July 15, 2024

Here’s our initial best guess at some of the candidates who might be in line to replace Calipari.

If you take a step back and truly consider what he’s done at Baylor, it’s mind-blowing. The national championship in 2021 was probably a one-off, but the year-over-year consistency is one of the most impressive coaching feats in college basketball history reaching 12 of the last 16 NCAA Tournaments with five trips to the Sweet 16 or beyond. The question is whether anyone can convince him to uproot his family from Waco after two decades. Louisville tried and couldn’t do it. Kentucky is a different animal, though, and may be the one job that could tempt him.

The numbers speak for themselves. In three seasons as a head coach, Lloyd is 88-20 at Arizona with two trips to the Sweet 16. And at age 49, he’s probably just getting started. Though he recently signed a new deal with the Wildcats, this is a bit of an unstable time at Arizona with school-wide budget issues, an upcoming conference change from the Pac-12 to the Big 12 and a new athletics director in Desiree Reed-Francois. Though it would cost a lot of buyout money to get Lloyd out of that deal – upwards of $12 million – it’s worth it if you think he’s the guy who can deliver championships.Mark Stoops: A look at the Kentucky Wildcats football head coach

If Kentucky wanted someone who could deliver a similar type of presence and showmanship that Calipari brought to the table, they’d have to consider prying Pearl out of Auburn. Despite his long rap sheet of questionable ethics and NCAA issues, Pearl has built one of the top programs in the SEC at a historically difficult place to win. And you have to think he’d relish the chance to coach at a blueblood – just like Calipari back in 2009 when he left Memphis.

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