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Gillispie and Oklahoma State -- The speculation that just won't die

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John Clay has a post on Sidelines today once again raising the specter of Oklahoma State, a wholly owned subsidiary of B.P. Capital Management, making a move on Coach Gillispie.  Apparently, the source for this new brush fire is this article from a blog run by the Austin American-Statesman.  Quoth Randy Riggs, the author:

There's so much smoke regarding the rumor that there's mutual interest between Gillispie and Oklahoma State that there might be some fire there someplace.

Kentucky-based speculation has it that Gillispie met recently with OSU folks in Nashville, Tenn. A Big 12 person with his ear firmly connected to the coaching grapevine confirmed the Cowboys' interest in Gillispie and added that Kansas coach Bill Self recommended Gillispie to OSU athletic director Mike Holder after Self said he wasn't interested in returning to his alma mater. Gillispie was an assistant on Self's staffs at Tulsa and Illinois.
"Kentucky-based speculation?"  This seems to be a rumor generated on one of the U of L message boards from a rumor on OSU's message boards, but I can find no basis for it.  We, among many others, have considered that Oklahoma State might come after Gillispie, but the logic seems a bit less than totally convincing.  It was reported in several places, and discussed on this blog earlier, that Doug Gottlieb, an OSU alumni, had dismissed the Gillispie rumor as false because OSU did not want the "baggage" associated with Gillispie's arrests a few years back.  I wondered in that same article if that could have been a misdirection ploy by T. Boone Pickens, and this latest conjecture does little to quell that lingering doubt.

Still, I think that there are several better candidates available, résumé-wise, some of which I have already discussed at some length.  Over the weekend, the loathsome troll Jeff Goodman reported that Jamie Dixon had denied any interest in the Oklahoma State job.  This Tulsa World article [hat tip: John Clay] also indicates that Kevin Stallings has not been contacted by OSU, although quite honestly, I don't know why Oklahoma State would consider Stallings.  Yes, he has done some good things at Vanderbilt, but for the kind of money Pickens & Co. are talking about, would you really want a coach who had never gotten a team past the Sweet Sixteen?  That same caveat applies to Gillispie.

Anyway, perhaps that is the level of coaching most likely to accept a job offer from OSU, and if so, Stallings and Gillispie would both seem to be worthy of consideration, along with Dixon and Jay Wright.  I don't think Wright is a target primarily because he seems to be very happy where he is, kind of like Donovan and Self.  I have suggested that Tim Floyd might be a good place for the Cowboys to go, and I still think that is something they should consider -- I do believe he can be lured away, and his time in the pros and recruiting around the California area would be really valuable to a program like the Cowboys.

The Dallas Morning News had this to say over the weekend about Gillispie and OSU:
Billy Clyde Gillispie won't coach at Oklahoma State because he'd look like he ran away from Kentucky after a disappointing season. But, for a tough guy, how about his oddly vulnerable quote about what Kentucky means to him after the Wildcats were eliminated from the NCAAs by Marquette: "I mean, it's just you are a special person if you are associated with Kentucky basketball." ...
I don't know if that's true or not, but it is a consideration.  Nobody is guaranteed success, and if Holder were to tempt Gillispie away with millions, Gillispie would surely be under great pressure to succeed immediately lest he be summarily "Suttoned" after a couple of seasons -- billionaires are not noted for their patience, and big bucks demand big results.   From what I have seen of Mike Holder, though, he really is clueless about basketball coaches, so he will be taking direction from management on this one.

So what do I think?  I believe that there may a price that would pry Gillispie lose from Kentucky,  I just don't believe that Pickens is willing to go that high on a coach who has yet to prove himself at the big-time basketball level.  They can have similarly qualified candidates, in my opinion, for less money.

As I said previously, this sort of thing will be ongoing until OSU actually settles on a coach.  That's just the reality of the situation.  We are not done yet, so stay tuned for updates as they become available.