VAUGHT: Gillispie's move makes sense

Late last week Billy Gillispie secured a commitment from rising freshman Michael Avery. While the Internet, the bloggers, and the mainstream media was busy gnashing their respective teeth over the commitment. Kentucky Sports Report's Larry Vaught looks at the commitment in a different light.

What in the world is wrong with Billy Gillispie? Has he lost his mind? Is he that desperate for a recruit?

Those were some of the initial thoughts that went through my mind when I learned that California eighth-grader Michael Avery had verbally committed to sign with the Wildcats in 2012.

But the more I have thought about this move, the more reasonable it seems.

First, Avery is already 6-4 and he's likely to grow a bit more. Second, he's also 15 years old and his skills are developed far more than most players his age.

But most importantly, this sends the message that Gillispie is a relentless recruiter and that he's not afraid to take a chance on a young player because he believes that strongly in his own evaluations.

Think of the national buzz that this commitment got for Kentucky. Gillispie has been praised and/or criticized for this move. But at least people are talking UK basketball nationally and that's what it takes to make young players take notice of a program. Every blog or Internet post about Avery had a potential young basketball star reading it.

Obviously no one can be sure what kind of player Avery will be four years from now. Maybe things won't even work out and either Avery or Gillispie will decide this is not the right fit. But time can deal with that.

Today the plus for Gillispie and Kentucky is that UK basketball again became national news because a coach was on the recruiting trail outworking rivals or trusting his own instincts more than rivals would.

Either way, it's a win-win at this time for Kentucky.

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