Trades don’t take place in college basketball, but that doesn’t mean they can’t behind the scenes. If I’m the boss at the University of Kentucky, I contact T. Boone Pickens and offer him a deal as soon as Oklahoma State gets bounced from the tournament: I’ll trade you my basketball coach for your basketball coach.
Billy Clyde Gillispie, former assistant to Bill Self, did such a good job at Texas A&M;, Kentucky stole him from the Big 12 after the 2006-2007 season. Kentucky basketball fans, the least patient on the planet, already are sick of Gillispie. He has as many losses (26) in two years at Kentucky as he did in three seasons in College Station.
Meanwhile, former Kentucky star guard Travis Ford has the Cowboys in the NCAA Tournament in his first season in Stillwater.
When T. Boone says no to the initial offer, toss in a thoroughbred horse with Triple Crown bloodlines and a pledge to advocate the use of natural gas as an alternative energy source and call it a deal. Ford returns home. Gillispie returns to the conference he best fits, and Oklahoma State, which couldn’t get Self, gets his friend and former assistant.