Gillispie Needs This Win
Posted by ibleedblue040 on January 4, 2008
Everyone in the Bluegrass state knows how Tubby Smith’s tenure as the University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball Coach ended and why it ended. When it came right down to it Tubby didn’t win enough games particularly big games. Although Kentucky and Louisville are both having down years that does not take away from the magnitude of the game. If Gillispie wins this one every ‘Cat fan across the land will breathe a sigh of relief and finally have hope in salvaging what is left of the 2007-2008 season, and with it only being January there is still a whole lot to salvage. But if Gillispie were to lose the game then many fans will question why he was hired in the first place and question whether he should stay on as Head Coach next season.
All of that criticism and uproar hangs on the balance of the game that will be played in front of 24,000 screaming fans tomorrow at Rupp Arena in Lexington. It seems like alot of pressure to be placed on one game but Billy Gillispie knew exactly what he was in for when he signed up to be the main man for the Wildcats. It almost looks as though the coach is being blamed for the inexcusable losses much more than the players are. This group is alot like the one that was put on the floor last season every night that won over 20 games. I know that some of the burden must be placed on the coach but I find it hard to believe that players have actually gotten worse from last year to this year.
Kentucky does have some favorable matchups in tomorrow’s game that I failed to touch on in the UK vs. Louisville – Preview. They matchup very well with the interior play of the Cardinals with Patterson at least equalling out any matchup he faces tomorrow and Ramel Bradley has a very managable task of guarding Edgar Sosa. There is some pride on the line in the Bradley vs. Sosa matchup because both players represent Brooklyn, New York and want to prove to everyone who really is the best Brooklyn born player in the state. The X-factor that Louisville has that Kentucky will have a hard time matching up against is Earl Clark, the 6’9″ Sophmore who can really play 3-4 positions. He can play the SG, SF, and PF with ease and if called upon would surely give it his best at the Center position. No one on the UK roster has the combination of size, speed, and shooting ability to matchup with Clark. Guys like Ramon Harris, AJ Stewart, and Perry Stevenson will be called upon to take the challenge and control the monster that is Earl Clark. I feel that if UK can control him then they will win the game by 15, but I find it very hard to see that he will be held completely in check so, like I said in the UK vs. Louisville – Preview, I think Kentucky wins by the slimmest of margins.