Tag:Billy Gillispie
Posted on: September 26, 2008 1:04 am
Edited on: September 26, 2008 1:05 am

So who is the best coach in the SEC?

There's a poll on the college basketball page right now asking for the best coach in the SEC.

As I type, Billy Gillispie (37 percent) is leading (hello, Kentucky fans!), followed by Billy Donovan (33 percent) and Bruce Pearl (18 percent). And when I looked at the poll I was reminded of a comment Pearl made last weekend when I told him Tennessee fans were taunting Florida fans at the hotel bar (the night before the UT-Florida football game) by screaming how Pearl was 5-1 all-time against Donovan, which is amazing considering Donovan has won national titles in two of the three seasons Pearl has been in the SEC.

Anyway, Pearl downplayed that statistic.

He claimed it was kind of fluky and misleading.

And then he revealed whom he believes to be the SEC's best.

"Billy Donovan is the best," Pearl said. "He just is."

Posted on: September 19, 2008 10:05 am

Dear Gary (on Big Blue Madness)

Here's Friday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: I only counted about 15 instances in that article (about Kentucky's Big Blue Madness) where (you try) to be subtle, insinuating (Billy Gillispie) and Kentucky are wasting time, not doing the "smart" thing, blah blah blah. (You) claim in terms of basketball it isn't smart. What a cast-iron dumbass. (You) say (you) were there last year. So, apparently that one visit qualifies (you) to judge a school's responsibilities (and honestly, the only reason (you) were there was because it was Gillispie's first year; any other year and (you) wouldn't have lowered yourself to grace us with (your) presence, preferring no doubt to further your ACC-sucking resume, but that’s another matter). Well, big f---ing deal on last year's visit. I have been to the last TWENTY Madnesses.

-- BT

The last 20, huh?

Sounds like somebody needs to get a life.

But in all seriousness, are you for real with this note?

Do you not realize I used that column to defend Gillispie's decision to move up Big Blue Madness. In other words, it was a positive Kentucky column, and any "subtle" jabs you think I took are merely the result of your paranoia kicking in because I never wrote that Big Blue Madness as an event is a waste of time. What I wrote was that "strictly in terms of basketball" it is a waste of time, meaning no player is going to walk out of Rupp Arena with a better sense of Gillispie's offense after two hours of Big Blue Madness, that the allotted time spent that particular week won't benefit the Wildcats in terms of actual on-the-court basketball. You took that comment and twisted it into me claiming there is no benefit to Big Blue Madness, which is ridiculous. Clearly, there is a benefit in terms of rallying fans and impressing recruits, the latter of which is the main reason Gillispie is moving up the event in the first place.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that you're crazy.

And that when people call Kentucky fans crazy, it's because of you.

But I've received enough emails from reasonable Kentucky fans to know they aren't all like you.

And for that, I am thankful.

As is every other college basketball writer in the world, I presume.

Posted on: July 7, 2008 11:52 am
Edited on: July 15, 2008 1:25 pm

DEAR GARY (on Donovan/Gillispie)

AKRON, Ohio -- Here's Monday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: So how long did that NABC recommendation last?  Was it even a month?  It kind of looks bad when one of the most high-profile coaches (Billy Donovan) completely disregards the suggestion (by taking a commitment from rising sophomore Austin Rivers).  I know it is not a rule but a recommendation/suggestion, but does this mean all bets are off and teams can go back to doing what they were doing?  Full disclosure, I am a Kentucky fan and I think the "rule" is dumb.  If a coach wants to offer a kid and the kid and his family want to accept, what's the problem?  So, what do you think happens now with recruiting?

-- Kevin

I got a lot of emails like this, including one from a Kentucky fan wondering why Billy Gillispie was ridiculed for taking a young commitment while Donovan did it without much of an uproar. I actually asked Gillispie about this Sunday night, and he just smiled without comment. But I think the simple answer is that Gillispie committed an eighth-grader instead of a ninth-grader -- which just seems a lot younger, for whatever reason -- and that he did it in a state where basketball rules 12 months a year. Meantime, Donovan's young commitment came in a state where basketball is secondary and at a time (the week after the NBA Draft) when people weren't paying attention much. I mean, the week after the NBA Draft is vacation time, far as I'm concerned. So when that story came down last week I was on vacation (though I still wrote it) and I know at least one other national college basketball writer who was on vacation, too.

In other words, Donovan has impeccable timing.

But in all seriousness, I'm mostly with you, Kevin. I don't necessarily believe the rule is "dumb" but I do think it's going to be incredibly difficult to enforce because verbal commitments don't actually mean anything anyway and nobody is binded by them. So how can a coach be forbidden from "offering" something that can't be offered in reality? And even if he is, the NABC will never be able to stop a young prospect from telling a reporter he wants to go to Kentucky or Florida, and all Kentucky and Florida have to do in response is tell the NABC that they haven't technically offered anything and that though the prospect might've been under the impression that a scholarship was his if he wanted it, a scholarship was never formally offered and what can you do?

Anyway, do you see my point?

My basic rule on rules is to only have them if they can be enforced, and I just don't think this can be enforced. So my suggestion would be for the NABC to state its position and let coaches do what they will, then focus on cleaning up what really needs to be cleaned up, and what can.

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