VAUGHT: Dortch likes Kentucky's hire

Chris Dortch of Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook thinks Kentucky made the best possible hire when it picked Billy Gillispie as its new basketball coach

"He has a single minded focus, just like Kentucky fans. It will be a match made in heaven," said Dortch, who has known Gillispie for years. "He is unflappable. He comes from the same place as the Kentucky fans. He eats basketball. He sleeps basketball. He breathes basketball. He is not married. He has nothing else to distract him. I have talked to his assistant coaches and they say he goes all out all the time."

Dortch knows Rick Pitino was known for his work ethic when he came to Kentucky. He says Gilispie's work ethic is higher.

"Rick had a family he had to give some attention to. Billy has no one except him. It gives him a lot of time to think about just one thing — Kentucky basketball — just like the Kentucky fans. This is the best hire Kentucky could have made," Dortch said.

Better than Billy Donovan?

"Donovan is a great coach, but in terms of what Kentucky needs right now, Gillispie is better. The program does not need fixing, but it can use a breath of energy," Gillispie said. "Gillispie is uniquely qualified to give it that single minded focus.

"He is a country boy and will appeal to the masses. Mitch Barnhart hit a home run here. Make that a grand slam. This job will not overwhelm him. Tubby Smith had his family and friends, but Billy's friends will be the Kentucky fans, his players, his peers. He will be totally immersed in coaching Kentucky. He wants armchair quarterbacks to assess him because he knows that will mean fans are interested. He is not afraid of the expectations."

Dortch talked to Gillispie at the Final Four and knew then he would take the job if he had the opportunity.

"This guy will get it done. He is going to be tough. I have heard legendary tales about his practices where they would go two hours and not look to score," Dortch said. "If you think Tubby was a defensive specialist, wait until you see him. Defense is where it all begins for him. "I think it will take special people to play for him. But I would not be surprised if Jai Lucas and Patrick Patterson give him strong consideration as a package deal. He works it that hard. The only thing that motivates him is doing a great job and I think he is the very best hire Kentucky could have made."

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