The Memphis Commercial-Appeal‘s Dan Wolken reports University Of Memphis head basketball coach John Calipari held a team meeting this morning and strongly hinted to the squad that he’ll be coaching Kentucky next season.
While Calipari did not say explicitly what he planned to do, players left the meeting convinced that Calipari would take the job. According to the source, Calipari told the team that Kentucky was the Notre Dame of basketball.
Meanwhile, ESPN.com reported Monday morning that Calipari met with Kentucky officials over the weekend to discuss an outline of a deal to replace Billy Gillispie.
A source told The Commercial Appeal on Sunday that Calipari had expressed interest in the job and could meet with Kentucky this week but that a meeting was œnot definite.
Memphis officials, according to multiple sources, had no direct knowledge of a meeting between Calipari and Kentucky if one indeed took place over the weekend. Kentucky still had not asked Memphis for formal permission to speak with Calipari as of 9:45 a.m., according to sports information director Lamar Chance.
Either way, 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.
While it’s hardly too early to wonder where Memphis might turn if/when Calipari’s hiring in Lexington becomes official, let’s consider the real victims of the Wildcats’ likely coup ;
Memphis’ returning players Jeff Caple and Travis Ford, who are both denied the opportunity to extract greater compensation from Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, respectively.