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Loss to Irish to cost UK’s Gillispie his job?

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Billy Gillispie says he’s positive Kentucky is close to becoming a “great” team.

Whether the embattled second-year coach gets a chance to find out is anybody’s guess.

A day after Kentucky’s season ended with a loss to Notre Dame in the National Invitation Tournament quarterfinals, Gillispie remained committed to his job even though he can’t even say for sure whether he will be back.

School officials have been quiet about Gillispie’s job status after the Wildcats tumbled through the second half of the season to finish 22-14, tied for the second-most losses in the program’s 106-year history.

University president Lee Todd said recently Gillispie’s position would be evaluated at the end of the season. Todd attended the loss to Notre Dame but did not respond to requests for comment by The Associated Press on Thursday.

Athletic director Mitch Barnhart was planning to meet with Gillispie, though the coach said during his radio show Thursday night no meeting had been scheduled.

When asked after the loss to Notre Dame if he expected to be back, Gillispie said the decision wasn’t up to him.

“You’re asking the wrong guy,” he said. “All I know is to go to work, recruit, coach and that’s what I did, that’s what I’ve done and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”

Just maybe not at Kentucky.

Gillispie is 40-27 two seasons into a seven-year deal with Kentucky that pays him a base salary of $2.3 million annually. Averaging 20 wins a year is respectable at most places. He knows most places, however, aren’t the home of college basketball’s all-time winningest program.

“A lot of teams would be happy with 22 (wins) but not always around here when it’s not the right 22,” Gillispie said during his radio show.


INDIANA: Guard Malik Story will transfer at the end of the semester to a school closer to his home in Los Angeles. Story averaged 5.9 points and 2.2 rebounds in 31 games this season for the Hoosiers (6-25).

MISSISSIPPI: Forward Malcolm White has decided to transfer. White averaged 7.2 points and 5.7 rebounds in 31 games, 27 starts, this season.

OHIO STATE: B.J. Mullens is the latest “one and done” at Ohio State. The 7-foot freshman announced Thursday he would declare himself available for the NBA draft, the fifth Buckeyes player in the last three seasons to leave after playing one year.

The Columbus-area native averaged 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds, and shot 64 percent from the field to set a school freshman record.

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