Friday, April 6, 2007

Exiting the panic room

I've tried to avoid turning Sparkgrass into a basketball blog, as others do that much better, but I'll just state my extreme satisfaction with Billy Gillispie as a super choice to lead the Wildcats helm. He wanted the job as soon as his name was mentioned, and he wins fast. Of course, the latter worries me that a bunch of NCAA violations will pop up, since it's a little unreal that he could turn UTEP and Texas A&M each into strong programs in the twinkle of an eye. But if this guy's for real (and he probably is), we're all in for some fun times. And maybe, just maybe, a Kentucky-Florida rivalry will be restored with the stakes even so much higher.

The Kentucky job is still one of the top 5 in college basketball. But the top 5 jobs in college basketball are no longer so much better than the top 20 jobs in college basketball to expect someone to leave one of those posts. Roy Williams left Kansas for Carolina because he was a Carolina kid at heart, the same reason that Bob Huggins made yet a bigger ass of himself and left KSU for West Virginia. Huggins is a Mountaineer and a douche nozzle at heart, and so he left all of his promises to his #2 recruiting class in the nation to go home. Heck, Ben Howland left a sweet job at Pitt for UCLA not just because the UCLA is a top 5 job, and the Pitt job is a top 25 job, but because he was a UCLA kid at heart.

Billy Donovan wasn't a Wildcat at heart. He was an assistant coach under a former coach, and an assistant coach at the same time as another assistant coach who just got pushed out of his head coach position by the psychotic wing of the Kentucky fanbase. He had a nice link, but growing up in the same conference, he'd had plenty of time for the mystique to weather. Billy Donovan can do no wrong in Florida. He'll pull a Denny Crum or a Bobby Knight. He'll win for a few more years (10-15?), and then spend his twilight years directing a mediocre program. No one will care, because he put Florida on the map. That's special, and good for Billy Donovan. Kentucky should be proud that we had something to do with developing the hottest coach in the nation, even if we can't claim him as our own.


Michael said...

Ben Howland is my homeboy

Garrett said...

Which is why you will soon live in Billy Donovan's backyard.

michael said...

Florida won't be giving Howland any problems for at least a year or two. I'm going to take my vacation week in early April so I can dance in Westwood after Kevin Love brings us a championship.