Sources have confirmed that the University of Kentucky has reached a deal with John Calipari to be the Wildcats’ new basketball coach.
No official announcement is scheduled today according to UK officials , but sources indicated Calipari will sign a $4 million per year contract anywhere in length from seven to 10 years.
“It looks like eight years is going to be the magic number,” said the source.
Kentucky recruit Daniel Orton of Oklahoma has not heard from anyone at UK today about who will replace Billy Gillispie, who was fired Friday. However, his father, Larry, understands that Calipari is the likely choice.
“Right now Daniel is still going to Kentucky until we get a chance to talk to Calipari,” Larry Orton said based on the assumption that Calipari will be UK’s next coach.
Another source in Memphis indicated that Calipari had resigned and The Commercial Appeal, a Memphis newspaper, said Memphis guard C.J. Henry referred to Kentucky as the Notre Dame of basketball when he met with the team this morning.
Kentucky acknowledged this afternoon that it had been given permission to talk to Calipari, who took Memphis to the Final Four last year and lost to Kansas in the title game.
Carol Dennis, the mother of Memphis recruit Nolan Dennis, told The Commercial Appeal that the letter-of-intent her son signed last fall contained an addendum that would allow him to follow Calipari to another school.
Two other highly-touted Memphis recruits, guard John Wall and center DeMarcus Cousins — have not yet signed with the Tigers and could also follow Calipari to Kentucky.
“Imagine the bigs you could have with Patrick Patterson, Daniel, Matt Pilgrim and Perry Stevenson along with Cousins coming in. What an offense that would be,” Larry Orton said. “Then you would have Jodie Meeks and maybe throw in John Wall and Nolan Dennis, who is as good as Wall. You are talking about automatic Final Four.”