clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Hoops on UK Hoops

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Dick "Hoops" Weiss, longtime national sportswriter for the New York Daily News, icon of the college basketball scene and friend of A Sea of Blue gets some press himself today from the inimitable Larry Vaught.

Vaught has this story in Scout, which assesses Weiss' view of Billy Gillispie to date.  "Hoops" tells Vaught that Coach Gillispie reminds him of a young Rick Pitino back when Traitor Rick was running the show in Lexington.  Weiss says that Gillispie has that same "relentless recruiting approach" that characterized Pitino's tenure here.

One thing I have always appreciated about Dick Weiss is that he actually "gets it" when it comes to Kentucky hoops.  Many national sportswriters drone on about "passionate UK fans" and how basketball is a "religion" at UK, but you get the feeling from reading them that they are writing more from knowledge gained from Internet chat rooms than a fundamental understanding of our fans.

"Hoops", on the other hand, knows something about UK fans and the job here.  "Hoops" has probably expelled more knowledge about college basketball the last time he broke wind than writers like Andy Katz and Seth Davis are ever likely to obtain.  Perhaps that's why whenever either of those two worthies holds forth on UK, the Kentucky faithful hold their nose.  Just read Larry's article and you will understand what I mean.

"Hoops" focuses on the New York basketball scene, but let's face it -- the big metro areas of New York and Los Angeles are loaded with talent that Gillispie should be recruiting if he isn't already.  As you might expect, Weiss notes this in the article:

"I think Billy understands the big picture. Right now he is a little bit Texas-centric, but Texas is producing a lot of good players right now. That is not so bad now."

I think Weiss will be seeing a lot more of Gillispie up in the New York area, and he and Pitino, who naturally considers New York his turf, will begin butting heads up there very soon.  You can't blame Gillispie for sticking close to home is first year or so.  It is always smart to play to your strength in the beginning before branching out.

I just hope we all live to see this prediction by Gregg Doyel come true:

Billy Gillispie, Kentucky: Not just a home run, this was a walk-off grand slam. In all of college basketball, and this includes that cute little bugger down there at Florida, Gillispie was the perfect hire for Kentucky. By the time he's done running Louisville out of the state, the Cardinals will be getting their mail in Missouri.[emphasis mine]

So on behalf of the Big Blue Nation, I'd like to thank "Hoops" for talking about us.  It's always nice to run into a guy who is as crazy about college basketball as we are in the Bluegrass.  His blog is a daily read for me, and I hope you will take the time to check it out, too.