Good morning, BBN. It was a tough Friday for fans of the Kentucky Wildcats as one of the top point guards in the country opted to go to the Gonzaga Bulldogs over UK (more on that in a bit) and the rumors about the Texas Longhorns being interested in John Calipari started heating up.
While Calipari has a ridiculously one-sided contract at Kentucky which makes him super rich and virtually un-fireable, Texas is the one place in college athletics that can actually offer Calipari a similar, if not better, deal. The question is, will they?
Historically Texas has been a “football first” program. Shaka Smart made 3.2 million per year and his predecessor, Rick Barnes, made 2.25 million per year. They’ll spend oil derrick sized money on football coaches, but they never have done so on a basketball coach.
I am not too worried about Calipari going to Texas. The contract Cal has at Kentucky is bonkers and I’m not so sure a school, even a school with unlimited money like Texas, would be willing to match it.
But the worry is there nonetheless, especially when one considers this disaster of a season which we all witnessed. There appeared to be a rift between John Calipari and some of the fans and one wonders how fences could be mended.
Yesterday on social media, fans went back and forth between hoping for John Calipari to stay and wanting to help him pack his bags. Kyle Tucker of The Athletic made a point that was kind of stunning to me:
I kind of think it would’ve been best for everyone.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) March 26, 2021
That quote gave me pause. Is the disconnect between John Calipari and the fanbase that bad? The friction between Cal and the fans was on full display over a range of topics such as Dontaie Allen’s playing time, updating the offense, players kneeling before the Florida game, frustration over changes among the ranks of assistant coaches, and, most of all, losing basketball games.
Ultimately I don’t think Texas will offer Calipari the kind of contract (not saying they can’t, I’m saying they won’t) that he has at Kentucky and that’s the main reason that he will stay. Also, I don’t think Calipari would tuck tail and run after the season he just had.
But if the circumstances were a little different, I do think Calipari would consider the move as much as or even more than he did the UCLA job.
Be careful what you wish for.
Tweets of the Day
At one point, I think he was headed to Kentucky. That’s one recruit whose family saw how some fans reacted to players this season and said no thanks. Plus, Gonzaga has now proven it can win big and develop elite pro prospects too. https://t.co/YFzlrki98H— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) March 26, 2021
Losing out on Sallis really stings. The way things went with BJ Boston and Terrence Clarke, along with how ugly things got for players on social media, didn’t help the recruiting pitch with Hunter Sallis.
Kentucky football lands a four-star recruit | Cats Pause- Treyveon Longmire is a four-star athlete out of the state of Kentucky. He had offers from Michigan, Oklahoma, and a host of SEC schools. The 2022 recruit is expected to play defensive back for the Cats.
The game has changed for the Zags with the Hunter Sallis commitment | CBS- That’s now two years in a row that the Gonzaga Bulldogs were able to land top tier, one and done type point guards. The scrappy Cinderella is now a full fledged college basketball powerhouse.
Bryce Hopkins named Illinois player of the year | Max Preps- Hopkins will be a part of a loaded front court at Kentucky and it appears as if he’s made some serious strides as a player.
Liam Coen says stats are for losers | Your Sports Edge- Quotes like these have BBN falling in love with their new OC: “Stats are for losers, but we do keep stats for everything,” Coen laughed and said. “From an offensive standpoint, it is about that efficiency and creating explosion in the passing game.” Be still my heart.
Marquan McCall ready for his moment | Cats Illustrated- Marquan “Bully” McCall has been garnering rave reviews during spring football. The 6-3, 357 pound nose tackle has big shoes to fill as Quinton Bohanna readies for the NFL Draft and so far he’s been doing a damn good job.
Will the year of the Cinderella continue in the Sweet Sixteen? | ESPN- The underdogs have been the story this year in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and they have a great chance to keep it rolling all the way to the Final Four.
Ranking the remaining Sweet 16 teams | Sporting News- The Zags remain the top overall team left in the tournament and their path to the Final Four is the easiest remaining.