With all the expected departures expected to happen this season, the biggest void that will need to be filled is that of the assistant coaches. Just before the Final Four, it was announced that Orlando Antigua would be taking over as the head coach of the South Florida Bulls. A few days later, it was announced that Rod Strickland would follow Orlando to USF as an assistant coach. With these two major departures from the staff, Calipari will have some work to do.
The obvious choice to replace Antigua is Tony Barbee, the recently fired Auburn coach. Barbee served as an assistant for Calipari from 2000-2006 while he was at Memphis and served as his main recruiter. However, it is unsure whether or not he will fill this void at Kentucky, as recruiting is a whole different ballgame and his recent track record of recruiting at Auburn was far below par. What Calipari needs to do is find someone who has a plan, is a good salesmen, and can go into any high school and demand the respect that he and Kentucky deserves.
Whoever our beloved coach goes out and gets to fill that huge void left by Orlando, it must not be understated. This will be a crucial part in determining the trajectory of the program for the remainder of Caliprai’s tenure. And also, something to keep in mind, this next right hand man of Calipari may just be our next coach. So, Kentucky fans, do not take this hiring lightly and brush it to the side like it’s no big deal. This is a program under the brightest of spotlights and every move we make is an important one. Sit back and buckle up, because it’s going to be a wild offseason for Kentucky Basketball.