Friday, April 20, 2007

Five Good Questions with . . . Mark Story of The Lexington Herald-Leader about Kentucky Basketball

Today we are taking a break from the NFL draft as this edition of "Five Good Questions" is with Mark Story of The (Lexington) Herald-Leader....Mark is a columnist for the paper and he provides some insight how Big Blue feels about their new men's basketball coach.....

Q1. How happy is the Kentucky faithful with Billy Gillispie as the new head coach?
Granted it's the honeymoon period right now, but I think Kentucky fans are pleased with the selection of Billy Gillispie. Billy G. helped himself immensely in his introductory news conference, showed both confidence and humor and said all the right things. He's also been portrayed as a 24/7/52/365 basketball-loving workaholic. That goes over well in a state filled with college basketball passion.

Q2. What type of temperament and personality must a coach have in order to survive as the head coach of Kentucky basketball? Does Gillispie have that temperament and personality?
The most successful Kentucky basketball coaches, think Rupp and Pitino, have had a bit of an edge to them in their public personas. I think it's far too soon to tell whether Billy Gillispie is cut from a similar cloth. I do know that the guy who coached Texas A&M in Rupp Arena during the NCAA Tournament was incredibly intense and focused and showed a very different face than the Billy Gillispie that appeared at the UK introductory news conference.

Q3. Now that it is over, did Kentucky realistically think they had a chance at getting Billy Donovan?
I think Kentucky felt like, correctly, that it had to at least run its job past Billy Donovan, who is a former UK assistant. I would say that the speed with which UK moved after Billy D. said no suggests that Kentucky was prepared to get that answer.

Q4. If Gillispie turned down the job, who were some other names that were on the list?
Had Gillispie said no, I think there is a very good chance that John Pelphrey could've gotten the call to come home.

Q5. What does the Kentucky brass think about Ohio State's Thad Matta? Why wasn't he selected over Gillispie?
I don't know what the Kentucky brass thinks of Thad Matta, having never asked. His name never came up much in connection with UK because he rather emphatically took his name out of consideration very early in the process.

Q5a. I can't let you go without asking you who is your pick for the Kentucky Derby?
No horse that failed to race as a 2-year-old has won the Kentucky Derby since Apollo did it in 1882. Curlin did not race as a 2-year-old. Spitting in the eye of history, I like Curlin to win this year's Derby. But I'm not claiming to be much of a horse racing expert.

I want to thank Mark Story for taking the time to is much appreciated!!!

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