Sources: Kentucky nearing 5-year handle Pope

  • Pete Thamel Jeff



  • Jeff Borzello ESPN Staff Author Basketball recruiting insider.
  • Signed up with ESPN in 2014.
  • Graduate of University of Delaware.Apr 11, 2024, 09:44 PM ET After being turned down by numerous top-tier prospects, Kentucky is turning to among its own as the school’s next guys’s basketball coach.The Wildcats are settling a five-year deal with BYU’s Mark Pope, sources informed ESPN on Thursday.Pope, a 1996 Kentucky graduate who played two seasons and won a nationwide title there, has actually taken BYU to 2 NCAA tournaments in his 5 years, including a 23-11 record with a smooth shift to the Huge 12 this previous season. He has actually gone 110-52 at BYU and was the head coach at Utah Valley before that, going 77-56 in four campaigns.Editor’s Picks 2 Related He is replacing John Calipari, a Hall of Popularity coach who left for Arkansas after posting a 410-123 record with the Wildcats that included a national title and four Final Four appearances.Pope is well-regarded in training circles, as he has a 187-108 career record in nine years as a head coach. He also finished 2 years of medical school at Columbia University before pivoting to

    end up being Georgia’s director of basketball operations in 2009. Kentucky turned to Pope after several high-profile candidates either turned the job down or stated they didn’t have interest. Late Thursday early morning, Baylor’s Scott Drew decreased interest in the task after the school flew several relative to Lexington on a private aircraft to have a look at the location.”We really believe God has actually called my household and I to continue our work here at Baylor,” Drew stated in a statement.That decision by Drew can be found in the wake of 3 prominent candidates– Alabama’s Nate Oats, UConn’s Dan Hurley and previous Villanova

    coach Jay Wright– rejecting interest in the task before it even opened. Billy Donovan likewise stated he was devoted

    to training the Chicago Bulls.Pope brings a résumé that’s light for a job generally considered the best in the sport. He does not have an NCAA competition win, and No. 6 BYU lost to No. 11 Duquesne 71-67 in the first round this year. In the 2021 competition, No. 6 BYU lost to No. 11 UCLA in the very first round.By contrast, Calipari had actually reached 11 combined NCAA competitions at UMass and Memphis and coached in two Last Fours before taking the Kentucky task. Tubby Smith coached in three Sweet 16s– 2 at Tulsa and another at Georgia– before reaching Kentucky. Rick Pitino took Providence to the Final Four and coached the New York Knicks before taking control of. Even Billy Gillispie coached in 3 NCAA competitions and reached the Sweet 16 before being worked with by the Wildcats.Pope has a credibility as an innovative offensive tactician. BYU plays a contemporary and wide-open offense, asserted on sharing the ball and shooting 3-pointers. In’s rankings this season, BYU ended up No. 4 in portion of 3-point basket attempted at 50.4 %. BYU also ranked No. 2 in 3-point distribution, with 41% of its points originating from 3-pointers.

    The school had helps on 63.4% of its made field goals, which ranked No. 6 in the country. In general, BYU had the country’s No. 14 offensive efficiency.BYU plays a visually pleasing design, which should be appealing in recruiting shooters.Pope worked as an assistant at Wake Forest and BYU before getting the Utah Valley head-coaching job in 2015. He hails Bellevue, Washington, and worked as a captain on Kentucky’s 1996 nationwide title group.

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