Monday, March 30, 2009

The never-ending Calipari news...

I'm depending on Sidelines right now for any kind of news since KSR is almost always down during the coaching carousel.

Here's what we know right now.

Gary Parrish thinks it's close but not a done deal.
Kentucky officials expect John Calipari to accept an offer to become their program's next basketball coach, a source close to the school told on Monday. The source said UK believes it could introduce Calipari within the next 48 hours, that athletic director Mitch Barnhart is merely waiting for the "Yes" he believes is imminent, barring an unsuspected hang-up in the final stages of negotiations.

"It's close, but it's not quite done," one source on the Memphis side told "Kentucky is pretty sure it's done, but you know Cal, he could change his mind at the last minute."

A source said Calipari has the guidelines of the offer in place, and that "his people are reviewing it." The source said the offer would make Calipari the highest-paid college coach in America, though details remain sketchy. A separate source said the Memphis assistants are already touching base with recruits to make sure they'd jump to the SEC with them, and a different source said Memphis freshman Wesley Witherspoon would likely follow Calipari to Kentucky.
Kentucky has officially asked for permission to speak with Calipari.
University of Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson released a statement that said he had been contacted by Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart and has granted Barnhart permission to talk to Calipari about the coaching vacancy.

"We have given Kentucky permission to talk with John (Calipari) about their position," Johnson said in the statement. "However, I will tell you that we are elated with the job John has done as our head coach and we will do everything in our power to retain his services at Memphis."

Memphis is expected to make a strong bid to keep Calipari with a financial package that would make him the highest paid coach in basketball, according to another source.
Jody Demling has some news on recruiting.
I have heard and ESPN's Doug Gottlieb said on a SportsCenter flash a bit ago that it's likely Xavier Henry will seek a release from Memphis and follow Calipari to UK. The 6-foot-6 Henry is ranked as the No. 1 player in the Class of 2009 by and is a consensus top five player in the country by the scouting services. He has signed with Memphis and would need the release to go elsewhere.
Now, with that said John Wall - the No. 1 ranked player - and Demarcus Cousins - another top-five prospect - are not signed. Wall is uncommitted and I have been told has inquired about the new situation and Cousins has committed to Memphis.
I have also been told Calipari would bring his entire staff from Memphis. Some of those guys have already been making calls asking about current recruits.

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