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Illinois makes major counteroffer to keep Orlando Antigua

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Could Antigua actually end up sticking with the Illini?

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 29 North Carolina A&T at Illinois Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Just as it appeared Kentucky had secured a reunion with Orlando Antigua, Illinois is making a late push to keep the coveted assistant coach.

According to KSR’s Matt Jones, Illinois has made a counteroffer that would make Antigua the highest-paid assistant coach in all of college basketball.

Adam Zagoria says it’s a deal that would pay Antigua over $1 million per season.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise based on what Kyle Tucker reported at The Athletic earlier today. Tucker says that Kentucky was already set to give Antigua a deal that could make him the highest-paid assistant in America, so it looks like that’s exactly what must be done to get Coach O back to Lexington.

The deal with Antigua, an ace recruiter who was a key cog in the glory days of the Calipari era at Kentucky, is all but done and could make him the highest-paid assistant in college basketball.

Kentucky is already in a battle to land fellow Illinois assistant Chin Coleman, and it looks like another battle is heating up to secure Antigua’s services.

Seeing as how Kentucky has already lost Tony Barbee and Joel Justus, it’s hard to see John Calipari letting Antigua slip away this late in the game.