The effect of Coach Cal’s move from Kentucky to Arkansas

Absolutely nothing like a bombshell news drop on the eve of the national championship game.John Calipari is leaving Kentucky and headed throughout the SEC to Arkansas, finalizing a five-year offer to replace Eric Musselman in Fayetteville.Nobody might have anticipated this chain of occasions when SMU fired Rob Lanier after just 2 seasons, leading to the Mustangs poaching Andy Enfield from USC and Musselman departing Arkansas for the Trojans’ job. Arkansas took a number of early swings at Ole Miss’Chris Beard and Kansas State’s Jerome Tang, however both coaches refused the Razorbacks and went back to their respective schools.So, Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek reassessed the search and brought out a brand-new name atop his target list: Calipari.ESPN’s Jeff Borzello and Myron Medcalf respond to the new move, including what it means for the league and the schools– and who could be successful Coach Cal in Lexington.How did we get to this point? What obliged Calipari to leave Kentucky?Editor’s Picks 2 Related Myron Medcalf: After a series of disappointing results(9-16 in 2020-21; the 2022 NCAA tournament loss to Saint Peter’s; last month’s first-round loss to Oakland), Calipari no longer had complete control in Lexington

. Instead of provide Kentucky’s brass another year to decide if they wished to keep him, Calipari did what some coaches perform in this circumstance: He left.The pleasure of training at Kentucky is the affection, popularity and affect one gains from a massive fan base and basketball brand. But Calipari has actually lost that support over the last few years. It had actually felt like Calipari and Kentucky had been living under the very same roof

but were no longer together. Calipari just made it official Sunday night.Jeff Borzello: Once a coach gets to the point where his athletic director requires to release a statement confirming his return as coach, it’s difficult to restore the trust of the fan base. And Calipari reached that point. The NCAA competition losses, one Big Dance win given that 2019, refusing to welcome the

transfer portal and continuing to construct freshmen-focused rosters– everything added up to a frustrated fan base. And so when another school with substantial resources and a passionate fan base showed interest, Calipari jumped. Better to leave than live on the hot seat. play 1:50 Farnham: Calipari’s ‘clean slate’benefits both Arkansas and Kentucky Sean Farnham responds to the news of John Calipari leaving Kentucky to end up being the head coach at Arkansas.What is most appealing about the Arkansas job?Medcalf: Football is Arkansas ‘puppy love, and it last won a basketball nationwide title in 1994. It has an exceptionally enthusiastic fan base, however absolutely nothing rivals Kentucky

‘s Big Blue Country. Calipari won’t face the exact same pressures he sustained in Lexington, but he will have access to power boosters(the Tyson Foods family, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the Walton family)who will provide enough NIL cash to assist him bring in elite talent.Borzello: Arkansas

has a lot of resources and is increasing its NIL budget to bring Calipari into the fold. The fan base exists too. When Bud Walton Arena is rocking, it’s one of the best home-court benefits in the SEC. And Arkansas has a stranglehold on keeping in-state skill home for school; there was a stretch from 2016 to 2022 when zero ESPN 100 prospects left the state of Arkansas for college.What are the opportunities Calipari will enjoy the type of success he had at Kentucky now that he’s at Arkansas?Medcalf: In five seasons, Eric

Musselman had a much better postseason run (two Elite 8 appearances and a trip to the Sweet 16)than Calipari did at Kentucky over the exact same stretch. Calipari has actually always been a leading recruiter; that will not change at Arkansas. He might not get four or 5 McDonald’s All Americans every year the way he did at Kentucky, however Calipari will sign terrific talent– which he has actually done at every stop of his career.Borzello: Calipari can win a championship game at Arkansas.

Everything is in location to consistently complete at the top of the SEC and promote Last Four berths. Musselman didn’t quite have the regular-season success to match, but he had the Razorbacks within a game of the Final Four in back-to-back years. The key for Calipari is whether he will change his outlook on roster building and construction. He’ll be able to recruit at a high level in Fayetteville, but Calipari can’t continue to construct with just one or two transfers. There has to be a mix of high schoolers and veterans, and he’ll have the NIL spending plan to develop a lineup in that method. play 1:20 Pete Thamel lists potential John Calipari replacements at Kentucky With John Calipari on the cusp of a transfer to end up being Arkansas ‘coach, Pete Thamel throws away names of some potential candidates to replace him.Is the move excellent or bad for Kentucky?Medcalf: That’s a complicated concern. Calipari had the flair( and tip of conceit), character and experience to handle the demands of a wild fan base that yearned for the success he had generated his first six seasons– consisting of a nationwide title. It’s a special function, one only Rick Pitino and Calipari have actually excelled in over the past thirty years. There is no clear follower who can continue to draw in luxury recruits and future

NBA stars. The brand-new coach likewise will have to sustain the expectations of a fan base that hasn’t experienced a nationwide title run since 2012 but still anticipates to complete for a championship every season.Borzello: It’s going to be difficult to answer this today. While Calipari’s buyout was the biggest impediment to shooting the Hall of Popularity coach, the lack of a natural replacement was second on the list. Most of the sensible followers either have substantial buyouts or won’t make the relocation. If Kentucky has to dip down into its 2nd -or third-tier candidate pool, it may not be a great move for the Wildcats.How will the relocation impact the SEC?Medcalf: It depends in part on the dominoes. Will Kentucky target Nate Oats? Or will the Wildcats chase Jay Wright or Dan Hurley? In any case, Kentucky will not settle for a subpar prospect. On the flip side, Arkansas, which hasn’t won the SEC considering that 2000, is definitely in a brand-new tier with this hiring. In general, a league that will quickly include Oklahoma and Texas probably will improve.Top stories of the week from Get unique access to countless premium posts a year from leading authors. – CBB: How 3 groups can stop UConn” – Barnwell: NFL draft QB hits, misses out on “- What Rockets’surface says about the West”More ESPN +content”Borzello: It’s landscape-shifting. As Myron discussed, the dominoes falling will have an impact.

However this isn’t just about Kentucky and what

it does from here. This immediately vaults Arkansas into the upper crust of the national discussion– and for that reason the SEC discussion. The Razorbacks unexpectedly have title-contending expectations every season. Kentucky will constantly have those, however the Wildcats might not be the greatest story in the league throughout the 2024-25 season.What’s next for Kentucky? Who need to Kentucky target for its opening?Medcalf: Again, there are no easy answers here. But Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart ought to pull up to Monday’s national title game and ask Dan Hurley for the quantity of money it would require to lure him to Lexington

— despite the fact that Hurley enjoys in Storrs, Connecticut. Nate Oats would make good sense, but he has an $18 million buyout. Jay Wright doesn’t appear
too interested in leaving television to return to training. If those options all fall through, Kentucky won’t have an obvious target. That said, the

Wildcats don’t owe Calipari his$33 million buyout since he left, so they have the sponsorship to go shopping.Borzello: There are substantial barriers to employ the majority of the names who would in theory be the top targets. I do not believe Dan Hurley would go from UConn to Kentucky, specifically if he wins another national title on Monday night. Does Billy Donovan truly wish to coach in college once again? Does Jay Wright wish to coach at all again? Nate Oats has a substantial buyout. T.J. Otzelberger has a big buyout. Tommy Lloyd just signed a new agreement. Bruce Pearl has had comparable NCAA competition struggles recently. Scott Drew is most likely the most reasonable target, and he just declined Louisville. Whether Kentucky can work with– or a minimum of attempt to hire– Drew will likely be identified by the buyout in Drew’s new offer.

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