Friday, April 06, 2007

Kayaats Fans, Meet Thy Coach

UK finally named Billy the Kid as their coach. Nope, not THE Billy the Kid. Not the hottest coach in college basketball, Billy Donovan (that's Dunnavan for Billy Packer.)

Instead they got Billy Gillispie. Uneducated UK fans (is that redundant?) are probably scratching their heads and wondering what went wrong. So let's review that first:

1. Billy Donovan turned down UK. It is my personal belief that Mitch Barnhart, Athletics Director at UK is a moron. How are you going to watch a Rick Pitino disciple who won 26 games per year (Tubby Smith) get effectively ran out of Lexington by malcontent fans and then expect ANOTHER Pitino disciple to take that same job? I'd lay money down that Pitino and Donovan talked and Pitino advised him against it. And if so, he was right to do so.

2. Jay Wright didn't want it. The coach at Villanova, didn't want to coach at Kentucky. What does this tell you? It tells you the effect of the UK fans is enormous. Wright was probably scared to take the job.

3. Rick Pitino didn't want it. Why would he have? Been there, conquered that. You can't go home again.

4. Rick Barnes didn't want it. Barnes was probably in Wright's boat. Scared out of the job. He can exist as the second fiddle in Austin and not deal the pressures of coaching in the hot Lexington spotlight.

What went right.
1. Barnes didn't want it. Look, Rick Barnes is a good coach, not a great coach. He's never been the ELITE EIGHT. With Kevin Durrant, the best player in college basketball and an able supporting cast, he couldn't get out of the second round. Barnes would be dead meat in Lexington.

2. Billy Gilispie wanted to coach UK like a hooker wants a health care plan. He turned down Arkansas. He didn't sign a VERY lucrative extension with his current school Texas A&M that would have made him the highest paid coach in the Big Twelve. He held out because he WANTED to be UK's next coach. That bodes well because he's a good defensive coach, an efficient offensive coach (He won't be funning and gunning like Pitino Kayaat's fans, so don't expect that) and he's been immediately successful at his previous two stops. He's a tireless recruiter and a hard worker.

I don't know if Gillispie will work long term at UK or not. I do think he was the second best man for the job. And Mitch Barnhardt probably lucked out in getting a coach of Gillispie's quality after a major screw job of a coaching search.

If there's a knock to be made on Billy Gillispie it is this: he's been a head coach for all of five years. And that's at UTEP and Texas A&M. Gillispie has no idea the media circus that awaits him. I wish him luck. But not too much. After all, I hate UK.


BRATCH said...

So I guess UK should have had every coach who made the NCAA standing in line outside the day after Tubby left?

And by the way, how is Mitch Barnhart a moron because Donovan turned the job down to stay at a school where he is a god?

At the end of the day all you can do is ask. If that coach doesn't come, ask the next guy.

The next guy is here.

Hopefully, WKU can perform the coaching search a little better and show UK how to properly dispose of an unwanted coach and find another.

While WKU fan base might not stretch as far and wide as UK's, most of them are cut from the same cloth of ridiculous expectations.

Travis said...

Barnhadt is an idiot because he should have foreseen that Donovan wouldn't take it for the reasons I listed and for the ones you just did. So he wasted two weeks and some bad press.

If UK was the job that most UK fans thought it was, then every NCAA coach would be knocking on their door begging for a chance. But the fact of the matter is that UK fans incessant whining and ridiculous standards have turned this job into another version of the Alabama football job.

WKU fans are very much on the verge of the same lunacy. I think it comes in large part from the internet. It's the mad crowd disease. One person starts to panic and suddenly you've got a human stampede of stupidity.

I think UK stumbled onto a guy that should have been their first choice. It would have saved time and face if Barnhardt would have just thought it out a little better.

Piccu said...

I agree that Wright and Barnes were probably scared to come to UK and if that was the case I wouldn't have wanted them anyway. If you don't have the onions to take on the biggest job in college basketball, please stay where you are.

Donovan had a million reasons to stay at Florida and I wish him the worst, because I hate Florida, not because I feel slighted by Billy D.

As for Billy Clyde, you are right that he wanted this bad and while he may not have the pedigree I would want in a coach, he is ready to go and he brought two programs back from death in the last five years and was the hottest young coach in the game.

Gillespie already has a big challenge coming at him in the next few days. April 11 is the spring signing period, I believe, and he has to try and convince Patrick Patterson and Jai Lucas to come to UK. If he can do that or even get one of them, I think that bodes well for the type of coach UK has now.

I have a feeling that in the next 2 or 3 years, eveyone will hate UK for the right reasons, winning games and championships, and all will be right with the world.