Call From Beijing ~ Go Big Blue!

Go Cats and Bob Knight shut the hell up.  lol

Patrick Patterson, you’re doing fine dude.  21 and 9.  Keep the fire.  I love it when you guys are emphatic.  Keep winning.  Keep smiling and keep having fun.

If you aren’t havin’ fun, why do it.

Peace and love to all my Big Blue Brethren out there.


Kentucky Sports Radio

For the past couple of years, I don’t know where I’d be without you guys.

Thanks for all the information, game previews, game recaps and all the other stuff that you guys do on the blog.

I’ve been overseas for a while now and without you guys, I’d be blind on Kentucky Sports.

P.S.  WildcatRick hooks me up, too  (so don’t get sulky Rick…lol)


Billy Gillispie has been fired! Huh?

That’s the word I’m hearing from some pretty solid sources.

Actually, I was hearing that Gillispie will not be fired.  If G leaves, it’s going to be more of a split due to irreconcilable differences.  A mutual decision to part ways.  I’m sure there will be a buy out involved.

UK is jumping into the abyss.

I’ve also been told the following:

The player mutiny is nonsense rumor mill tripe.  Certainly, there are a couple of players who dislike Gillispie.  Meeks and Patterson are NOT those couple of players.  Meeks and Patterson are not considering the jump to the League because of Coach G.  They support G and are declaring or not declaring based upon their draft status.  They will decide based upon real world criteria and not the fantasies of internet rumor mongers and the media.  The players who won’t be coming back are guys who shouldn’t be coming back.  The Carruth wannabees.  Think AJ and Deandre.  Team Cancers.  From what I’ve been told AJ doesn’t see the purpose or value of an education.  He hasn’t lived in his dorm for most of the season.  Krebs has been all by his lonesome.  Liggins is another problem child.  Think that Vegas trip was his only refusal to go in a game.  Think again.  He’s supposedly done it throughout SEC play as well.  Deandre is playing the game right now.  The only way that he’ll be back is if he continues his change of attitude.  If he doesn’t convince G [or the next coach], he’ll not be returning.  Supposedly, he’s been a real challenge this season and I have a hard time understanding why G has put up with it.  Don’t be surprised if both AJ and Deandre are sitting on some other bench next year.

Folks who are concerned about the contract and why BCG hasn’t signed it.  Some think it’s the clause that sets down the criteria for BCG to be fired.  Some think it has to do with charitable contributions and foundations that is the sticking point.  Others are saying that it has to do with a “personal life” clause.  I’m hearing that such is not the case.  Word on the wind is that it’s the same clause that kept Billy D away.  Apparently, Mitch wants final say on recruiting offers.  He wants final word or veto power concerning recruits.  BCG [and most other Coaches who are worth a damn] will not agree to this.  Coaches should have final say in recruiting.  As long as the guy meets NCAA guidelines, BCG and almost any other coach should have the final say in recruiting.  Not the AD.  This isn’t the NBA and the AD is not the General Manager.  Apparently, Mitch thinks that everyone is as inept a recruiter as TLT.  There seems to be more than this but that’s all I got.

Last thing, the media is brewing this storm because of their personal distaste for BCG.  My opinion on that is screw the media.  Not everyone needs to be at their beck and call and on bended knee.  The media does ask stupid questions that are a waste of time.  And the media picks it’s heros and it’s villains based upon who kisses up to them.  Sycophants like Coach K get all the good press.  Any coach who doesn’t kiss their collective asses gets bad press.  Wooden was a God.  Despite his teams being bought and paid for by a booster.  USC gets a free pass in Football.  UNLV and UK get burned because Rupp and the towel biter didn’t play their game.  Apparently, Matt Jones has a hard on for BCG because Matty was not treated with kid gloves by BCG at an early press conference.  If so, Matt has a pretty large ego.  He’s a freakin’ blogger.  He’s not a real media figure.  He’s lucky he gets a media pass.  That’s funny, though.  Matt Jones was the biggest Tubby Homer on the planet.  Almost as big a homer as the guy who runs A Sea of Blue.

On the recruiting front.  If BCG is fired, UK better hit a GRAND SLAM on the coaching hire or Daniel Orton is gone.  Larry Orton was being polite when he stated that Daniel Orton would reconsider his options if BCG was fired.  I’m told that there is no chance that Daniel comes to UK if BCG is not the coach.  “Zero. Actually, less than zero.”  Is what I’m told.

There is also the tale being told that the UKAA canvassed the players.  Asking if they’d return if BCG was fired.  I guess they are weighing their options.  Fire Billy and these guys leave/stay.  Don’t fire Billy and these guys leave/stay.  Jockeying for leverage in contract negotiations?  Trying to gauge how hard the program will be hit with a BCG firing.  UKAA has to know that they will hurt the program by firing BCG this year.  Allowing the pressure to build, though, allows them to have maximum leverage in contract negotiations.  Playing hardball, I reckon.   Mitch not making a statement of support allows the pressure to build.  He apparently thinks this will aid him in the negotiations after the season and will allow them to get the concessions they desire.  Will Gillispie give that much control over recruiting to the AD.  I don’t think any coach would do that.  I think Billy G will allow some contract concessions such as making the hand shake circuit and being nicer to the media.  But ceding recruiting decisions to the AD, I don’t think it will happen.  BCG and any coach that UK will want will walk away from that deal.

The last thing that I’ve heard is that it’s all over.  The “that’s not in my job description” statement was the straw that broke Billy’s back.  Billy has supposedly been told that he will not be returning next season.  The players are said to know as well.  But they supposedly “demanded” that he be allowed to coach them through the NIT.  The word is that there is an anointed individual in the wings and he’s still in the Tournament now.  Calipari?  Pitino?  Wright?  Dixon?  I don’t know.

So that’s the latest that I’ve heard.  Could all of that be true?  If it is, this program is a mess.  Perhaps, it’s time to part ways with Mitch unless he has some magic up his sleeve that puts UK in the Final Four in 2010 or 2011.  This whole mess is inexcusable.  From the TLT departure catching him off guard to the Billy D fiasco to this mess with Billy G.  Does Barnhart have a clue?  I’m beginning to think that he does not.

Just things I’ve heard around the water cooler.  I’m no one to whom anyone should pay any heed.  After Kentucky plays the last game of the season, somethings going to happen.  I don’t even think G and Mitch knows for certain what that might be.  No one else knows for sure either.  That’s simply my opinion.

Kentucky Basketball: Liggins and Galloway

Good news for fans of the Big Blue. Matt Jones at KSR is reporting that the Point Guard duo will be eligible for play next year.  This is GREAT news for UK Basketball as I beleive it ensures at least 26 wins and a promise of at least a Sweet 16 appearance this season.

Gillispie is bringing in the talent.  UK Basketball will continue to improve under Gillispie.

Great news Cats fans.  UK is back.

Look for Liggins to start right away at PG.  Kevin Galloway should spell both guard positions unless Meeks is not 100% at the beginning of the season.

The 2nd year of the Gillispie Era is going to be a good year to be a Cat fan.  This team is gonna sneak up on some folks.  I hope they punch UNC in the mouth and lay ’em out on the floor.  That would be a hell of a way to start the season.

Recruiting and Kentucky Basketball

Personally, I don’t get it. Perhaps there are ulterior motives. Maybe we just have a few self righteous hypocrits who miss inept Tubby recruiting.

Smith couldn’t recruit well enough. Billy Gillispie is recruiting too much, too fast, too soon. Huh!?!

Everyone complained that UK under Smith was not getting the recruits. UK wasn’t on the radar of the Elite Recruits. Smith seemed to wait each year to the end to start his recruiting. Either he cherry picked de-commits from other schools or he was recruiting left overs in the Spring. The guys never seemed to get caught up on recruiting. I don’t know if he even tried.

His best class in his tenure was a group of guys who seemed to choose UK in spite of Smith. Rondo wanted to go to UL but Pitino chose to go after Telfair instead. Morris chose UK because it was easier than Georgia Tech. Crawford chose UK then tried to leave. Ramel Bradley was the third Guard in a class that needed a Forward. That year saw Corey Brewer go to UF because according to Smith “Brewer wasn’t big enough to play in the SEC.”  Chris Lofton chose UT that year because no one in the State of Kentucky believed that Chris could make it at the D1 level. Not the finest moment in talent evaluation for either Smith or Pitino.

Smith and his projects. Smith and his spring recruiting of Tyrone Nash and clones. Smith and his sons.

Kentucky fans complained and complained.

“Spring” forward to the present.

Billy Gillispie has UK in the mouth of top recruits all over the Nation. He’s got talented kids committing .
Patterson committed to Gillispie. Not to Smith. Darius Smith was close to committing to Illinois. Another Kentucky kid going out of State because of the ineptness of Smith and his merry band of incompetents. Gillispie and his merry band of magicians reeled Darius back in and received the commit. Liggins, if he qualifies is a serious talent. He’s brought in two highly regarded JUCOs who I’m betting are going to help in ways that no JUCO ever helped a Smith team.  Smith trolled the JUCO ranks and struck out each time.

I’d love to see Antoine Barbour under a hard working, dedicated coach like Gillispie.

Dominique Ferguson is the #8 overall Prospect from the Class of 2010. K.C. Ross Miller is a Top 25 talent. Euton is a highly regarded talent.

Vinny Zollo and Michael Avery are two talented kids who have committed to the program early. Some say too early.

This is one year of recruiting under Gillispie.

I’m sure the lack of a surprise element each Spring is going to hurt some of the recruiting blogs. So I can see their concern. Slower site. Fewer hits. That’s gonna hurt the bottom line. But I think it will eventually even out. People are going to want to follow these kids. See how their panning out. Follow their development.

Not all early recruits are going to level off talent wise or regress as in the cases of J.P. Blevins and Adam Williams. Both Avery and Zollo are taller and more talented than those two were in their Senior years of High School. I’m thinking that Zollo and Avery both could come in right now and start over either of those guys.

The recruiting landscape is changing. It’s been changing. Williams, K, Self and others have been adapting to this change all along. Smith was behind the power curve. Gillispie is bringing UK back up to speed. He’s making UK a major threat on the recruiting trail once more.

I say it’s about damn time. Before fans of any other programs start throwing stones, you might want to look at the walls of your house. Lots of glass out there.

Personally, I don’t need surprise recruiting sagas from hell…

I don’t care so much about recruiting. As long as Gillispie keeps it legal, I’m for letting him do his job. I’d rather know who is coming. I’d rather coach have the time to develop a plan of action on how to incorporate those players into his system. Recruiting is a tool to get there. It’s a means to an end, not the end itself. That is unless you are a blog or website dedicated to recruiting. Gillispie is recruiting to win Championships. It’s a take no prisoners endeavor.

Winning Championships is what should fuel BG. Bring on Number 8.

Comments, Questions, smart remarks?