Gillispie using competitive practices to pick game starters for Kentucky Print
Written by Admin   
Tuesday, 27 November 2007 04:05
NCAAB Headline News

 M. Through four games at Kentucky, he's already used eight.
The new Wildcats coach insists his coaching philosophy hasn't changed alongside his area code. Every practice is a competition whose winner cracks the starting lineup in the next game.
It just so happened, the same five Aggies won every practice last season. So far at Kentucky, injuries and inconsistent play haven't given him that luxury.
``If you don't play right, don't practice right, somebody's going to take your spot,'' Gillispie said Monday. ``A coach can yell and scream all they want to, pat you on the back all you want to, but the best way to teach competition, raise competition, is to know, 'Hey, if I don't do that, I might lose my job.'''
Gillispie's starters for Tuesday night's game against Stony Brook won't be known until after that day's practice.
Two new starters cracked his lineup Saturday in Kentucky's 83-35 victory over Texas Southern - freshman A.J. Stewart and senior Joe Crawford, a regular starter last season under former coach Tubby Smith.
Gillispie had said he wants to see Crawford get into better condition and improve his defense, and Crawford put on a show against the Tigers with a career-high 32 points.
Regardless of the winners or losers in the daily competition, Gillispie's message - particularly defense and shot selection - seems to be resonating.
``He wants to instill a spirit of competition,'' said freshman Alex Legion, who cracked the starting lineup in the Wildcats' third game, against Liberty. ``In high school, I rarely played any defense. Now I'm finding myself kind of excited to play defense.''
After the Wildcats were shocked by Gardner-Webb, costing them a trip to New York for the semifinals of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic, Gillispie said the one silver-lining was two weeks of uninterrupted practices.
The players may have dreaded that prospect, considering their coach's focus on conditioning. However, guard Michael Porter says the focus on fighting for jobs on the practice court has actually brought some of the same competitive fun the players might experience in a game.
``Coach tries to bring it out of you every practice,'' said Porter, who started the first three games. ``Some other practices, I might have been able to slide by. He's not going to let you get by.''
Porter was one beneficiary of Gillispie's system of picking starters. Another was forward Mark Coury, who says he didn't expect to be starting once Gillispie took over from Smith.
``I just worked hard, did whatever I had to do,'' Coury said.
Gillispie says he would like to settle on five starters but is a long way from doing that, particularly with two key guards - Derrick Jasper and Jodie Meeks - out with injuries.
M, some of his starters were clear superstars, such as then-senior guard Acie Law. Others, such as sophomore guard Josh Carter, just worked hard to get a job, Gillispie said.
``He started starting and he liked it,'' Gillispie said of Carter. ``He wanted to stay out there.''

NCAABB Team Pages

Top NCAABB Public Bets

View All: NFL |  NBA |  NCAAF |  NCAAB |  MLB |  NHL

NCAABB Futures

DUKE 10/1
View All

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.