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Tools Of The Trade

Posted by Matt on May 9, 2007

On the heels of graduation here at the University of Kentucky, I felt obliged to join in the academia of this past weekend and devise a little formula of my own to really simplify recruiting for the basketball team:

[ + (1/2) + (1/2)] * [] = Success

That is [Coach Gillispie + (1/2)Joe Craft Center + (1/2)Rupp Arena] * [Adolph Rupp] = Success and this is how it works out:

First we have head coach Billy Gillispie who has already shown his recruiting prowess in just the month that he has been on the job. Gillispie has already landed Oak Hill Academy standout Alex Legion, the #12 shooting guard and #27 prospect overall for next year’s class as well as G.J. Vilarino, rated among the Top 15 Sophomores in the Nation, for the 2009 Recruiting Class. Couple this with connections to Jai Lucas, Patrick Patterson, who are both McDonald’s All-Americans, along with Beas Hamga, Michael Sanchez, Tyler Zeller, Romero Osby, and Courtney Fortson and Coach Gillispie has quite the recruiting resume ALREADY. This is even more impressive because the former staff left the cupboards nearly empty and it is quite late in the recruiting game at this point in the Spring. I can never recall a time where there was such excitement over recruiting in the previous regime and websites such as Kentucky Sports Radio, which includes a statewide radio show (one of my personal favorites I might add), only help the recruiting cause GREATLY by interviewing these kids and showing them what they will mean to this fan base.

Now with Coach Gillispie out doing the hard legwork of recruiting for the Big Blue Nation, there are other factors that really help make the University of Kentucky basketball program ‘self recruiting’:

Throw in the combination of the Joe Craft Center and Rupp Arena and you have quite the facilities combination to be rivaled. One of the best, if not THE best, practice facilities in the nation combined with Rupp Arena, a basketball arena that could truly leave one in awe. It would be expected from a high school hoops star to want to train and play in the best facilities, and in front of the best fans, and the 1-2 punch of the Joe Craft Center and Rupp Arena, together, are really second to none. I could not imagine a situation where Coach Gillispie came to my house with poster boards and PowerPoint Presentations outlining how I will be used and then took me to the Joe Craft Center and then to Rupp Arena and then I would not just sign immediately. I have seen pictures of the Craft Center and I am willing to sign my letter of intent as soon as Coach Gillispie gets it to me…

Lastly, and most importantly, multiply these three factors by Adolph Rupp and the tradition, mystique, and prestige associated with the University of Kentucky basketball program. No program has stood the test of time like the University of Kentucky and 99% of all other collegiate basketball programs completely pale in comparison.

I do not know how any recruit can see these factors and not want to put on a Kentucky jersey that very instant.

Coach Gillispie is making a living being a master of the recruiting trade and all of the tools are in place here at the University of Kentucky for him to succeed greatly. It should be an exciting season come fall and I, for one, cannot wait to see the Freshman class at that time!

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