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Georgia Basketball Just Lost Out On Mike Anderson, Now Who?

WASHINGTON - MARCH 20:  Dave Bliss #44 of the Georgia Bulldogs looks on against the Xavier Musketeers during the first round of the West Regional as part of the 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Verizon Center on March 20, 2008 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Robert HollandCorrespondent IMarch 31, 2009

Now that Mike Anderson signed a new 7 year contract to stay at Missouri, where does that leave the Georgia Bulldogs basketball program? 

The Georgia Bulldogs, and Damon Evans, were really hoping that Anderson would pull through.  After a long, silent period of time since the firing of Coach Dennis Felton, a lot of the fan base started to wonder what exactly Georgia was doing to fill the new openning at head coach.

Then just today, the news wires lit up with talk of Georgia offering Anderson $2 million a year to come and coach the basketball team.  Damon Evans reportedly met with Anderson's agent in Atlanta, and there were conflicting reports about whether or not an offer was extended to Anderson.

By this afternoon, Mike Anderson was seemingly the hottest coach on the market that everybody wanted, including Georgia.  The three main options for Anderson were:

1) Stay at Missouri where he was already established, had great recruits in place, and was getting a substantially better offer than last year from Missouri.

2) Head to Memphis State where he would take over Callipari's position.  Not sure what that offer was for, but I'm sure it was up around $1.5 to $2 million per year.

3) Come to Georgia for a reported $2 million per year to turn around the Georgia basketball program.

And now, according to ESPN's Andy Katz, Mike Anderson has just signed a new 7 year contract with Missouri.

So now where does that leave Georgia Bulldogs basketball program?

I've been preaching this message a lot over the past few days, but I'm going to say it again: "Georgia Needs To Hire Billy Gillispie!"

I've written an article here and here about why I think Billy Gillispie is great fit for Georgia.  And now that Anderson is not coming to Georgia, this adds another reason to my already growing list of why Gillispie should be hired.

Because now, what does Georgia have to lose by not hiring Gillispie?

I mean, at this point who is left out there that is really going to be able to come into Georgia and give the basketball program the turn around it needs?

And who is going to come into Georgia and rally the fan base, and fill Stegeman Coliseum to the rafters?  Who is going to turn the Georgia basketball program into a huge success such as the Georgia football program where 90,000 raving fans fill Sanford Stadium on saturday afternoons?

The only logical answer is Billy Gillispie!

He's got to be a phenominal coach or else Kentucky would never have hired him in the first place.  And he's got a strong record of turnarounds, and an even strong record of recruiting top high school players.

These are the qualities that are desperately needed in the Georgia basketball program, and it's going to take a larger than life coach to come in and make that happen.

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