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Texas A&M Basketball

10 Years Later: Billy Gillispie looks back on 'The Shot'

March 1, 2016
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Key quotes from Billy Gillispie interview

“Man, I’m loving coaching at Ranger. I’m loving this group. It kind of reminds me of some of the teams we had at A&M. They really work hard and play for each other. It’s been really exciting, because last year, Ranger won two games and (this year) we’ve been lucky enough to win them all. It has been one of the most fun years I’ve had coaching. Our regional tournament starts tomorrow in Brownwood. It’s an eight team tournament, and it’s not like the NCAA tournament where a lot of at-large bids are given to teams, you really have to earn your way in and it is very difficult to make the national tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas. So, we’ve got our hands full and our regional is probably tougher than the national tournament.”

“(Acie) has been helping me out. He came to me last year when I decided I was going to come out here and he said that he is going to try and move into being a coach. Anyone that knows Acie knows that he’ll do well at whatever he does. He was still trying to figure out if he was going to play or not, rehabbing his knee, so he has been out here quite a bit and our guys have really enjoyed being around him and learning from him. He’s been a great addition to our staff and we look forward to spending even more time with him moving forward.”

“Time flies when you’re having fun and it has definitely gone by quickly (since 'The Shot.') But, I’ll tell you, no matter how long ago it was, not many people that really enjoy Aggie basketball will ever forget that shot. Every once in a while, I’ll think about it. I’ve got a great picture of it, so that’s about the only time you really think about it, but every time you do, it brings back great memories. Not only for Acie, or me as a coach, but just the entire Aggie basketball family and the university. That shot made so much difference, because we weren't very good at the start, but our schedule was extremely hard so I kept telling them, ‘let’s get through these nine games, and if we survive them with the right mindset, we’re really going to make some hay at the end.’ We were 3-6 after the first Texas game, then we went on a seven or eight game winning streak to get us into the tournament.”

“The thing about that team is that it wasn't just a bunch of guys that were passing though that didn't have love for the university, these guys came to A&M because they love the university. Chris Walker was a walk-on, Dominque Kirk basically had nowhere else to go, Antanas Kavaliauskas shook my hand on the recruiting visits and said, ‘I’m coming to A&M.’ You have that done many times and it doesn't usually work out. No one loved the school more than Joe Jones.  Marlon Pompey and all those guys really had a great ability to reach the students. They weren't like cast-offs, they were part of the student body in every aspect and loved their experience at A&M. There’s some teams where you have really good teams, but they’re kind of disconnected from the university and view themselves as ‘paid gladiators’ that are in an arena to perform a service to the school. But these guys really bought in, and to this day, still love the university. So that team was a little bit different.”

“Anything worth achieving, there are always going to be moments you want to quit, especially when you’re having to totally redo things. That’s not easy. Going from 0-17 to trying to do something special like those guys did is not easy, but they were up to the task and their attitudes were not great then but they’re great today, and every time you see them they are beaming with Aggie pride.”

“Real simply (in that huddle), I said, ‘We got a gift here, because P.J. Tucker dribbled out the shot clock, it’s tied up at 43. Throw the ball into Acie, y’all get out of his way. Acie is going to make the shot that is going to be one of the biggest in Aggie basketball history for the next hundred years and let’s go to the house.’ No, no. I really cannot remember what I said, but it wasn't that, but that’s what happened. They threw it into Acie and he made a play. It had nothing to do with calling a play or anything, it had everything to do with a great player making a great play at a very big moment.”

“I probably did say we’re going to Joe, but I really can’t remember. I know that in most instances we would try and throw it inside, so that’s probably what we were trying to do at that moment. We probably said, ‘We’ll initiate it with Acie and Acie pass the ball’ but he wouldn't do that, because he liked the big stage. I’m just playing, but he did like the big stage and nobody was better at creating a big moment on that stage.”

“We all miss Homer (Jacobs) and he did a great job and was a great Aggie. It was a great moment and I can still see Acie’s follow-through on the shot and that cast of A&M students in the background is one of the best things you could ever see. When the shot went through and Acie went running through the crowd that stormed the court, he was looking for his mother. It was such a great moment. As good as the shot was, that might have been even more special.”

“I’m sure nobody will forget Chris Walker’s speech. He is a very special person and was a great player, but a better person and student. He was a guy that transferred in because he wanted to be at A&M and receive his education in computer science. He became the best computer science guy in the country, and along the way, became a great basketball player. He really epitomized what Texas A&M is all about; Blue-collar, hardworking and just wanted an opportunity, then making the most of that opportunity. When he did say some words, it was very special and nobody will ever forget it.”

“I’ve always been a big Billy Kennedy fan, and you know that it’s easy to think that it is going to happen overnight and sometimes it doesn’t. There’s a lot of extenuating circumstances that I don’t think a lot of people really know about, but I think he and his staff have done a fantastic job. They’ve been really smart in recruiting, and taking the right transfers, not just any transfer. They’ve recruited really well, especially in the last few years, and gotten some impact young players. I like their team a lot and I think they have as much experience as anyone in the country and I’m talking about good players that are experienced. They’ve got young players who can mesh into it and it really doesn't matter what I say, but I’ve thought all along that they could go to the Final Four with this team. I really believe in the coach and this team and I believe this is the right year to do some damage in the tournament. I could really see that happening for this team.”

“I love it here at Ranger and it has been great. We’ve got a bunch of guys that are like the guys I mentioned, and they had never heard of Ranger College before nine, ten months ago. But, they’ve come from all over the country and really meshed together and are one of the hardest working groups of guys I’ve ever seen and are really mature. They’re very determined and hard working; my kind of team. We’re really excited about it and have been lucky to win all 30 of our games. That just doesn't happen and we know it will come to and end before too long, I’m sure, but we will be fighting at the end and will be proud of them, no matter what the results are.”
Discussion from...

10 Years Later: Billy Gillispie looks back on 'The Shot'

12,615 Views | 18 Replies | Last: 6 yr ago by 00
Gabe Bock
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Staff
AG
10 Years Later: Billy Gillispie looks back on 'The Shot'
Gabe Bock
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as one of my all-time favorite interviews. He was locked in and really good from start to finish. On the day before a post-season game, no less.
94chem
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If that interview doesn't clarify - at least on the court - why Billy won at A&M and didn't at Kentucky, then nothing will. Great read.
SpiderDude
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PatAg
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I will literally never get tired of watching that.
Triple-T
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Love those memories of the BCG era....a truly special time for Aggie Basketball.
Roger Kint
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If you watch very closely, you see a young Peter Warden running onto the court before the light goes on.

...well, not quite before, but it was almost right at the same moment the ball hit the hoop.
Lance Uppercut
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Looks like Ranger won their first postseason game today, 83-79.
Ramp5
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Great stuff! Thanks for that.
AgRebel08
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The greatest sporting moment I have ever experienced. I love BCG always have, always will. I am from El Paso and I like saying I followed him here. What he did at UTEP, here, and now at Ranger is simply amazing. I hated seeing him go to Kentucky because I knew he could take guys, just regular guys, not the the 5 start primo's and turn them in to tough players. I hate how the politics got into it because he can just flat out coach.

I forget now how the ticket pull was, I know we used to line up before the game and then they started making us pull, I think I was able to camp out and get tickets or maybe that was the pull that shut down the system and they started allotting tickets, whatever the case I had a ticket or a spot in the front of the line as my friends always camped out in front of reed and I was lucky enough to always have a seat with them in the front few rows seating.

I never had missed an aggie home game but stupidly decided to take a class that met once a week on Wednesdays, during that spring semester. Only after I signed up did I realize what I had done, I had put my self in class once a week, on a Wednesday night, during basketball season. The class I think was from 5:30 to 7:30 so was terrible timing. I do know I looked at the schedule, and I think there were only 3 home games in the spring on Wed but we played Kan, someone good maybe OSU, and Texas (they were all ranked or really good teams). I was "sick" for the Kansas game and got out of class and then we didn't have class on the other game night so I was able to go.

The week before the Texas game the prof said we were not having class the following wed because we had a mid-semester exam(only two grades in this class, mid-year and end of year test), I was very relieved and pretty excited that I didn't have to miss class, but then it happened, one of those overachievers who cannot shut up said that they would appreciate a study session next week since it was 50% of the grade. The prof said that he was glad someone spoke up and we would have one only we start at 6:30....... I came up after class and flat out told him I wanted to go to the game and his response was that the people that don't show up to the session will fail.

I was pretty upset but decided that I had to go to class hoping that I would be able to make it to the game. The study started late and my friend was texting me updates(Pretty sure this is before internet on your cell became a thing as he complained that I was using his 100 allotment of texts for the month), the game was close and I think with about 10 min left the class was over. I ran from the academic building to reed in what had to be under 5 min, not sure how because it took me about 20 walking at a good pace. I had my books and no ticket as I had either given it away or reed was full and they had been turning away students(line up before system).

I ran right up and into reed, the security all had gone to watch the game at the doors, one guy turned around but didn't say anything I walked in and stood at the back of the student section for the final 5 min.

To this day that is the loudest sporting event I have been to, that final 5 min in Reed, that shot, the storming of the court, and the speech was great. I remember just sitting on my tailgate in the parking lot for an hour celebrating.

That team was truly special and had a great coach. I am very fortunate that I didn't miss out on that last 5 min.
Roger Kint
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I witnessed that sitting next to BCG's mom and cousin. Such a great game and experience.
eAGer
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I'll never forget that.
Ebrisby
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Awesome moment. I was writing for Maroon Weekly at the time. I came in at the :33 point of the video showing love.

EB
TheDoctor
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Got home from swim practice and rushed to the TV to catch the end of the game. This is the only play I saw. It was all I needed. Great memory.
45-70Ag
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Hard to believe that's been ten years ago.
45-70Ag
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And before Ron Franklin got the boot for a sexist remark on air.
exp
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I was there. Lost track of my bud in the chaos and had to regroup in the parking lot afterwards. Amazing moment.
Aggie
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quote:
Love those memories of the BCG era....a truly special time for Aggie Basketball.


Yep

00
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I went to the game as well. Got pulled over in Waco that night for speeding. Cop asked me what I had been doing and why I was rushing back to Dallas. I told him the Aggies just beat the Horns on a last second three to win the game. The officer said its always good when the Aggies beat tu and let me off with a warning.
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