Chris Dortch: What went wrong with Gillispie?

When Kentucky started looking for a successor for Tubby Smith two years ago, Blue Ribbon College Basketball editor Chris Dortch was one of the first to suggest that Billy Gillispie might be a good fit for the Wildcats.

Gillispie had turned around programs at Texas-El Paso and Texas A&M. He was known as a tireless recruiter, and more importantly to Dortch, he shared the same passion for basketball that Kentucky fans did.

However, Gillispie was fired Friday after going 40-27 in two seasons because he failed to embrace the overall Kentucky tradition in the estimation of UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart and president Lee Todd.

So what does Dortch think went wrong at Kentucky for Gillispie?

"I think Billy's a great coach. But I don't think he was prepared for the demands on his time and the constant scrutiny he faced as the head coach at Kentucky," said Dortch.

"It's funny, but Billy did his best work with downtrodden programs that didn't have a tenth of Kentucky's history. When he got to the pinnacle and had every advantage a coach could have, he didn't do as well. He'll return to a less heralded program and get his career back on track."

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