All those rumblings about Billy Gillispie’s tenure at the University of Kentucky came true today as Gillispie was let go — apparently, it wasn’t mutual — after two rocky years in the Commonwealth. While some will want to focus on the apparent inability to satisfy the Kentucky fanbase, the decision, provided you read between the lines, came down to more than just wins and losses. A quote from Orestes Meeks, father of Jodie Meeks, reveals not everything was peaches and cream in the Wildcats locker room:
“You don’t want to throw gasoline on the flames, but, clearly, a lot of things happened behind the scenes that made it difficult for the kids to play basketball and focus on winning,” the elder Meeks said.
If you want to have some real fun, there are over 20000 posters at the Catspause forums discussing this very subject. The conversation runs the gamut from “Blame Tubby” to “Thank God he’s gone.” Good times for all involved.
Concerning the Gillispie decision, the university has scheduled a press conference in about 30 minutes.
While Dirk Minnifield was playing for the University of Kentucky, he threw down one of the best dunks I’ve ever seen in a college basketball game. Better, even, than Chris Wright’s from last week. The above video supports my position.
Now, the former Wildcat/NBA journeyman is in trouble for his part in $10 million worth or home mortgage shenanigans, showing incredible timing on Minnifield’s part, considering just about every mortgage house went broke a little over a month ago.
We’re only 23 days away from the start of college football and in Kentucky, their question about who is going to replace Andre’ Woodson has been answered — just not in the way you’d want if you are a fan of the university (guilty). What was supposed to be a battle between Mike Hartline and Curtis Pulley for starting duties has turned into “Welcome the Mike Hartline Era” because of some brilliant decision making by his would-be competition.
In case you don’t recall the story of Curtis Pulley, it was notable enough to score one point for Orson’s Fulmer Cup. Essentially, he was cited for marijuana possession in June and in July, he was cited for various traffic violations. The brilliant part about Pulley being caught with weed? His head coach didn’t find out about until much later.
For Pulley, this ends what could’ve been a exciting career for the talented player. The summer going into Andre’ Woodson’s breakout junior season, Pulley was actually named the starter ahead of Woodson, only to lose the job in fall practice as Woodson rededicated himself. Pulley missed last season because a redshirt related to academic and personal issues.
The state of Kentucky is in mourning today after the loss of University of Kentucky equipment manager Bill Keightley. “Mr. Wildcat,” as he was known, had been with the University since the days of Adolph Rupp.
Mr. Keightley died from complications related to an undiagnosed tumor near his spine. He was attending the Cincinnati Reds home opener before he was admitted. Apparently, he suffered a fall while getting off the bus at Great American. Doctors were unable to stop internal bleeding related to the tumor. Mr. Keightley passed during the evening.
He was 81 years of age.
Bill Keightley joined the program in 1962 and had just completed his 48th season on Wildcats bench and was apart of 50% of the games played by the UK basketball team. Kentucky’s record in that time was 1113-351. Mr Keightley was also a part of eight Final Fours and six trips to the National Championship game; three of those resulting in victory.
To say Mr. Keightley was a witness to college basketball history is an understatement. To say he was beloved by the University, its fans and the state is also an understatement. He had a lasting impact on anyone he came across, a fact that didn’t escape coach Billy Gillispie. Gillispie, who has only been with the university for one season (and the majority of the preceding off-season) had this to say:
“This is one of the saddest days of my life,” head coach Billy Gillispie said from Cincinnati Monday night. “I commented earlier today that at the age of 81, he’s become one of my very best friends, and the person I was talking to said ‘that’s what makes him so great, because everyone feels he’s their best friend’.” And that’s because he was so genuine and so caring about others.
“He influenced each of us on a daily basis, and he was a great example of someone who loved his University more than anything. Obviously, he’s in a better place, but the void he leaves for all of us, and especially his family, is going to be a difficult situation. Our hearts go out to his family and the millions of Wildcats fans who he loved so much.”
And the hits just keep on coming for Billy Gillispie’s first season at the University of Kentucky. Word has just came down from Kentucky.com (via Kentucky Sports Radio) that Patrick Patterson has been diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left ankle.
Patterson is in a cast and will miss the rest of the season. His injury is expected to keep him on the shelf for eight weeks, which is great news… and just in time for Sunday’s trip to Knoxville when the Cats visit the Tennessee Volunteers.
This has the makings of being a typical ending for this Wildcats’ season, a season that has seen three of its best players, Jodie Meeks, Derrick Jasper, and now Patterson, fighting serious injuries.
Seth Davis ruffled some Wildcat feathers this past weekend when he indicated UK’s prized freshman, Patrick Patterson, might be turning pro after his freshman year; news the Big Blue Mist didn’t take kindly to. So what did the Internet savvy among them do? They turned to Patrick Patterson’s Facebook profile to answers, of course.
Surprisingly, Patterson (or someone faking it) answered his wall messages with this little gem:
You all need to calm down, but I guess that’s what you get for listening to the media…I’M NOT GOING PRO AFTER THIS YEAR!
I guess this is the price you pay for being one of the better college basketball programs in America. Apparently, the University of Kentucky visage is pretty abhorrent to these kids in the video, although, I’m not sure if this video could be considered “disturbing.”
I just think it’s funny these kids are cognizant enough to dislike an athletic program so completely, they’ll post a YouTube of a stuffed Wildcat being hanged.