While he’s in town, Kentucky coach John Calipari may not be satisfied with leading the Wildcats to the SEC championship. He may also try to fill Georgia State’s basketball coaching vacancy. Not with himself, mind you.
“There’s a couple guys I’ll probably call them, say, ‘Hey, you need to consider this, that and the other,’” Calipari said, referring to the Panthers job, open since Rod Barnes was fired Feb. 27.
Calipari, who wouldn’t identify possible candidates, said he loved the potential of the job because of its location in Atlanta (”a great city”) and its membership in the Colonial Athletic Association. With teams such as George Mason, VCU and UNC-Wilmington, all of whom have won in the NCAA tournament in recent history, Calipari said the potential to do likewise exists at Georgia State.
“It’s kind of like when I went to UMass,” he said. “They said, ‘Why did you like the job? It’s the worst job in college basketball.’ We’re in a league with Temple. And they were No. 1 in the country and if they can be No. 1, we can be No. 1.”
The Wildcats practiced at Georgia State Thursday.
“I think it’s a heck of a situation,” he said.
My $.02 – Calipari acknowledged one drawback – “I know where the school is different than some of the others,” referring to its downtown location. And, certainly, when I asked him about it Friday night, it’s not like he was going to say, “Georgia State? Are you crazy?” particularly considering the school had just let his team practice in its gym. And, really, he was judging mostly on two things that aren’t necessarily about the school – its location and its conference. Still, he was effusive in his praise, and, I would certainly agree, those two factors – location and conference – aren’t to be discounted.