You don't want to date the girl who doesn't want to date you. That just ends in disaster. Thus, after Billy Donovan flirted with thinking about maybe contemplating the job then said "No," Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhardt proved his critics wrong by clearly and swiftly turning to his plan B, Texas A&M head coach Billy Gillispie.
The former UTEP coach, and Bill Self lead assistant, will be introduced at a pep rally and press conference at 12:15 p.m. ET today at venerable Memorial Coliseum.
Gillispie left unsigned an offered contract extension from his current school, clearly waiting to see what would shake out with the Kentucky job.
A notoriously hard worker and basketball junkie, Billy G brought Aggies basketball back from the dead. After inheriting a 7-21 squad and turning them into a 20-game winner, the coach with the deep Texas roots made this season a signature one, going 22-9 and advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16 with a victory at Rupp Arena over Louisville.
Gillispie has many attractive qualities as a coach, but none moreso than his team's unmistakable toughness and guts. Texas A&M wasn't the most talented team in the Big XII, nor the deepest, and yet they were the only team in the nation to rank in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency.
Coach's long Texas ties should prove valuable, as the Lone Star State has emerged as one of, if not the, most fertile recruiting grounds in the nation.
Great hire, and as with the Rick Pitino hire in 1988, there is a chance that instead of getting the guy we all expected, pined and whined for, we get the right guy for the job. The guy who wanted the job. A guy who eats, sleeps and breathes basketball.
Sounds like our type of guy, don't it?