Yes…that was a very lame attempt at a Kentucky Derby joke. I don’t hear anyone laughing!
We know that John Calipari put together a great recruiting class for Memphis in 2009, coming off another great season and the name value of Calipari and the University’s basketball program.
Now, it might be coming apart with talk of Calipari heading to Kentucky.
Reports across the country say that there is a strong chance John Calipari will be named Kentucky‘s new basketball coach soon.
From the New York Daily News:
One of the most storied programs in the history of college basketball reportedly has offered the Memphis coach an eight-year deal worth $35 million that would make him the highest-paid coach in the sport. Representatives of both sides were in serious discussions all day Monday to iron out details.
Calipari, who transformed Memphis into a national power since taking over that Conference USA program in 2001, has coached the Tigers to a 252-69 record in nine years, four straight 30-win seasons and a second place-finish in last year’s NCAA Tournament, losing to Kansas, 75-68, in overtime.
He coached this year’s team, which had to replace three key players – Derrick Rose, Joey Dorsey and Chris Douglas-Roberts – to a 33-4 season, which included a 27-game winning streak and a spot in the Sweet 16.
Kentucky received permission to speak with Calipari over the weekend, three days after the school fired Billy Gillispie, who struggled to a 40-27 record in just two years. The Wildcats failed to make the NCAA Tournament this year for the first time since 1992.
From USA Today:
Two signees say they have agreements from the school that would release them from their scholarships should Calipari leave. One player who has publicly committed and another who is interested say Calipari’s departure could change their minds.
The Tigers have signed Oklahoma City guard Xavier Henry, the No. 3 overall player according to Rivals.com; Richland, Texas, guard Nolan Dennis, No. 47 on Rivals’ list; and two players from Miami Dade Community College.
Memphis has a verbal commitment from Mobile, Ala., forward DeMarcus Cousins, the No. 2 overall player. Raleigh, N.C., guard John Wall, Rivals’ No. 1 player, has Memphis on his short list.