Gillispie Says He Didn't Talk About UA Job

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas coach John Pelphrey will always be linked to Kentucky because he played there. And to a lesser extent, Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie will have a connection with the Razorbacks.

When Arkansas was in search of a new coach after Stan Heath was fired in 2007, Gillispie was reportedly considered the top candidate.

At the time, Gillispie had turned Texas A&M into a contender and there was speculation that he'd replace Heath. But Gillispie said Thursday morning that he never spoke to any Arkansas officials about being the school's next coach.

"There's always speculation, but I never ever spoke to anyone over there (at Arkansas)," Gillispie said during a Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference. "And a coach can't defend speculation and that's why I've always chose to never make any kind of comment on any of those situations."

Gillispie said the media played a role in his name being mentioned for the Arkansas job. He ended up leaving Texas A&M around the same time to take over at Kentucky.

Moore Playing Time

At one time, Arkansas forward Brandon Moore was in Pelphrey's doghouse. But the freshman has worked his way back into the rotation, and there's a chance he could see more playing time following his effort in Wednesday's 75-62 loss at Auburn.

Moore impressed Pelphrey with his ability to come off the bench and record 4 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocked shots in 17 minutes. It was his biggest contribution since Dec. 27, when the forward scored 8 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in 14 minutes against Northwestern State.

"I've been practicing hard all this week," Moore said. "And the harder you practice, the easier it's going to be in the games."

Moore is averaging only 2.1 points and 1.7 rebounds in 9.1 minutes per game, but Pelphrey said the freshman is beginning to understand where he should be on offense and what the defensive game plan is. He has also returned from a two-game suspension with a good attitude.

"I thought he did very well (against Auburn). I thought he was a live, active body in there," Pelphrey said. "You know, Brandon's got some ability. I love Brandon Moore as a human being. Has he made some mistakes? Sure he has."

Moore was arrested for driving while intoxicated on Jan. 18, and the off-the-court scrape came hours after the Razorbacks returned from an 80-65 loss at Florida. Pelphrey suspended Moore for two games.

Injured Patterson

The status of Kentucky center Patrick Patterson for Saturday's game at Arkansas remains uncertain because of a sprained right ankle.

If you ask Pelphrey, though, there's not much doubt that the dominant sophomore will play this weekend.

Patterson suffered the ankle injury when he came down awkwardly in the second half of Tuesday night's 68-65 win over Florida. X-rays came back negative, and Gillispie said Thursday that the center is getting treatment on his ankle.

"We don't know yet as far as what his status will be. He's getting great treatment (and) care," Gillispie said. "And our No. 1 main thing that we want to make sure happens is Patrick gets the best care for not only today and tomorrow and Saturday, but two weeks down the road, six weeks down the road and a long time down the road.

"So his status right now is unknown."

But Pelphrey said he's preparing his players for the likelihood that they'll face Patterson, who ranks sixth in the SEC in scoring (17.8 points per game) and fourth in rebounding (9.1 rebounds per game).

"I'd be shocked if he's not playing," Pelphrey said.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories