Arkansas’ Calipari gets here: ‘We have actually got work to do’

  • Myron Medcalf, ESPN

    • Personnel WriterApr 10, 2024, 09:25 PM ET Close Covers college basketball
    • Signed up with in 2011
    • Graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato

John Calipari informed a raucous crowd he’s “excited” to lead Arkansas as he pumped his fists while Razorbacks fans cheered for him throughout his main intro in Fayetteville on Wednesday.Calipari, the former

Kentucky head coach, stated it was tough to leave Lexington, but he believes Arkansas, which reached the Elite Eight two times and the Sugary food 16 under previous head coach Eric Musselman, is placed to take on the bluebloods.”Kentucky is the bluest of blue,”Calipari stated after he was presented.”There’s just a couple of schools like that, and I dislike to tell you … Arkansas is among them. “Four years ago, Calipari was ejected in Kentucky’s 73-66 win over Arkansas during the 2019-20 season. He joked about the distinction in the reception he got Wednesday.Editor’s Picks 1 Related”I have never ever gotten that kind of welcoming in this building,” he stated.”As a matter of truth

, you were

most likely in the building when they threw me out before the game ended. We did win that game, though. You guys were tossing things at me. I wasn’t hearing any cheers. “Arkansas football coach Sam Pittman and multiple previous Razorbacks basketball players, such as Sidney Moncrief

and Joe Johnson, were at Bud Walton Arena to welcome Calipari, who arrived following a whirlwind of reports and reports about his future following a rocky last season at Kentucky.His group’s loss to Oakland in the NCAA tournament was its second first-round loss in 3 years, which stretch followed a 9-16 campaign in 2020-21.

After Kentucky’s upset loss to the Grizzlies last month, athletic director Mitch Barnhart announced Calipari would return, regardless of a wide range of fans demanding a change. Calipari said then he was all set to reboot Kentucky basketball.But weeks later on, he remained in Fayetteville as the brand-new head coach at Arkansas.On Wednesday, he said Arkansas power booster John Tyson, the chairman of Tyson Foods, called and asked him to consult with Arkansas athletic

director Hunter Yurachek while they were both in Phoenix for the Final Four.Calipari stated he asked a

priest about his decision once it became clear Arkansas had strong interest, and the priest told him to opt for a walk and envision himself as both the head coach at Kentucky and the head coach at Arkansas. Calipari said the latter made him”excited,”but he didn’t intend to eclipse Monday’s national championship between Purdue and Connecticut with the news.” I didn’t desire anything out up until after the championship game game– that we were even talking– due to the fact that I didn’t believe that was reasonable,”Calipari said.Calipari said previous Arkansas head coach Eddie Sutton had actually been a coach and friend before his death in 2020. He also informed the Arkansas leaders who employed him

that he wished to speak with former head coach Nolan Richardson, who led the program to its only nationwide title in 1994. Calipari said he spoke with Richardson and received his

true blessing before Wednesday’s ceremony.”I will tell you that he challenged his kids,” Calipari stated about Richardson, a Basketball Hall of Famer.As Calipari talked about the pros of his relocation, he likewise alluded to the difference in between leaving a job now and leaving a task before name, image and likeness and the transfer website improved college sports. When a coach left in the past, he stated, his players were

“stuck there. “While he didn’t state he will bring a few of his previous players and hires to Fayetteville, he pointed out

that”leaving the kids “was his most significant obstacle in the past.On Wednesday, ESPN reported that luxury Kentucky hire Jayden Quaintance, the leading player in Kentucky’s 2024 class, had actually resumed his recruitment. And previous Kentucky star Malik Monk, an Arkansas native, tweeted that he will support Calipari in his new post. On his podcast, DeMarcus Cousins, one of the anchors of Calipari’s first recruiting class at Kentucky, stated Fayetteville will become a center for elite players now.But Calipari told the crowd Wednesday he’ll require time to build. “I have actually got to put a lineup together, “Calipari stated.”I simply met with the team. There were 3 guys in there and they were all in the website. We have actually got work to do, and the only thing I wish to tell you is I’m not that guy that has a magic wand. That’s not who I am. I’m the mill who comes whenever. When you view my group from the start of the year

to the end of the year, we improve.

“Just two weeks earlier, Calipari sat next to Barnhart and talked about his future in Kentucky. But a lot has altered because then.Calipari stated he and his family provided”every ounce “they could to the Kentucky program and neighborhood, which allowed them to leave with no remorses.”It was [hard to leave],”he stated.”We’ve existed 15 years. Fifteen years. Good times, terrific accomplishments. Forty players to the NBA, 30 kids finished. I enjoy that state, I like the guv. The people are the salt of

the earth.”

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