Let's pause to reminisce on the divorce of Billy Gillespie and the University of Kentucky. One of my favorite columnists, Pat Forde had a great comparison of Kentucky's fast courtship and marriage to Gillespie to a Las Vegas wedding.....which rarely is lasting. Gillespie wasn't a good fit coach-wise and social-wise with the Kentucky fans. It was doomed from the start. I can't believe Gillespie had never signed his contract, which cost him millions when it came to "buy-out" time.
Now, for who's the replacement. Oodles of names have surfaced:
Billy Donovan: He says he's definitely not going to UK, but Nick Saban said he was definitely not going to Alabama. He was the one Kentucky really wanted prior to hiring Gillespie. Slight resemblance to Eddie Munster, but is a proven winner.
John Calipari: He's got the perfect gig in Memphis, but would he be lured to be so close to his buddy, Pitino and leave Beale Street?
Bruce Pearl: Forget it. Good coach, but too Orange.
Mike Anderson: Forget it. Good coach, but too close to Nolan Richardson, and Kentucky fans don't forget.
Jamie Dixon: Interesting. Good coach, too.
Mark Few: Got it made in the Pacific Northwest,therefore tough to lure.
John Pelphrey: LOVED in Kentucky, but only won 2 games in the SEC last year. Strong resemblance to Ichabod Crane, but has shown potential.
Sean Miller: Interesting, but not quite big time enough.
Jay Wright: Interesting, but also not big time enough, yet.
Rick Pitino: Forget it. Been there. Done That.
Travis Ford: He's the one if Donovan turns it down. Kentucky boy, Kentucky connections, AAU connections, understands what is expected in Kentucky besides winning the National Championship every year and everywhere he's been, he improved. Young, but driven. He made me a believer, from Eastern Kentucky to U Mass to Oklahoma State. I think he'll be the one at the end of the day.
Personally, I think UK already had someone in mind and had at least "feelers" out to gauge their interest weeks ago, just in case the Wildcats didn't make the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament. Not being mentioned among the elite programs in the nation is unacceptable to the Big Blue Nation.
That's the same reason Pat Summitt got her team off the bus and put them though a grueling practice hours after losing in the Women's NCAA Tournament. She won't stand for losing. On second thought....maybe Kentucky should think about hiring her! On third thought, maybe that's not such a good idea. She'd be too tough on the boys.