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Tuesday Headlines: Kentucky Basketball Coach Search

College basketball’s 2023-24 season came to an end last night when the UConn Huskies cut down the nets for the second consecutive year. While that’s a major story and an astronomical accomplishment by head coach Dan Hurley and his team, it’s being somewhat overshadowed by the new head coaching vacancy with the Kentucky Wildcats.

John Calipari is reportedly bound for Arkansas, leaving athletics director Mitch Barnhart in prime position to fill the opening, considering there’s not a buyout that has to take place with Calipari.

The last day and a half have been crammed full of speculation, and we’ve (likely) come to a conclusion on whether at least a couple of head coaching candidates are taking the job or not.

Alabama’s Nate Oats was thought to be a top contender for the job, but he won’t be leaving the Crimson Tide, putting that rumor to rest Monday night.

We also learned that former Villanova coach Jay Wright will not take the position.

So while that still leaves a handful of candidates, there are a few that experts are zeroing in on across the country. ESPN’s Pete Thamel mentioned Billy Donovan (Chicago Bulls), Scott Drew (Baylor Bears), and even two-time reigning champion Dan Hurley (UConn) as names to watch for.

Hurley had an interesting reaction when asked about Kentucky following UConn’s title game win over Purdue.

The conflict with Donovan is that his Bulls are locked into the play-in game a week from now, limiting Kentucky’s access to speak with him about becoming their next basketball coach.

Drew would be a very good hire. He’s a very good coach and has a relationship with Barnhart. However, it’s obvious that landing Hurley would be the slam-dunk hire. He’s the hottest coach in the sport, and Kentucky is the gold standard in programs.

This process will take some time, but probably not longer than 7-10 days. Kentucky needs to work fast in an effort to keep some of its recruits, current players, and land athletes in the transfer portal. All of that will have to be done with a head coach firmly decided on.

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Interesting.

Headlines

Change Will Hopefully be Good for Calipari and UK – Vaught’s Views

Feels like this will be the case.

UConn beats Purdue and cruises to sixth NCAA championship – ESPN

They were the clear-cut best team all year.

Davis Counting on Versatility to Impress NFL Scouts – Vaught’s Views

Good chance he’s taken in the first half of the draft.

UConn, Duke open as betting favorites to win 2025 NCAA title – ESPN

Kentucky remains top-10 here.

Mark Stoops Looking For Bigger Role From Tight Ends – Vaught’s Views

Don’t they say this every year?

NCAA women’s championship most-watched hoops game since 2019 – ESPN

You can believe it.

Kentucky Baseball’s Dominic Niman named SEC Pitcher of Week – KSR

He was dominant against Alabana.

Elly De La Cruz shows off power, speed with two HR game – CBS Sports

He’s electric.