john-calipariLEXINGTON – Having been granted permission for Kentucky to speak to John Calipari, the only thing left is for the Memphis head coach to accept the job. It makes complete sense and he is basically in a win-win situation.

Sure, he’s had success in Conference USA, but he will never receive the level of respect at Memphis he would at Kentucky. One also has to believe Calipari is ready to be relevant again in a power conference. Leaving Maryland was probably the best thing he could have done in terms of relocating to nicer climates, but there has to be an itch to once again be on the big stage. The idea of competing on a regular basis with the likes of Tennessee, Florida, LSU and Arkansas has to, at the very least, bring a smile to his face.

Then there is the long-standing coaching rivalry with current Louisville general Rick Pitino to consider. Battling for state bragging rights and renewing that rivalry has likely jumpstarted Calipari’s moving van. It wouldn’t be surprising to find out that Calipari’s belongings have already made it past Nashville and across the Tennessee-Kentucky border.rick-pitino

But before he rushes into any decision that might be pushed forward with Pitino in mind, the Memphis coach might be good to ease up on the gas pedal.

Just two weeks ago, it was overheard at a national junior college tournament, where Division I scouts and coaches were scouring the talent in hopes of picking up a potential transfer, that Pitino had purchased a home in Tucson, Ariz. It could be possible Pitino just wants a vacation home, but with rumors already swirling, it is more likely he is planning on making it his permanent residence and taking over head coaching duties of the Arizona Wildcats as his new gig.

Both moves would be good for both coaches, and with little consolation. Kentucky and Arizona have storied traditions making a switch a virtual no-brainer if the idea of changing jobs is even remotely in the backs of their minds. Both programs recruit themselves and there would be little scrutiny on either Calipari or Pitino if they chose to leave their respective schools. Who could blame them? And with the success each have had in recent years, it’s not as if they would be leaving for necessarily greener pastures. And the residing Athletic Directors would have no problem attracting the most qualified replacements.

The only questions left to be answered are who takes over at Memphis and Louisville, and when do the movers officially arrive?


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