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Top 10 Moments of the Billy Clyde "era"


With today’s news that Vinnie Zollo has de-committed from UK, we can say goodbye to the last of the “early commits” of Billy Gillispie. And with Zollo’s decommitment, this is the end of Gillispie’s basketball news at UK. So it’s time to take a look back at the Billy G “era” and I am not here to bury the man. His legal proceedings with UK are way above my head as a fan. But you do have to admit that Billy gave us some pretty damn good times. So while I am probably the only blogger to celebrate the 2 seasons Billy gave us, lets look at the top 10 basketball moments of the Billy G era.

HONORABLE MENTION: Daniel Orton and Jon Hood commit
While we don’t know what the basketball impact of these two will be, think back to where you were and how you felt when you heard the news that both Orton and Hood had committed. Despite all the frustration of the past two years, tomorrow became a beautiful thing to dream of.

#10: 12/13/2009, UK 72, IU 54
Yes, I know it was a beatdown of a bad IU team, but who can forget the racous crowd at Rupp on national television as UK raced to a 14-0 lead and padded that lead to 32-6 with 8:00 left in the first half. Forget the quality of the opponent and just see 24,000 fans at Rupp going crazy as UK obliterated the Hoosiers from the start. Arguably the best 12:00 played in the Billy G era.

#9: 3/17/2009, UK 70, UNLV 60
Never in my life did I think that a NIT game would be a highlight, but how can you not appreciate another game in old Memorial Coliseum. Billy G paying tribute to Rupp in the brown suit. Perry Stevenson posterizing some Rebel with that nasty dunk. And the smiles from Patrick, from Jodie, and on the bench. AJ Stewart being the world’s best cheerleader. Call it a insignificant NIT game, but this night was magical.

#8: 1/24/2009, UK 61, ALABAMA 51
The pinnacle of success of the Billy G era as UK improved to 16-4 overall and 5-0 in the SEC. This featured the mysterious halftime collapse of Ramon Harris and UK thrashed Bama on the road 42-26 in the second half to take the win. I liked the show of heart after Harris went to the hospital and Meeks poured in 28 points. It is also notable as UK cracked the #25 after the game which was the first time in 2 years UK had won its way into the poll (they were ranked preseason the previous year).

#7: 3/2/2008, #1 UT 63, UK 60
Down 7 at the half on the road and reeling from the loss of Patrick Paterson for the season, the Wildcats nearly upset the #1 rated Vols on their home court. Even though it was a loss, the Wildcats showed tremendous heart and hustle and rallied from a big halftime deficit. Ramel Bradley scored 17 points and Perry Stevenson had 14 boards as UK tried to make up for the loss of Patterson.

#6: 2/21/2009, UK 77, UT 58
Darius Miller showed his potential going 6-6 from the field and scoring 17 points in 23 minutes as UK won its final regular season game under Gillispie. The game seemed to propel UK back towards the NCAA tournament as the Cats improved to 19-8 and 8-4. Plus, anytime you thump the Vols by 19 at Rupp, its a highlight.

#5: 2/10/2009, UK 68, UF 65
In an intense game, it all came down to Jodie Meeks hitting a near impossible 3 pointer with Nick Calathes draped all over him to give UK a 68-65 lead. And then in a stunning reversal of fortune, Calathes choking from the free throw line as he could have sent the game into overtime.

#4: 1/22/2008, UK 72, #5 UT 66
UK posted it’s first win over a top 5 team in over 2 years with a dramatic second half comeback over 16-1 Tennessee. Even more significant was that UK limped in the game at 7-9. Patterson dominated with 20 points and 8 boards while Bradley and Crawford showed senior leadership to key the win. The win started a 11-2 finish to the regular season.

#3: 3/9/2008, UK 75, UF 70
Ramel Bradley and Joe Crawford said their goodbyes to Rupp Arena as UK sent Florida to the NIT. The Senior Day win over the Gators was also notable as it snapped UF’s 7 game winning streak over UK and served notice that this was still UK and that UF’s back to back titles were history and the the road to the NCAA still ran through Lexington.

#2: 5/16/2007, Patrick Patterson commits
Spirits were blue in the Bluegrass on 5/14 when Jai Lucas committed to the Gators. Patterson was long believed to be a unofficial “package deal” with Lucas so UK fans expected Patterson to follow Lucas to UF and Donovan. Yet 2 days after Lucas, the Big Blue celebrated the signing of star recruit Patterson. Patterson gave UK fans another reason to celebrate as he showed his heart was true blue after a brief flirtation with the NBA Draft.

#1: 1/13/2009, UK 90, UT 72 (or the 54 game)
What else did you think would be #1 other than Jodie Meeks breaking of an all time single game scoring record on the home court of a hated rival? Plus, UK trounced the Vols by 18. It really gets no better than this.

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