UK/Tubby/Coach Clyde…some thoughts

I saw this quote on a Kentucky Wildcat message board, and i just had to comment, because i thought it was PERFECT statement about the state of UK and Tubby and coach BCG…

“I appreciate the fact that Tubby has demonstrated the ability to take an outmanned squad and play a style and make the adjustments necessary to enable him to win more games than Coach Gillispie has so far.

However, I appreciate even more the fact that Coach Gillispie is busy working to make sure we don’t have to put outmanned squads on the court any more.”

i saw that, and it just crystallized exactly what the situation is.

i don’t think there’s any question that Tubby was good at getting the best out of “what he had available”, but he was just never able to make it so that “what he had available” was the caliber of player that should be playing at Kentucky.

instead of being an “elite Kentucky team”, we became a “surprising Georgia team”…a team that wasn’t really talked about in the top 10 each year…a team that you knew would win at least 20 games and make the tournament…a team that nobody expected to advance very far once they got to thetournament, but would give most any team on the court on any given night a run for their money…occasionally pulling out a “surprise win”.

there should be no “surprise wins” in Kentucky basketball.

we, as fans, were made to look like idiots by the national media for not thinking that 26 wins/season was sufficient…but last time i checked, it takes more than 26 wins/season to make it to the Final 4, or the Championship game.

so what is wrong with wanting more? EXPECTING more? nothing at all.

so i say Thank You to Tubby for running a clean program and always making sure he got the most out of “what he had available”, and i think the folks in Minnesota will be happy with him for years to come….

i think Tubby will produce lots of “surprising Minnesota teams..”

…but i think BCG will be reintroducing us UK fans to the return of “elite Kentucky teams”.

Tubby was (and still is) excellent at making young men overachieve, and he will continue to do that at Minnesota…and they will love him there for it. but BCG will bring in a higher caliber of player, and will be able to extract the most out of THOSE players, which should lead to better days ahead.

i just hate the abuse that UK fans have taken in the national media over the whole situation with Tubby. if they actually took the time to talk to most UK fans, i think they’d be surprised to find out that even though most of us felt like it was best when he decided to move on, most of us also agree that he is an OUTSTANDING coach and motivator, and we wish him nothing but the best at Minnesota.

however, we get cast as “rabid” and “unreasonable” for simply wanting more out of a program that has produced more in the past. we were a convenient choice to pick on, but i can list a handful of other schools whose fans would have been foaming at the mouth if they were “only” winning 26 games/season. i just don’t think it is unreasonable to continue to expect excellence and domination from a program that has its foundations built upon excellence and domination. on the contrary, i think it would be unreasonable to NOT expect it, at this point.

why should be we complacent and content with 26 wins and a 2nd round NCAA tournament exit each year, when UK is considered one of THE premier college basketball teams of ALL time?

i think that we have a coach now who is more concerned about this team winning than whether we all get to be his pal or think he’s a swell guy…and that is not intended as a bash on Tubby…just stating a fact. this man lives, breathes, eats, and sleeps this game, just like many of us do. in fact, i wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t the least bit annoyed at how impatient the fans are becoming…he might be more surprised if we weren’t a bit jumpy right now.

so if Tubby’s team makes it to the NCAA tournament this year, and UK does not, i fully expect the national media to jump on that story and shove it down our throats every chance they get, but if they’d take the time to actually talk to us (or actually use what any of the non-exteremist fans have to say)…i think they’d find a state filled with people who, for the most part, are rooting for the “surprising Minnesota team”….while awaiting the imminent arrival of the elite Kentucky team.