Since all of the fringe outlets and all of the sub-standard reporters (who are usually wrong anyway) are reporting that Billy Gillispie has been fired, I'll post my 2 cents.
We need a mature coach who understands the image and traditions, is respected among his peers, preferably has NBA experience and good connections there, and has a good basketball mind.
The coach needs to be given a long-term deal with the understanding that he will need 4 complete seasons to turn this ship around. That way recruits won't be hesitant to sign and fans will be forced to be patient!
The only coach that fits that bill right now is probably Lon Kruger of UNLV. I'd be happy if Kruger were given 4 years.
Tim Floyd also fits that bill, but I'm pretty sure his recruiting practices will one day land him on probation. John Calipari has his agent/thug that herds him recruits (there was an NY Times article on it last year, it's shady as it gets), so I don't want him either.
Outside of Kruger, I like Sean Miller at Xavier and Jamie Dixon at Pitt. Both inherited good teams and made them better. John Clay says he likes Sean Miller but doesn't think he'll get looked at.
So, my short list is:
1. Lon Kruger
2. Jamie Dixon
3. Sean Miller
What about the Ford/Horn/Pelphrey option?
Well, Ford reportedly got reprimanded at Okie St. for being too foulmouthed on the sidelines, which is pretty bad given how foul-mouthed Okies can be themselves. Last I checked, my mom's side of the family in Madisonville still had a blood feud with Travis Ford's family. So, I'm not real excited about him, but I think he's got the best resume. Lee Todd seems to want someone who can properly uphold the image. But Lee Todd is also from the Hopkins County area, so he'll probably favor Ford.
I think Pelphrey would do okay, but his resume is suspect given Arkansas' tanking this year.
Darrin Horn doesn't have enough experience. Inheriting Devin Downey does not make you a good coach. We need an older, more mature coach with more than 5 years of major college basketball on his resume.
Billy Donovan isn't walking through that door, and if he is, he'll be here until his NBA moratorium is up and then he'll try the League. So, he'd be here 3 years at the max. And he already turned us down once, so I say "no."
(The Bob Knight rumors are ridiculous, they're not even funny).
All I know for sure is this: Barnhart had better have someone in place ALREADY, otherwise UK basketball will take another couple steps back.
Naturally, if he has someone in place already it has to be someone who is already done for the season--namely Travis Ford.
Gillispie should have been given 1 more year. If he isn't, I think he really must have rubbed President Todd the wrong way on multiple occassions.