April 6, 2007

Billy Gillispie... eh


Fom ESPN.com
"Kentucky didn't wait long to find its (next) man. According to a source at the school, Billy Gillispie will be introduced at 1:15 ET"

Good coach, but a shame to see the same old mold take form.

I guess a great coach came second to getting a "Billy"

April 5, 2007


WHEW!!!! ESPN.com is reporting that Billy Donovan is staying put at the University of Florida and will begin discussions about an extension when he returns from his trip.

Click Here for full article

"Billy Donovan, three days removed from leading Florida to a second consecutive national championship, will remain the Gators' coach and not make himself available to interview for the opening at SEC rival Kentucky.

Donovan told Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart early Thursday morning by phone that he wasn't interested in leaving Florida. Florida athletics director Jeremy Foley told ESPN.com that he and Donovan also met Thursday."

Now, back to why we are here. UK, you now have a choice to make, and the best coach (maybe) available is without a doubt, Pat Summitt. Later today I will re-state the case and let the readers and fans bring opinions to the table.

Reactions After Day 1

Well, interestingly enough, I was surprised to see how many UK fans out there think highly of the idea. I thought it would be fun to post some of the responses I have been getting from fan message boards, emails, and the like. Here are a few from the ESPN Kentucky Wildcat Message Board:

"I think it'd be cool. She would definitely be a good recruiter, strong influence among families...etc."

"She could out coach most of the male coaches today but she won't be able to to recruit because I don't think young males would play for a woman which is a shame."

"Funny thing is she probably has more balls than Tubby did."

"I agree, and frankly, what better candidate is out there? The guy is right, a recruiter is a recruiter. Which of these kids will have a problem taking orders from a mother figure?

I also had a brief email with Chris Diggs who runs the Courier-Journal's Wildcat's Fan Blog, and he thought it was 'hilarious' and was going to feature it on there.

Seriously, though, I am astonished. I expected some comments to come in from backward thinking people bashing even the thought of it. But, none yet. Only real UK fans stating with a fair amount of certainty that not only would she be good, but that "she has more balls than Tubby did".

Billy Update: Although reported yesterday that UK had gotten 'permission' to speak with Billy's people, this morning he was quoted as saying that there hasn't been any contact yet and that he really wants to let everything sink in while he is away and then be able to make a decision. This is as reported in Gainesville media and on ESPN Radio.

April 4, 2007

They Were Ready in Brooklyn...

The famous Boy's in Brooklyn High School Basketball team, which has alums including the likes of Lenny Wilkens, fell just short of winning another state championship this past year. This would hardly be news, except that their head coach is Ruth Lovelace.

This isn't anything new, by the way... she has been the coach there for 13 YEARS!!!

Now, a lot of Kentucky faithful weren't happy when Tubby was hired either, but we can all agree that it was a great hire and it went a long way towards changing the mindset of the UK basketball fan and their history. With a move like this, as remarkable as it sounds, KENTUCKY, could set the mark for equality. Yeah, Kentucky.

By The Numbers

Billy Donovan's Bio & Career Stats: http://www.gatorzone.com/billydonovan/?sub=basketball&page=last

Pat Summitt's Bio & Career Stats: http://utladyvols.cstv.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/summitt_pat00.html

Now, I know it is apples and oranges to compare the careers of these two. However, this reminds me of the movie 'A Time to Kill'. Anyone remember the end, during Jake's closign argument, he asks the jurors to imagine a scenario of a little girl, etc. etc. (very illegal to do in trial, but anyways). Then we watch the amazed faces of the jurors when he asks, "Now imagine that she is white". If someone put Pat Summitt's career in front of you, without a picture and taking the word 'woman' or 'women's' out of there... tell me you wouldn't give up the house to have this persona s your team's coach?

Brief Summary (not including this remarkable season):

(all in 32 seasons as head coach)

OVERALL: 913-177 (.838!!!!!! IN 32 SEASONS!!!)
HOME: 416-41 (.910)
AWAY: 298-78 (.793
NEUTRAL: 199-58 (.774)

OVERALL: 360-56 (.865) vs. all SEC
HOME: 162-12 (.931)
AWAY: 136-29 (.824)
NEUTRAL: 65-15 (.813)

OVERALL: 553-121 (.820)

(13 out of 276) 1980, 1985, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004

(12 of 27) 1980, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2006
OVERALL: 54-15 (.783)
TITLES: 12 out of 27

OVERALL: 369-145 (.718)
RANKED 1-10: 161-109 (.596)
RANKED 11-25: 208-36 (.852)

OVERALL: 544-32 (.944)

OVERALL: 92-19 (.840)
NCAA TITLES: 6 (1987, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1997, 1998)

1993, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004

1983, 1987, 1989, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2004_


  • Summitt has faced 153 opponents in 1,054 total games and teams from 32 conferences
  • 47.0% of her 1,054 total games have been played versus ranked teams (497 total games against ranked opponents) with 355 victories versus ranked opponents
  • 140 all-time Lady Vols have contributed to 913 wins
  • 70% of those all-time players have gone on to be decorated as Olympians, All- Americans, USA National Team members, All-SEC performers, Academic All-Americans, Academic All-SEC, etc.

Before You Call This Crazy....

(In the interest of full disclosure, this site was started and is being maintained by a Florida Gator who does not want Billy Donovan to leave Gainesville. Therefore, I have decided to propose a new candidate for the job of University of Kentucky Men's Head Basketball Coach)

... Why Not Her??? Why Not Now???

On the day after her 7th (yeah, S-E-V-E-N-T-H) NCAA Championship, fans of the game and of the woman ask the same question that was asked after her last NCAA Championship (which came at the end of a historic 3-peat)... 'where is there to go from here?' Can anyone really see Pat Summit sitting on the sidelines coaching a WNBA team with less than 2,000 people in the stands? There is certainly no other Women's NCAA coaching position that would pose any threat to the Tennessee boosters (unlike the Florida/Kentucky debate with Billy D). NBA... I don't think the egos could stand it. But why not NCAA Men's ('Men' is used very loosely here) hoops? If that is possible, why should such a proven entity need to work her way up from the bottom like so many others? If the jump were to be made, it should be made with a leap all the way to the top of the mountain.

Now, there have been thoughts of Summitt coaching NCAA men's teams in the past, but never with a job opening such as this. She has stated no intention to coach men and little, if any, desire to do so either. However, every occupation at some point has a ceiling. In the job of "Women's Head Basketball Coach", Pat has roared through it like Charlie in the Great Glass Elevator. But she is still young and probably has some of her most brilliant coaching left in her. If you are content at the top, Pat, that is great and I hope you are happy for the rest of your career. Forgive me for saying that it would be contrary to the a-typical 'coach' mentality that is always being drilled into the heads of fans.

With the Billy Donovan talk, much centers around 'ego'. Talking heads say that the minds of coaches like him or Pitino, or others are focused on being the BMOC (BWOC in this case). Money and glitz are nice, but we are led to believe that the glamour is the real key. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of glamour when you are the Queen. And you are, Coach, undoubtedly the Queen of College Basketball. If you are anything like the male counterparts that are described to us fans, you must, at least sometimes, imagine what it would be like to be King for a season, no?

NCAA hoops is at it's best when its played with X's & O's, and almost every sports talk personality on the radio today (again, the day after her 7th NCAA Championship) are in agreement that Pat Summitt is one of the best X's & O's coaches in the history of basketball, at any level. There is no doubt that she could do it. But success, unfortunately, would not be based on how well she draws up plays or designs defensive schemes. Success in this scenario would be wholly dependent on a group of 18-22 year old boys... I mean men... being willing to take orders and learn from a woman... just after having moved away from 'Mom'.

I, for one, think the right kids are out there. I think that a good recruiter is a good recruiter and could sell themselves and their programs to any player or parent. Once the kids are on board, some may not be able to handle it, but others will relish the opportunity... and therein lies success.

So, call this whole thing crazy if you want. Post your comments and rip me apart. For being crazy, for being a Gator, for whatever. But I still believe that if she can be had, there would be no better move for Kentucky (including Billy D... imagine the pressure coming off of back-to-back's?) than hiring Pat Summitt as their next coach.

(I hope coach Rupp doesn't get dizzy from all the rolling over)