Expect John Calipari to have a future in the broadcast booth

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Jan 29, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari after the game against the Mississippi Rebels at the Tad Smith Coliseum. Kentucky Wildcats defeated the Mississippi Rebels 87-74. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden–USA TODAY Sports

Eventually John Calipari is going to retire from his current gig as head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats Basketball team. And when he does (after about another decade and three more titles), expect him to move into the broadcast booth. At least if he wants to. Sports Illustrated interviewed several media experts as to which current college coaches would make the biggest impact in the broadcasting arena and both Calipari and Rick Pitino were mentioned as the most likely choices:


The names that came up the most: Louisville coach Rick Pitino, Villanova coach Jay Wright, Kentucky coach John Calipari, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey, Kansas coach Bill Self, St. Joe’s coach Phil Martelli, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, VCU coach Shaka Smart and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo.

“I would say without hesitation Jay Wright, Bill Self and Mike Brey because they’re not afraid to say something,” said ESPN college basketball reporter Andy Katz.

“John Calipari is a TV star,” said Fox Sports Media Group executive producer John Entz, who will be hiring college basketball talent for Fox Sports 1. “He has great energy, presence, he’s an excellent teacher, and completely understands the media business.”


So maybe, just maybe, we can see Calipari and Pitino take over for that Joe B and Denny show?  Naw, I don’t see THAT happening.

Mar 9, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari reacts during the game against the Florida Gators in the second half at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated Florida 61-57. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t put Calipari in the broadcast booth just yet. He spent yesterday on the recruiting trail and paid yet another visit to Madison Central guard Dominique Hawkins. There is still no official offer on the table for Hawkins, but it’s getting hard to imagine a scenario where Hawkins is not a member of the Wildcats next year:


Calipari attended three of Hawkins’ four games at the state tournament earlier this month in Rupp Arena. UK assistant Orlando Antigua was at all four, and stayed well after the final buzzer of the title game to see Hawkins receive his Sweet Sixteen MVP award. UK also hosted Hawkins and his Madison Central teammates at a practice on campus two weeks ago.

Hawkins told reporters during the Sweet Sixteen that he is a lifelong Kentucky fan and would be willing to wait on a scholarship offer from the school. He reiterated that intention in an interview with WKYT over the weekend. He currently counts offers from South Carolina, Purdue, Western Kentucky, Morehead State and others.

The 6-foot-1 guard is rated as a three-star prospect by most recruiting services. Last week, he was announced as the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year.

Hawkins is also one of five finalists for Mr. Basketball honors, which will be announced Friday night in Louisville.


Mar 15, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Kentucky Wildcats team members watch the final moments of a game against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament at Bridgestone Arena. The Commodores beat the Wildcats 64-48. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

At this point, there is still no official decision made on the NBA futures of Nerlens Noel, Archie Goodwin, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Alex Poythress. Same for the transfer rumors of Ryan Harrow, Kyle Wiltjer, and Jon Hood. So everything you may read at this point is pure rumors and speculation. The ever popular “Wiltjer to Gonzaga” rumor that some UK sites claimed as a fact are fading now as well.  From what I can gather, Calipari has not even sat down with his players one on one yet to discuss their futures and the word is that may happen the next week or so.

ESPN’s NBA guru Chad Ford, in a pay Insider article, moves Nerlens Noel back to the number one spot in the 2013 NBA Draft.  If Noel is top five, common logic dictates he will leave.  Willie Cauley-Stein comes in at #18, Alex Poythress is at #20, and Archie Goodwin at #21.  Keep in mind that this is not a true mock draft as there will probably be a handful of foreign players sprinkled in the first round as well and more players may declare.  Of the Wildcats, Ford seems to indicate that Poythress and Goodin may not even start for UK next year, but that may not be a bad thing.  He also says that WCS can be a lottery pick next year if he returns.

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