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Billy Gillispie Press Conference Quotes - May 17

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On rating the recruiting class…
“In the short amount of time we had in recruiting, and building a relationship, I thought we did very well. I don’t think we could imagine doing much better. I think we addressed some needs with both signings, and I’m really excited about them.”

On how much ground he and the coaching staff needed to cover in recruiting Patrick Patterson after the previous staff…
“Well it’s obvious that he and his entire family had opened their eyes and hearts to the previous staff. That previous staff did an outstanding job of developing a relationship, and sometimes it can be hard on both the player and family when there’s a change. To their credit, and to our benefit, they allowed us the opportunity; and so I’m very, very grateful that the family was open. I’m sure when you have a relationship, and there’s a change, that there was a time period when they didn’t want to consider us very strongly. You usually want to get things done very quickly, but in this case, I think going to the last day (of the signing period) was a huge benefit to us. So I’m very appreciative and grateful to his family for doing that for us. They have a tremendous son, not only as a basketball player, but also a person. He’ll do great things both in the classroom and on the basketball court for the University of Kentucky, and I’m looking forward to that. But as far as ground made up, they’ll have to tell you about that, but I can tell you that it was very beneficial to us for him to extend it to the last day.”

On his roster being complete…
“You probably won’t ever hear me say it’s complete until we have 13 McDonalds’ All-Americans, and they’ve already played for two or three years, and we have 13 more coming in. Complete is a term that I guess you could say just about anything.”

On the signings being long-term building blocks for the type of players he’s interested in recruiting for the future…
“I think so. UK’s used to getting great players. There’s a long list of McDonald’s All-Americans and a long list of consensus All-American and all that. I know that we’re going to try and recruit at the highest level, and I’m excited about the incoming guys, as well as the returning guys. I think that we’re starting to get our roster closer to being complete, and I think that we’ve added some key pieces that will help us in the future. As a new coach coming in, getting the players we got to add, I don’t think it sends a message, but I think it helps not only right now, but for the future as well.”

On the capabilities of incoming freshmen Alex Legion and Patrick Patterson…
“I think with Alex we’re not only getting a great basketball player, but also a great leader and teammate. Anytime you have a guy that’s been with you for a month, and he’s helping you recruit other guys; that shows you that he wants to win. It shows you that it’s not just about him being a great shooter and player, but that he’s got those intangibles about him that can easily get overlooked.

“As far as Patrick goes, if you could draw up the prototypical power forward for me, he possesses everything that you need to have. He’s got especially long arms and athletic ability, and great hands. He’s tougher than anything, and he’s a winner and a leader. He’s a very competitive guy, and an intelligent player. He’s one I’ve always tried to look for in a power forward.”

On getting a taste of the UK/Florida rivalry because of what happened between the recruiting wars of Patrick Patterson and Jai Lucas…
“I don’t think you will get a taste for all that until you step on the basketball floor. They’ve been beating us pretty good lately, and we’ll try and change that as we go, but we have great respect for them. They’ve won two straight national titles, so we can’t have anything but respect for them and their players. They have great coaches, and have developed a great program, and they’re at the top of the league, so we’ll try and compete with them every chance that we get. You get your chance to go toe to toe with teams on the floor, not from competing in recruiting.”

On how much contact he had with Alex Legion throughout the recruiting process, and what he can bring to the current roster…
“Well we couldn’t have too much contact because he had signed with another school, but as soon as he was let out of his scholarship (from the University of Michigan), we worked as hard as we could to get him, and we just hustled like crazy. As far as what he gives us, other than a shooter, he’s a scorer. He has the capability to be a great defender because of his body length and size, as well as his athletic ability. And again he’s a winner. Every time I see him he’s got a smile on his face, and a certain disposition about him. He’s a confident player, and confident players tend to do real great with me.”

On the other incoming recruits A.J. Stewart and Mike Williams…
“I haven’t seen A.J. as much as Mike, but I’ve studied him as much as possible. A.J. Stewart is as good an athlete as there is. And Michael Williams is an extremely hard worker, who’s really improving, and he’s big. I think you always want to recruit the tallest, (best) players you can get, and that sounds simple, but that doesn’t mean you want to take a guy just because of his size; you want to get good players. But if there’s a tall, really good player, compared to a guy who’s not as tall, than you obviously want to try and get the tallest. Those guys usually make a difference. I’m excited about those two guys as well. I think that Mike’s new to the game, and I think all his basketball is in front of him, and I think that A.J. with his athletic ability will give us a great deal of versatility.”


 

 

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