The rumors are continuing to swirl throughout the media and Internet regarding the future of Kentucky Wildcats head coach Billy Gillespie. UK President Lee Todd has confirmed that he has met with Coach Gillespie already regarding the future of the program and all indications are that we should know something by Friday of this week. From evaluating the demeanor of Coach Gillespie post game of the Notre Dame loss, my best guess is that Kentucky will be searching for a new men's head basketball coach.
What will this mean for the future of the Wildcats program? Four star recruit Daniel Orton has stated that he wants to play for Coach Gillespie and will consider other offers if the Coach leaves. The problem is Orton has already signed his Letter of Intent, so the University would have to let him out of that letter in order to go elsewhere. I don't think if Gillespie leaves it will impact the current roster of Wildcats. The two most important components would be Meeks and Patterson. Meeks has been projected to be a late round NBA pick or even a free agent so he will more than likely be back to improve his draft status. Patrick Patterson is currently projected as a late first rounder, a solid junior season would help that status so I look for Patterson to return as well.
It is somewhat troubling that Kentucky will be so quick to pull the trigger on Gillespie. He has been very dynamic on the recruiting trail and has brought in some big time players to Kentucky. Billy G just hasn't seemed to get them to gel together and play against different styles of basketball teams. Perhaps the pressure of Lexington and the Kentucky program inhibited Coach Gillespie from the start. It takes a special kind of person to be able to handle the expectations at the University of Kentucky which isn't always fair. It takes more than two years to install your program at this level. I don't blame Tubby Smith either, the problem was Tubby's style and Billy's style are very different so the personnel didn't match up well.
I think part of the problem the Big Blue Nation has with Billy Gillespie is his attitude the the persona that he projects publicly. Throughout the state rumors run rampart about him drinking in local bars and chasing college women throughout the city. I don't believe any of those rumors but think that Coach Gillespie didn't help dispel those rumors by his sarcastic comments to the media and overall attitude. I hope that whomever is tapped to be the next coach at Kentucky will be able to win over the hearts of the Big Blue Nation and get the program back on track to be another National contender.