Blog Entry

There's a big gap between Donovan and Ford

Posted on: March 27, 2009 4:03 pm
Edited on: March 27, 2009 5:46 pm
 

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- With Billy Donovan out of the picture , Kentucky must now turn elsewhere.

Tom Izzo?

That would be excellent.

John Calipari?

That would be tremendous.

But I'm less sure about Travis Ford, and I like Travis Ford. He was great at Oklahoma State this season; that school is lucky to have him. But the reality is that Ford has coached nine Division I seasons at three different schools and been to just two NCAA tournaments, which doesn't suggest he's guaranteed to succeed anywhere, much less somewhere like Kentucky. He might . Or he could miss the NCAA tournament three straight years like he did at UMass. It's hard to tell, and that's my point.

Mitch Barnhart should be less interested in gambling on a UK graduate -- which some are reporting is possible -- than securing a guaranteed home run like Izzo or Calipari or Jay Wright or any number of guys. Some day, Ford might be in that class. But he's not there now, and that should make Barnhart hesitant, because if he completes another questionable hire that goes bad then the next UK press conference might not be to announce a new coach in two years, but a new athletic director with a better track record of success.

Comments

Since: Mar 27, 2009
Posted on: March 27, 2009 6:09 pm
 

There's a big gap between Donovan and Ford

Tom Izzo? Billy Donovan? Why on earth would you name these two coaches as possible candidates for the job? They are both deeply loyal coaches who have built the kind of programs at their schools (especially Izzo) that you don't just up and leave from, Izzo will retire as the coach at MSU, and Donovan? Not even the big $$$ of the NBA could draw him from Florida. They guy won two National Championships and essentially can now get whatever he asks for at Florida. Why would they leave? What's next? Coach K leaving Duke? I think not. Kentucky will get someone from a smaller school who is looking to move up in the game. Hate to knock Kentucky hoops, but Izzo leaving MSU and Donovan leaving Florida would be like taking a step down these days.




Since: Mar 13, 2009
Posted on: March 27, 2009 5:55 pm
 

There's a big gap between Donovan and Ford

Good luck getting Jay Wright away from Villanova.

 




Since: Mar 27, 2009
Posted on: March 27, 2009 5:54 pm
 

There's a big gap between Donovan and Ford

This afternoon on ESPN, Digger Phelps was railing about how Gillispie didn't get enough of a chance at KY and kept saying that the search committee should have found out more about Billy G. before they hired him.  That was the problem - there was no committee!  As Drewfritz pointed out, Mitch Barnhart chose Billy G. all by himself, and got an OK from Lee Todd, UK president. What a huge mistake.  Hope they learn from their mistakes and go with a real committee this time.  I'm a Kentuckian living in Michigan, and I don't think Izzo would leave MSU, but it would be a coup for KY if he did.  They need a high-profile coach this time.  Not sure that Lexington would accept Calipari, even though he's done a great job, and Pitino would never return to KY.  He saw the backlash when he went to Louisville, so why subject himself to that again?




Since: Aug 1, 2007
Posted on: March 27, 2009 5:38 pm
 

There's a big gap between Donovan and Ford

Granted, Ford doesn't have the NCAA titles that Donovan has. BUT, where has Donovan's team finished out the season the past two years?  In the NIT, that's where. And where was Ford's team?  We all know the answer to that.  And presumably, Ford did better than Donovan this year with guys who were rated lower than the Florida crew.  

I'm not sure either is the best choice if it turns out either John Calipari or Tom Izzo is interested. We all know what Calipari is capable of, coacihng his team to a number one regional seed the past two years (yes, the Tigers got blown out by Mizzou but some of golden boy  Rick Pitino's teams have been similarly blown out - remember the Notre Dame game this past year?) and this was supposed to be a rebuilding year for Memphis. Same with Izzo, whose teams always seem to show up in the sweet sixteen, no matter what. Both Calipari and Izzo have been around long enough to understand, too, the history and expectations attached to the Kentucky program and the expectations of the coach to represent the school in a professional, courteous, diplomatic manner, something Gillispie was never able to come to grips with.

I hope the committee that hires the new UK coach takes a good hard look at some coaches other than Ford and Donovan. Both would do well here, probably, but from my pespective Donovan is overrated and Ford could use a few more years of experience. I also hope the hire will not be handled by the "one-man committee" consisting of Mitch Barnhart which obviously was a huge mistake last time around.




Since: Sep 14, 2007
Posted on: March 27, 2009 5:38 pm
 

There's a big gap between Donovan and Ford

 Ummm just in case you did not know some inside information I will fill you in on it...  UK has 2 premier talents coming in next year Hood and Kyle Orton...  Orton is a taller more physical more dominant Patrick Patterson.  Hood is a perimeter threat like Jodie Meeks with the same ball skills...  Add on top of that, Patrick Patterson and Jodie Meeks stated to friends of mine at the University of Kentucky that they would only come back if Billy G was gone and a legit coach was hired and they would come back to restore what UK has been all about FINAL FOURS!!!  So yes Billy G does have a lot more to gain by coaching UK where he got his coaching gigs started at in the first place.  If Billy D doesn't come I will not be disappointed for I do think he is overrated as a coach as Billy G was but is just an excellent recruiter I'd rather have someone like Jay Wright or Mark Few who can recruit and COACH!!!  Also do not rule out a comeback by Rick Pitino




Since: Mar 27, 2009
Posted on: March 27, 2009 5:38 pm
 

There's a big gap between Donovan and Ford

Juggernaut, you are right.  Billy's problems in Lexington were not all about basketball, but also his personal behavior.  Frequent public drunkeness, dating coeds, etc.  In one story, he was too drunk to drive, so asked the bartender to take him home.  He meant the bartender's home, because Billly lives with his mother!  He slept on the couch, and was driven to his home the next day.  He had a memorandum of understanding, rather than a contract, as he didn't like the morality clause.  That should have told Kentucky something.  He just wasn't a good fit for Kentucky, as the pressure is intense.  It finally got to Tubby Smith, who is a good guy.  I think Tubby's much better off in Minnesota, where they love him.  Lexington is a pressure cooker, and Travis Ford is not ready.  Bill Self, anyone? 




Since: Mar 23, 2007
Posted on: March 27, 2009 5:29 pm
 

There's a big gap between Donovan and Ford

All I know is we're really HAPPY Tubby dumped you guys to come to MN.

 Kentucjy, good luck finding someone who wants to put up with you........  




Since: Nov 12, 2008
Posted on: March 27, 2009 5:29 pm
 

Izoo is absolutley not a canidate

 Newsflash Parrish, Izzo isnt a canidate for UK at all.  He is 100% committed to Michigan State.  He does occassionally get frustrated with all the recruiting of young players and the agents infiltrating high schools now.  That he could live without, but as far as leaving for another college you are WAY off.  If MSU wins another championship in his tenure he may look to the NBA, but going to UK would be a lateral move if not a step down in terms of caliber.  My fiance is a UK fan so Im not hating on the Cats but its just not reality. 




Since: Jun 8, 2007
Posted on: March 27, 2009 5:26 pm
 

There's a big gap between Donovan and Ford

So I guess when Jim Calhoun, Coach K., Tubby Smith, UNC coaches, etc. win national titles it has nothing to do with talent.  It's all coaching.




Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: March 27, 2009 5:18 pm
 

There's a big gap between Donovan and Ford

 



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