Now that Billy Gillispie has been canned by Kentucky, free to hit on all the ESPN reporters he can find, the Wildcat brain trust is still looking for their next leader in Lexington. And they may have found their man in the next state over.
Memphis Tigers coach John Calipari met with Kentucky officials on Sunday, a source “close to the situation” told ESPN. You can tell these talks were serious because the meeting was held in “an undisclosed location”. How clandestine!
The chat between Calipari and the UK crew reportedly involved how long a contract John could secure and how much money he could get. And with a high-profile program like Kentucky, John will likely be paid a pretty penny.
Calipari has done a terrific job with the Tigers, taking Memphis to the national title game last year, and leading the team to a 27-game winning streak this year. And completing the last four seasons with 30 or more wins isn’t too shabby, either.
But there has been & always will be a knock against Memphis for playing in Conference USA, a conference critics call weak. And unless UAB, Tulsa and others step up their game - or least convince some of the big BCS boys to come play on their courts - Memphis will have to endure a continued lack of respect.
On the other hand, if Calipari comes to Kentucky, he’ll have to deal with a rabid fan base & impatient boosters who want championships RIGHT NOW - and he’ll be constantly under the media microscope. There’ll be no time to relax or take it easy when you’re in charge of one of the most well-known teams in college basketball.
But the fact that Calipari even talked with Kentucky means that Memphis will have to pony up some more dough to keep their coach in town. Either way, Johnny is guaranteed to be bringing in more green. It’s now up to him whether he rather be collecting his change with a program he built from scratch, or a team traditionally established as one of the best in the country.