Holy Hell, Billy Goes to Kentucky subject logo: COLSPORTS
Posted by: badanov

Texas A&M was the Big 12's only hope for making the Final Four this year. Head Coach Billy Gillispie took a mediocre basketball program in 2004 and led it to the Sweet Sixteen after only two years. Big 12 sports writers and fans were agog over this man who had a shallow bench to start with and then ran roughshod over the Big 12.

Last week we heard rumors that Frank Broyles, athletic director of the Arkansas Razorbacks, was looking to replace Coach Stan Heath, sent packing even after falling in the first round of the NCAA this year to USC 77-60 and going 21-14, 7-9 in conference play.

Yeah, we were disappinted also, but it was surely to be expected since the SEC West reached very high level of medicrity so much so last year's Final Four team, LSU, finished last in a division that couldn't even boast a team with a winning record.

When we inquired our Hawgs contact, he was unsurprised in that he didn't expect Gillispie to leave Texas A&M. The Aggies were in thrall to Gillispie and were talking about a fat contract.

When the deal came through, we were told it was a lock for Texas A&M. The third best paid mens collge basketball heach coach was going to pull down more than $2 million a year at Texas A&M, of all places.

Now after 24 hours of hearing Florida head coach Billy Donovan was talking to Kentucky, we had to wonder what was going on.

Now, we know.

Can Gillispie turn around the Wildcats? His record at Texas El Paso and at College Station seems to be that Gillispie can do two things not every coach can do: recruit as well as coach.

Kentucky is a very, very good basketball school in easily the toughest conference in hoops. The man is nose deep in it now, but we wish him luck. If Tubby Smith left the cupboiard bare, Gillispie faces a tough three or four years.

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