.  Hard to even mention racism when he was in his job for TEN YEARS.  If racism were a factor, he would not have been hired in the first place, or he would have been run off in two or three years.  The fact Tubby coached basketball whereby even when UK was very good, record-wise, they never could blow any team out.  Then he regularly lost in the first or second round of the NCAA tournament.  How do you win 25 games, dominate the SEC and rank in the top 10 all year and get beat by UAB, MSU, Marquette, and even less potent schools?  Embarassing.  Tubby quit on his own, but it was nearly a firing as the masses were rebelling against his boring and tournament-losing Tubbyball style and his detiorating recruiting.  I still can't fathom any UK fan or any other school fan that says we screwed up letting Tubby go.  No, we didn't, we screwed up letting Tubby stay about three years too long.  Tubby had the worst assistants in basketball and even when losing 10+ games ( a rarity in UK land), he wouldn't fire them.  Tubby will have success in Minnesota because there was no where to go but up, less pressure, and much less competition in Boring 10 conference.  They have been the least successful conference in the NCAA tourney over the past 10 years, by a large margin.  Its no wonder why, they play each other, or each crappy team plays other crappy teams and never get better all year.  Then they play in the tourney and get to see good basketball by the other 59 teams.  Tubby may have already peaked at UM.  He can't recruit well, he is terrible X and 0 coach, and once he gets comfortable (already happened) he will slack off on recruiting trail and coaching.  Tubby was the worst at out of bounds plays.  He routinely would call timeouts and then UK would get a 5 second call trying to inbound the doggone ball.   How sad is that...AFTER a timeout no less.  Glad Tubby is gone and UM will never improve beyond above average in Big 10.  That is great for UM fans, but UK fans actually aspire to have national success, UM fans apparently don't so I am happy they are and will be content with winning Big 10 record, but regular NCAA or NIT tourney beatings ( and pathetically boring offensive games).


Gillispie recruits well, he coaches okay (he, unlike Tubby, gets easy layups after timeouts on inbounds plays). 

The problem is Gillispie is crass and arrogant and standoffish.  He doesn't like to interview and hates difficult questions dealing with bad plays, games, etc.  He appears to be a little verbally rough on the players.  I am not necessarily against this, as some players need a leader, but if it crosses the line, then they have to let him go.  I think Gillispie should have another year, at least, to prove himself and get a second year of solid recruiting (his first year was only a few weeks to salvage the crap Tubby had recruited, save for Patterson, and then pick from what was left).  I think BCG could be successful at UK (anything is better than Tubby/Izzo-ball.  I just think its more about his attitude and boorishness, than it is about the basketball product.  That is what is leading to the controversy.  He is just not ready for ANY big time coaching gig.  He will be at his best, left alone at a school that puts only mild emphasis on basketball.  The local media needs to ask a few questions once or twice a week, not every day.  UK, KU, UNC, Duke and others are "every day" gigs where you have to always be available and workable with the media.  BCG was not and does not like this...that is okay, I don't think I would like it either, but at the same time, folks on here need to realize that if he doesn't want to get along, he has to be moved out.  It has to be done.  Lots of money involved (every school, its about bottom line costs/revenues), and BCG would decrease revenue by his attitude and stubborness OFF THE COURT.


I am against Izzo (said my peace), Knight (good god no, too much about HIM and weekly tantrums or player abuse), and not fond of Calipari (personality, not coaching ability).


I like Ford and Pelphrey, but Ford is quite proven recruiter (he could get an assistant or two that is) and Pelphrey hasn't shown quite enough with his X and O's yet.  I would gamble on either of them, but there is a good chance both would experience a two and done gig as well.  I don't think Donovan would leave UF due to being a big fish in a small pond (by that I mean, lower expectations and god-like status).  Donovan could lose for 5 years straight and UF fans would still adore him, they just don't care if the basketball team wins, loses or plays again, they got their titles and can brag while passing the time between football seasons.   I don't think Donovans wife likes the countryside, so UK not looking good there either. 

I have no idea about Dan Issel.  Has he even coached any where?  I haven't heard of him coaching and being successful any where.  All time leading scorer is one thing, coaching, recruiting and leading a top basketball program is another.

I don't know how I feel about Few, Wright, Purnell, Hamilton, and many others mentioned.  Its all a crapshoot.  I would feel a little better were CM still the AD, but we have Barnhart, and I am not sold on his abilities to judge talent, charisma and attitude in coaching candidates. 

I would like to see BCG stay another year, and maybe learn to give yes or no answers to half time interviews along the way.  I think anyone that was conference coach of the year four times in less than a decade should be given more time.

Since: Apr 6, 2007
Posted on: March 26, 2009 11:28 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?


Its comical how much bashing there is of Kentucky Basetball and their fans.

You guys only speak from what you heard or read by other people. You have no idea what Kentucky Fans think and do.

Just like I don't know the Ins and outs of Syracuse, Duke, Oklahoma State, VMI, etc...

Kentucky is not different than any other school.

If a coach doesnt win they "chuck" his ass to the side of the road and get a new one.

UNC dumped Doughtery after 2 years, Indiana dumped Mike Davis after 4 years. Only 2 years removed from going to the championship game.

If Calhoun, Pitino, Calipari, etc... didnt perform at their job do you really think they wouldnt be fired.

College BB is in the business of making money. Dont give me any self-righteous crap about 2 years is not enough, running coaches off, crazy fans. Any and all programs do the same thing year in and year out.


Since: Mar 28, 2007
Posted on: March 26, 2009 11:26 pm

Mitch Barnhart learned how to kill a ...

basketball program from the best basketball program killer ever ... Doug Dickey.  It shouldn't be any wonder the Gillespie hire imploded quickly.  Kentucky fans had better just hope Mitchy doesn't ring old Doug's phone for advice on the new hire.  As a Vol fan, I kinda hope he does, though ... then again Donovan would be fine by me, since Pearl owns Coach Munster lock stock & barrell.

Since: Mar 26, 2009
Posted on: March 26, 2009 11:24 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?


Nope, no late night convos with him, but public interaction where he didn't give a flip about those who give time to help the KY basketball program or those in needs He didn't want to help out charities unless there was media coverage. He didn't want to visit an ailing member of the UK 101 Club when he was dying (of things that were not contagious). He had to make sure someone was there to cover him doing something good for someone else. He didn't do it because he was a good person and genuinely cared about those who help the program or those less fortunate. He'd only do if someone was around to take a picture so everyone could see how "good" he was to those in need...Yeah right....I'm glad he's gone. I was in high school when he came here -- went to UK games for the fun of watching the game, cheering on the cats...yet when Tubby came, it all came to a griding halt. Billy G wasn't enough to get me back into to Rupp...I went to a couple of games, but it wasn't enough to keep me interested. Get me a better coach, get me a better program than what's been run in the past 10+ years (since Pitino left) and I'll go back. I've got season tickets...that's right, I'm a legacy....I'll actually stop selling them and start going...latest news is HE'S GONE with the OFFICIAL annoucement tomorrow morning/afternoon (per WHAS11).

I'm glad the stupid f--k is gone and I'm glad this drunk f--k is gone...I'm good...Now on to better coaches!!!!!!!

Since: Mar 26, 2009
Posted on: March 26, 2009 11:23 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

 sfl18504, what are talking about, Tubby really wasn't fired, and you're really an idiot.  As a UK alumnus and life long fan, it kills me to see the team in this state of disarray.  I do think that Gillispie should get another year, but I'm not surprised that he's getting the boot.  He has no appreciation of the off-the-court importance of the position of being the UK head coach.  This goes way beyond halftime interviews with ESPN reporters, it's being integral part of the Kentucky community.  Gillispie has dodged questions from the local media and denied access to his players, he is condescending and short with the fans during the call-in shows (which are a big deal to a fan base that eats and sleeps UK ball), and there are many rumors about his reputation in the Lexington community for being an alcoholic (which I will admit, are just rumors--as far as I know).  And it's not JUST about his off-the-court behavior.  He has outrightly refused to use a zone defense, even when it is obvious that his man to man scheme is failing (see also both games against South Carolina).  He's been employing ridiculous mindgames with
the team, benching players for lengthy amounts of game time (sometimes multiple games, if they're not Meeks or Patterson) just because they make a bad play, which I and others are key reason why so many of the players look frightened to shoot.  He doesn't call timeouts when opposing teams go on a big runs, and he regularly benched Meeks for long periods of time in the 2nd halves of games where KY was trying to mount a comeback (see the Florida game @ FL) and was desperately shorthanded for offensive output.  As zealous as UK fans are for their basketball, the vast majority will support a coach that respects the program and the community, and shows signs of promise for a successful future--even if the present isn't where the fans want the program to be.  But BCG hasn't done that, and thus he finds himself where he is

Since: Mar 26, 2009
Posted on: March 26, 2009 11:22 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

We are talking about men's basketball here not women's? What do Tennessee fans know about men's basketball? 

Since: Mar 26, 2009
Posted on: March 26, 2009 11:19 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

 Check this out,  from Louisville, KY TV station,   Looks like he is gone.

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: March 26, 2009 11:14 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

What??? How do you justify your statement? Izzo is very comfortable in East Lansing, is from Michigan and is in "celebrity" status there. No way he will jump into this fire. 

Since: Mar 28, 2007
Posted on: March 26, 2009 11:10 pm

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

clong15 -

A Memphis State fan calling the SEC "weak" is the single most hypocritical remark I've ever seen on this or any other website in the entire history of the internet.  Conference USA is a absolute joke.  The Conference USA tourney is all effing home games for Tiger High, dude ... do the math.  The SEC was down for one year & you've got ol' Slick dominating it easily. 

You're right though ... Calamari would "do well" at Kensucky because combining the single cheatingest program ever with the current cheatingest coach would assuredly result in Kentucky winning quickly ... & ultimately being on probation for like the 20th time.

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