- by Kevin Faris
After another embarrassing UK defeat, the Internets are running wild with speculation about whether or not Billy Gillispie will still be the UK coach next year.
A week or so ago, I thought this ideas was beyond crazy, but each day, and each abysmal performance, makes me believe it could possibly happen. Already there is speculation about players leaving the team and some of my friends, and those on UK message boards and call in shows, believe if he stays UK could be facing a Post-Kelvin Sampson Indiana situation.
I believe the Indiana situation is the worst case scenario, but it could happen if even half the number of players suspected to leave actually follow through. I still think it is unlikely that BCG will be fired, but I think the possibility is real.
The key is that the next hire has to be a home run. He cannot be someone that we hope will be the right guy. Hope is not a plan. If UK is in the market for a coach next year, the criteria, in my mind, needs to be the following:
1. D-1 coach for at least 10 years. I believe that one of BCG's biggest problems is that he is still learning how to be a head coach. He was only a head coach for five years before coming to UK.
2. At one job at least 5 years. I want a coach who has recruited, developed, and graduated players. This ability to build and think long term is something that is missing from the current staff.
3. Success. If we narrow it to just Final Four, that will make it difficult, but consistent success, mixed with some good tournament runs, is essential.
This eliminates Travis Ford, Darrin Horn, and John Pelphry. While these guys are popular, they are by no means proven. Hiring them would be a sentimental choice. Remember, hope is not a plan. This would be a Mike Shula hiring when we need a Nick Saban hire.
1. Tom Izzo- I call him "White Tubby" and I did not want him before, but I am now more interested in someone with proven results as opposed to an up and comer.
2. Jay Wright- Does not have the consistent type of success that Izzo has, but has been consistently successful in a tough conference at a school that does not have some of the advantages of other Big East powers. He also has experience with Team USA.
3. John Calipari- Probably would never, ever happen. He's kind of sleazy. He probably cheats. A lot. But, the Dribble Drive offense is popular and fun to watch. His recruiting would be off the charts. And Memphis has thus far, somehow, avoided major NCAA fractions. This has about a 1% chance of happening, but he fits the criteria.
Jamie Dixon- Unproven. It could change this year, but thus far has no tournament success.
Sean Miller- Limited experience as a head coach. Does have tournament success.
Rick Barnes- Fits criteria. I just don't care for him.
Feel free to offer your own suggestions in the comments section.