John Calipari has a lot of changes to make leading up to the 2021-22 season after the Kentucky Wildcats suffered through a 9-16 record this past season.
We have already seen him changing the types of players that he is bringing in, as he has landed Davidson transfer Kellan Grady, and is rumored to be the landing spot for Iowa Hawkeyes transfer CJ Fredrick. Both players are known for their shooting abilities.
Aside from the changes in players, Calipari is going to be making major staff changes as well, and it appears one of them is all but done, and it will also be coming from the Big Ten.
According to Chris Fisher of Cats Pause, Kentucky is hiring Illinois assistant coach Ron “Chin” Coleman, who has been with the Fighting Illini since 2017. Coleman has reportedly informed Illinois he’s heading to Lexington.
At Illinois, Coleman worked a lot with the guards and was instrumental in the development of point guard Ayo Dosunmu, who had a dominant season in 2020-21 while averaging 16.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists.
Among Dosunmu’s accomplishments under Coleman include:
- USA Today National Player of the Year
- Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year
- NCAA Consensus First-Team All-American
- Wooden Award Finalist
- Naismith Trophy Finalist
- Oscar Robertson Trophy Finalist
- Wooden Award All-American Team
- Associated Press First-Team All-American, the first-ever Illini voted to first team by AP
- Likely a first-round pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
Before he got to Illinois, Coleman was an assistant at UIC where he helped recruit and mentor Dikembe Dixson, who was named Horizon League Freshman of the Year in 2016.
Before his time at UIC, Coleman spent three years as an assistant at Bradley and was named assistant head coach during his final season with the program in 2015.
Prior to Coleman entering the college ranks as an assistant, he coached one of the top AAU programs in the country, the Mac Irvin Fire, from 2005-11. Among the notable recruits to play at that program include Jabari Parker, Jahlil Okafor, Meyers Leonard, Patrick McCaw, Ryan Boatright, Tim Hardaway Jr., and former Wildcat Kahlil Whitney.
As a player, Coleman was a point guard at Weber State (1992-93), then transferred to Lamar for his remaining three years of eligibility. As the starting point guard for the Cardinals, Coleman led his team in scoring three straight seasons and was named First-Team All-Sun Belt Conference in each season.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s of Applied Arts and Sciences, Coleman played pro basketball over the course of seven years, including a brief stint with the Houston Rockets.
The duo of John Calipari and Kentucky is already regarded as one of the best in all of college basketball for developing point guards. Adding a guy like Coleman to the staff will only ensure that remains the case for however much longer Calipari coaches.
As Calipari looks to get this program back on track after a rough year, the addition of Coleman to the staff would be a massive get and one that should have fans very excited.
What do you think of the potential addition of Chin? Let us know in the comments section!