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Is John Calipari Destined for Kentucky?

GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 26:  Head Coach John Calipari of the Memphis Tigers adjusts his team against the Missouri Tigers in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the University of Phoenix Stadium on March 26, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
straitpinkieCorrespondent IMarch 30, 2009

Andy Katz is reporting that John Calipari is meeting with University of Memphis officials to discuss what a Memphis radio station is calling a $7 million offer from the University of Kentucky.

This comes a day after Calipari met with UK officials to discuss the possibility of replacing Billy Gillispie, who was released from his duties on Friday afternoon.

Also, Dan Wolken, of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, is reporting that Calipari has already met with his players, and they are convinced he is destined for Lexington after he referred to Kentucky as the Notre Dame of basketball.

Calipari has had tremendous success at both UMass and Memphis.  While he did have some problems in his stint at UMass with recruiting violations, his slate has been clean as the head coach of the Tigers.

While at Memphis, he has often taken advantage of David Stern’s provision that disallows high schoolers to enter the NBA Draft.  Last season, Derrick Rose led Memphis to the National Championship game and then bolted for the NBA after one season.  He was drafted No. 1 overall by the Chicago Bulls.  

It appears that Tyreke Evans will do the same this year.

His longtime rivalry with now Louisville head coach Rick Pitino makes the possible hiring of Calipari doubly interesting.  Both are quick-witted coaches of Italian descent who recruit well and love to get the ball up and down the court. 

But, unlike a lot of teams who prefer to play fast, both Pitino and Calipari focus on strong half-court defense when teams do get the ball across the time-line.

Rumors are already floating around the Bluegrass State that Calipari has accepted UK’s offer. Although, there have been plenty of rumors over the last couple of weeks, so I am not sure if they hold a lot of weight.

But Calipari would most definitely be the home run hire that the University of Kentucky needs.

 

Source: ESPN

For more from the Pinkie and constant updates on the UK Coaching search, go to www.straitpinkie.com.

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