Tag:Billy Gillispie
Posted on: March 27, 2009 5:51 pm
Edited on: March 27, 2009 5:52 pm

If you missed the press conference ...

The following is the text of Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart's opening statement from his press conference.

Barnhart fired Billy Gillispie on Friday.

Hello everyone, thanks for coming on short notice. During my tenure here at Kentucky, I have watched and appreciated the passion Kentucky fans have for our basketball program. This is a cradle-to-grave love; it is deeply rooted and creates a sense of pride across the Commonwealth. Kentucky basketball influences when weddings are held and causes its followers to get in a car and drive 12 hours to Omaha on a Monday night. I also understand this rich and proud basketball program belongs to the people of Kentucky and its millions of fans around the world. Coach (Adolph) Rupp started something that is now bigger than any one person. Coaches, players and administrators get the privilege of serving this program simply as caretakers for a brief moment in its history. I will continue to maintain the principles we have established since coming here, most importantly ensuring the quality of the student-athlete experience. It is my responsibility to ensure that the University of Kentucky continues to be a special place in the hearts and minds of our fans across the nation, and that the right pieces are in place to return the basketball program to a championship level and continue those proud traditions of success.

 This is not a place I thought we would be at this point, or one that I would want to be. However, after long and deliberate discussions, President (Lee T.) Todd and I have decided we must charter a new direction for the University of Kentucky men’s basketball program. Unfortunately there are times when a situation and the people involved do not create the right chemistry or right fit. It is our belief that is where we are and where we find ourselves with Kentucky basketball today. For that reason, we decided to not bring Coach Gillispie back to lead our men’s basketball program.  We firmly believe that moving in a different direction will be in the best interest of everyone involved with this program. It is my responsibility, and I understand that, to hire the coaches, a coach that embraces the fans and the national attention at Kentucky and is committed to the principles of our program. The University of Kentucky and its dedicated and passionate fans deserve a coach that understands that this is not just another coaching job. We obviously did not achieve the results we all desired on the floor this season. Those results can occur when you are trying to grow a program, we clearly understand that. However, it is as important to represent the Kentucky program and the basketball program, more specifically, in a manner which best utilizes our incredible tradition, assets and platform.

 It is my evaluation that we have not done all we can to manage the entire scope of the program and all that we expect. There is a clear difference in how the rules and responsibilities overseeing the program are viewed. It is a gap that I do not believe can be solved by just winning games. It is a philosophical disparity that I do not believe can be repaired and again, the chemistry is just not right. These situations are always very difficult and individuals and their families are traumatically impacted. I’m sorry for that. I would like to thank Coach Gillispie and his staff for the effort they gave the last two years. Billy has a great passion for the game of basketball and I truly wish him and his staff the best in the future.

 So now we must move forward. We will share some of the details of the search process as they develop and as we can. We understand the challenge and importance of finding our next caretaker for this very special basketball program. It is to be done with great concern for the welfare and image of the student-athletes, administration and students of the University of Kentucky, its fans and the people of the Commonwealth. Like everyone else who loves this program, we desire for Kentucky basketball to be a part of the championship picture every year; that is our goal. We will work to that end while representing the University of Kentucky with pride and professionalism. Thanks  and I’d be glad to answer a few questions…”

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

What's up with the Gillispie situation?

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 CBSSports.com 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.

Posted on: March 25, 2009 2:48 pm
Edited on: March 25, 2009 3:37 pm

Grant has a tough choice/gamble in front of him

Anthony Grant is in a real-life game of Deal or No Deal .

Does he take Alabama (Deal! )?

Or stall and/or pass in hopes that something better presents itself, specifically Florida (No Deal! )?

That's the dilemma facing the VCU coach, who is on the Alabama campus today with his wife, meeting school officials for at least the second time in four days. Naturally, Alabama would like to move quickly, have an answer as soon as Thursday. But there'd be nothing worse for Grant to do than take the Alabama job only to watch Kentucky fire Billy Gillispie after this season (which multiple sources believe is more likely than not). Why would this be bad for Grant? Because if Kentucky were to fire Gillispie, it appears Mitch Barnhart would make another run at Florida coach Billy Donovan, and if Donovan jumped this time -- which is more possible than you probably think, for a variety of reasons -- then Florida would suddenly be open, and Grant would almost certainly be Jeremy Foley's choice to replace Donovan considering he was set to replace Donovan two years ago when Donovan eft for the Orlando Magic, if only for a couple of days.

So that's the situation.

Can Grant hold-off Alabama long enough to see what happens at Kentucky?

If so, that's what I expect him to do.

If not, then he'll have to choose between Alabama and the possibility of Florida (or something else altogether) opening.

It's a tough call, no doubt.

But either way, Anthony Grant will soon be a very wealthy man.

Posted on: February 28, 2009 1:09 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2009 1:15 pm

Billy Gillispie has a nice house

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Just landed and I'm getting ready to head to Rupp Arena, where the Kentucky Wildcats will host No. 18 LSU this afternoon (only on CBS!). Will Billy Gillispie's team play well, well enough to snap the Tigers' nine-game winning streak? I predicted as much in the Friday Look Ahead , and because I'm usually pretty awesome at predicting stuff it's likely to happen.

What can I say?

But either way, Gillispie will leave the arena afterward and head home to relax.

And man, is that some kind of home or what?

The Lexington Herald Leader ran a story on it Friday, complete with a photo gallery. Click this link to check it out, then click this link to compare it to the home of Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl, and then try to tell me being an SEC basketball coach isn't a good profession.


Posted on: February 18, 2009 5:12 pm

Little diddy, about Billy and Jeannine

A song has been recorded about Billy Gillispie and Jeannine Edwards.

Somebody linked it in the comments under my post from yesterday about the Kentucky coach and the ESPN sideline reporter, but I thought it was worth its own post, if only because the Gillispie-Edwards storyline is one of my favorites of the season, right up there with Blake Griffin's dominance and the emergence of Jeff Teague. I love watching those two get together. Which is why I was obviously disappointed last night when Edwards interviewed Kevin Stallings instead of Gillispie at halftime of the Vanderbilt-Kentucky game. I damn-near missed my flight because I was sitting in an airport bar waiting for halftime, and when she grabbed Stallings I thought I was going to throw a Carolina Blonde (the beer, not a real person) right through the TV screen.

What a letdown!

But anyway, click this link to check the song.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 17, 2009 3:37 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2009 3:37 pm

Round 3 of Gillispie-Edwards on tap (hopefully)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Kentucky is playing at Vanderbilt tonight.

Jodie Meeks might go for 50.

Who knows?

But the marquee attraction -- the real reason to watch -- is to see whether Billy Gillispie has to do a halftime interview with ESPN's Jeannine Edwards, because those things have developed into the highlight of my Tuesday nights. If you're not up to date, click this link to see Gillispie's interview with Edwards during halftime of the Ole Miss game, and this link to see his interview with her during halftime of the Florida game.

Classic stuff.

I can't wait.

And Jeannine, if you're reading, I wish you good luck.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 14, 2009 12:04 am
Edited on: January 14, 2009 12:05 am

Was that the best performance in UK history?

Jodie Meeks launched himself into the National Player of the Year race Tuesday night.

He might've put the Kentucky Wildcats back in the Top 25, too.

That's what a 54-point effort in a 90-72 victory at Tennessee on national television can do for a player and a team, and if you missed it what you missed was arguably the most impressive individual performance in the history of Kentucky basketball. And that's not hyperbole. As rich as UK's tradition is, the school has never had a player hit 10 3-pointers or score 54 in a game. But Meeks did both before a soldout crowd at Thompson-Boling Arena to break (by a point) Dan Issel's single-game scoring mark set during the 1969-70 season.

So celebrate that, UK fans.

And get ready for what should be a nice run.

What's next is a winnable game at Georgia followed by a home game with Auburn, which means the Wildcats should be 15-4 overall and 4-0 in the SEC heading into a Jan. 24 tilt at Alabama. That's not bad for a team that opened 0-2 with a loss to VMI. So once again it appears Billy Gillispie has turned this thing around, and that's something everybody ought to remember -- including yours truly -- next November if the Wildcats stumble and take a bad early loss for the third straight season. If it happens, the wise move will be to laugh it off, because Gillispie has shown again that there's not a bad situation he can't fix, and if all else fails he can always just turn to Meeks, which seems like a reasonable gameplan given what took place Tuesday night in Knoxville.
Posted on: November 5, 2008 10:06 am

Dear Gary (on Kentucky's preseason ranking)

Here's Wednesday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: Do you think the fact that Billy Gillispie is a guy who works so hard that he makes other coaches look bad hurts Kentucky in the Coaches poll. I totaled the votes and they basically have us 40th. I am biased so I won't say where I think we should be ranked. But let's just say it's a lot higher than 40th. Especially when Florida is 20th.

-- Dustin

Yes, Gillispie works hard, but I'm not sure he "makes other coaches look bad" to the point where it hurts Kentucky in any poll. Hell, most successful coaches work hard. But I will acknowledge that Gillispie has rubbed some guys the wrong way with the early Madness, recruiting of young kids, etc., though I've defended him on those issues because I don't see them as problems the NABC or NCAA should be concerning themselves with, not with the number of real problems that exist. I mean, who cares if Madness is a week early? And if you're not recruiting (or at least familiarizing) yourself with eighth-graders and freshmen in this culture you will find yourself way behind.

Now to the ranking (or lack thereof).

I honestly don't understand how a roster that lost Ramel Bradley, Joe Crawford and Derrick Jasper could be projected as a preseason Top 25 team considering the recruiting class Kentucky enrolled isn't spectacular or highlighted by an obvious huge-impact star. If you agree with that -- and you should -- then we're really only arguing about whether Kentucky should be 29th, 41st, 32nd, 38th or whatever. To that, I'll just tell you that there's never much difference between the 30th-best and 40th-best teams in any given college basketball season, so if somebody has them 40th that's OK with me.

If you're curious, I had Kentucky 31st when I ranked the teams through the top 50.

Again, anywhere from 30 to 40 is reasonable.

As for Florida, think of it this way: There wasn't much that separated Florida and Kentucky last season. Yes, UK was better. But it wasn't by a large margin, and either way you have to agree that ...

A) Florida didn't lose as much.

B) Florida returned more.

C) Florida added more.

Nobody could argue those points.

Which is why the Gators are picked ahead of UK in the SEC.

That said, I still believe in Kentucky because I believe in Gillispie as a coach. My guess is he'll take this roster and do more with it because the players won't spend November and December trying to call a bluff that isn't a bluff. In other words, they'll be on board from the outset this time, which should help avoid any embarrassing early losses that might make the road to the NCAA tournament difficult. But I'm still picking the Wildcats third in the SEC and starting them outside the Top 25 (and one) because, well, that's where they ought to be.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com