Billy G and the Sweet 16

Well, I know I’m about as random as Kentucky weather when it comes to posting things on here, but I’m working on a few solutions to that, so we’ll see how that all turns out.  Meanwhile, a little more Billy G talk. 🙂

So this past Thursday, me and a couple of friends headed down to Rupp to watch a day of the State tournament, starting in the morning with Lex Cath and winding up with the Lions of Elliott County. It was all great, but that’s not why I’m writing this.

About the 2nd quarter of the Homes/Christian County game, I overheard someone behind us pointing out that Billy G was in the house, and he was pointing him out. Sure enough, down at one end of the court, there was our coach (I ASSUME he’s still our coach, right??)…taking in the game. I’m not sure if he was there for the Lexington Catholic/Bowling Green game, because I had not noticed him then, but by all accounts online, it seems that he was.

Coach watched almost all of the the Holmes/CCHS game and then left the table. When we came back for the evening session, I didn’t see him at the table when the Mason Co/Shelby Valley game started, but after a little while, I looked back and there he was again…eating what looked to be those MIGHTY TASTY cheesesteak samiches that the KY Cattlemen’s Association was cooking up (in fact, it looked like he may have eaten 2…lol).

At some point, I noticed that Coach Joe B Hall made his way over to Billy G and sat down beside him. He was patting him on the back and seemed to be having a heart-to-heart with the coach. It was very interesting to watch.

Billy G left for a while after the game was over, but he was back again after the Elliott/Anderson game got started, and he stayed for almost the entire game, waving to the massive throng of Anderson Countians behind him and signing a few things for some very excited Anderson Co kids.

At one point in the game, Richie Farmer came over and talked to Coach, and it looked like he was talking about the way one of the kids was shooting the ball (he was making a shooting motion)…but I kept laughing because in my head, every other sentence that Richie was saying began with, “Now the way Coach PITINO used to do it was…”…that, or he was trying to convince Billy G that he had some more eligibility left.:)

I’m not sure my point of sharing this exactly, except to point out that Billy G was there for ALL FOUR sessions, watching Kentucky kids play basketball, looking for talent, I’m sure, but also just soaking up basketball…enjoying the sport that he lives and breathes.

My buddy, who has been a fixture at the State Tournament for years, said he couldn’t remember a coach staying there that long, and he’s not exactly what I’d call a Billy G fan right now.

I guess I just think it stinks how we have basically fallen out-of-love with this Coach, even though when you get right down to it, he is an absolute embodiment of the UK Fan. I cannot help but think that if he’d handled one or 2 things just a bit differently…media relations, and odd substitution patterns, for example…that folks wouldn’t be nearly as adamant about moving on to someone else. And if we’d won a few more games, I don’t even think his seeming dislike for the media would even have been a problem…hell, it probably would have been something we loved him even MORE for.

I just think that ultimately, if given a little time, at least one more year, that he CAN be the coach that everyone thought he would be when he got here. I’m not satisfied to be in the NIT, either, but the supposed “saviour” of the program…Billy D…is in the NIT, and was last year, as well…with HIS PLAYERS. But, he makes basketball “fun” to watch, and some folks are more concerned with that than actually building a program.

Love him or hate him, Rick Pitino has BUILT the Louisville program in to what it is now. It was not overnight. It takes time to build a strong program, and I only hope that Billy G is given that time.