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CBS: Who Could Replace John Calipari At Kentucky?

A very interesting question

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Davidson v Kentucky
BOISE, ID - MARCH 15: Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts against the Davidson Wildcats during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Taco Bell Arena on March 15, 2018 in Boise, Idaho.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

CBS Sports has been running a series about who will replace various coaches when they step down. This time, it’s Kentucky and John Calipari.

He starts with the assumption that Calipari will coach another decade or so and that would mean that his successor might be someone totally off the radar now.

The guys he mentions are Billy Donovan, Chris Holtmann, Shaka Smart, Eric Musselman and Sean Miller.

We could see Donovan and conceivably Musselman if Nevada continues to thrive. The other guys? Unlikely.

Neither has won anything substantial and UK fans are ruthless.

Ideally it would be a somewhat younger guy (in a decade) who has proven that he can coach at the top levels.

So assuming that Brad Stevens is smart enough not to take the job, who is a solid candidate? Our first pick would be Gregg Marshall but he’s in his mid-50s already and would be a hard sell in a few years.

We can think of a few more...

  • Dan Hurley
  • Archie Miller
  • Jon Scheyer
  • Will Wade
  • Kevin Keatts

Hurley is a really interesting prospect. He’s absorbed plenty from his dad and brother and he’s still young. Big strike: he’s highly emotional and takes too much to heart. He’s worked hard to ground himself but he’s volatile. And at Kentucky you ride the tiger or it eats you.

We thought about putting brother Bobby on here but he has a similar emotional makeup and worse, he was on the Duke team that beat Kentucky in 1992. There might be riots if he was hired.

We really like Archie Miller and he’s rising fast. It wouldn’t be easy to lure him from Indiana but you never know.

Jon Scheyer is an unproven assistant but highly regarded by his peers. He’s going to be very good. Aside from the Duke thing, why not at Kentucky? No way they hire him as an assistant but say he goes to somewhere like Illinois and excels. Would UK be interested? Of course they would. The Duke thing could be subordinated to winning.

After being at LSU for a while, if UK came calling it’d be hard for Will Wade to say no - especially if they backed up a truck. Bonus points: he has an exciting style.

Kevin Keatts isn’t very far into his career but he’s shown real potential at both UNC-W and NC State. He’s not scared of a challenge nor are his teams. We’re eager to see what he can do with superior talent after excelling with second-tier players.

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