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06-24-2007, 06:29 PM
In his first season as the head coach at Texas A&M, Billy Gillispie got blasted for a non-conference schedule that some said was the easiest in America.

Looking back, Gillispie harbors no ill will for his critics.

"We got a lot of criticism for it, and the criticism was rightly deserved," said Gillispie, who now is in charge of UK's program. "It should have been criticized, but it allowed us to gain some confidence after a 17-game losing streak (the season) before we got there, and we played very well in the conference."

According to, which tracks the Ratings Percentage Index -- a formula used to help select and seed the NCAA Tournament field -- the Aggies ranked 95th nationally in strength of schedule in 2004-05, Gillispie's first season there.

That was mostly due to a non-conference schedule that included seven games against teams ranked 200 or worse in the RPI.

"It got a little tougher the next year. It got a lot tougher the next year," said Gillispie, whose last two A&M teams ranked 67th and 57th in strength of schedule. "But I think you have to be careful. The wrong kind of game at the wrong time can really determine a lot about your entire season."

His first UK schedule is nearing completion, and though most of it was in place when he was hired, some changes have been made in the two months he's been on the job, notably UK's buyout of a game against Massachusetts in Boston.

Gillispie said he won't have a set scheduling philosophy as coach of the Wildcats. Rather, he said, he'll tailor the schedule to each team during his tenure.

"I think you have to schedule (based on your team)," he said. "I think the most important thing is scheduling to prepare yourself, to prepare your team to compete at a very, very high level once conference (play) starts. In the past, we've been able to do that."

06-24-2007, 06:32 PM
You usually do try to do that, I would think..LOL

06-25-2007, 02:30 PM
Exactly, Brummett. That's why he cought so much flack for his first team, because the schedule was easy but he got what he wanted out of that.