Wildcats Thunder Member
There is a lot of stuff out there on ther internet right now about how Donovan "played" Mitch. People are mad, and they are saying Mitch has screwed up the search. I completely disagree. Posters are saying Mitch should not have handled it this way, because he shouldn't have "let everyone know" about the UK-BD discussions unless he was "sure" BD would take the job. That's preposterous, and you can be sure everyone saying that has no clue how big business is conducted in a modern world dominated by media, where everything gets leaked. The AD at the University of Kentucky cannot possibly talk with the coach of the NCAA Champions without leaks occurring. I never bought any of the "done deal" stories, anyway, so I was not very surprised when Donovan said no yesterday.
Mitch actually persuaded Donovan to consider the UK job seriously. Contrary to what we are hearing now, Donovan almost accepted Mitch's offer.
Frankly, it was always a tough proposition to lure a coach with two consecutive NCAA Championships away from the University of Florida, for all the reasons we have discussed here before.
It's getting easier to figure out what happens next. Rick Barnes has maintained all along the he wants to stay at UT. That means Mitch will talk with Billy Gillispie. Texas A&M has already announced that UK has been given permission to negotiate with Gillispie, and everything I have heard tells me that Gillispie wants the UK job. I think this adds up to Gillispie probably becoming the next UK coach unless Mitch discovers something in the next few days that kills UK's interest or complicates the deal.
I have always felt that Florida would have hired Gillispie if Donovan had moved to Lexington. As things stand now, the press is already starting to come after Gillispie with negative stories about skeletons in his closet, and so forth....which tells me they think UK will offer Gillispie the job. I think Gillispie could turn out to be every bit as good of a basketball coach as Donovan, but it remains to be seen whether the intangibles of Gillispie's program management skills and PR ability will be good enough for this to work. In the basketball world, it's a long, long way from College Station, TX, to UK.
Donovan was a known quantity to Uk officials and fans. But on balance, I am not unhappy about the prospect of having Billy Gillispie in Lexington. There is a good chance this could work out very well for UK in the long run.
And as I have said before, this isn't about Pat Patterson or Jai Lucas, either. UK never would have signed Patterson if Tubby had stayed,so UK fans should not be surprised if Patterson goes elsewhere now. Gillispie is fully capable of rebuilding UK's roster with his first two classes. And as I have said all along, it was always going to take the Cats several years to return to the top ten.
Friday, April 06, 2007