Now that Kentucky has hired Billy Gillispie, I think he is a good choice. I like this enthusiasm. He wants to get on the road and recruit. That is a key thing around here. He seemed genuinely happy to get the job, and most importantly, he wants the job.
I think that is the type of attitude you have to bring into this job. You have to understand what you are getting yourself into. The same things people will praise you for one day can be the same things they will tear you down for the next day. You have to have the mindset that you are willing to go to work and put best team together you can. That is what you have to do. He has the facility. He has the program. He doesn't have to rebuild. He can come in here and sell the program immediately.
He loves to go out and recruit. He put together the Illinois team that went to the Final Four. If you have the ability to bring in those type of players at Illinois or Texas A&M, he should get his fair share of recruits at Kentucky. This is the best thing he has had to sell in his career.
I would worry if he does not get off to a good start and do well early about what might happen, but he can put an end to all those worries if he gets his team to overachieve or he gets recruits like Patrick Patterson and Jai Lucas right off the bat.
He has a lot more than he has ever had before to work with. With his track record, I hope he can kick this program to a different level. He just has to get the job done.
If we were not going to get a big name coach, why not give a guy like this a shot? It might be better than having an established guy in the long run. There would have been more pressure on an established guy because of what he had already done. There will be a grace period for Gillispie to build. He never had a great program.
There is an unknown factor here that could work to UK's advantage, too. A whole lot of coaches in the SEC are not going to know that much about his style unless they have run into him in the NCAA Tournament.
I always want to see somebody familiar with the SEC on the Kentucky bench. I think that is very important and would be helpful to him as well. Maybe it is not a necessity, but it could be very, very helpful. Someone who has been in the SEC or someone who knows the Kentucky program would help him.
One thing I really liked about him was when he was asked about style of play is that he said he would adjust to the type of talent he has. I think that is a good answer. Even though most people want to see up tempo, sometimes you do not have the personnel to play that way. I like that he will adapt to the type of talent he has. Coaches can be stubborn with a system and try to bring guys in only to fit system. He has flexibility.
So when you consider everything, I think Kentucky has gone and got a coach who can keep this program moving forward like we all want.