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Baylor’s Scott Drew is not going to be the subsequent Kentucky basketball coach. UK’s search continues.

Scott Drew has been the head coach of the Baylor Bears for the past 21 seasons, and he led the program to the 2021 national championship. Evert Nelson USA TODAY NETWORK What has already been an eventful search to replace John Calipari as the head men’s basketball coach at Kentucky took its first major turn

Baylor’s Scott Drew is not going to be the subsequent Kentucky basketball coach. UK’s search continues.

Scott Drew has been the head coach of the Baylor Bears for the past 21 seasons, and he led the program to the 2021 national championship.

Scott Drew has been the top coach of the Baylor Bears for the previous 21 seasons, and he led this system to the 2021 nationwide championship.


Evert Nelson

USA TODAY NETWORK

What has already been an eventful search to interchange John Calipari as the top males’s basketball coach at Kentucky took its first main flip Thursday morning.

Baylor’s Scott Drew is not going to be the subsequent coach of the Wildcats.

Drew has determined to remain put in Waco, the place he’s spent the previous 21 seasons as the top coach of the Bears, main this system to its first nationwide championship in 2021. Drew, lengthy regarded as the primary selection of UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart, started discussions with Kentucky on Tuesday, not lengthy after Calipari formally introduced his resignation to change into the top coach at Arkansas.

Kentucky’s pursuit of Drew included sending a non-public airplane — belonging to an organization owned by Joe Craft, who’s UK Athletics’ largest booster — to the Waco space, the place it was boarded by members of Drew’s household Wednesday morning. The plane returned to central Kentucky, the place Drew’s household visited Lexington earlier than returning house to Texas on Wednesday evening.

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By Thursday morning, Drew was off the board. And UK’s search will proceed.

CBS Sports activities’ Matt Norlander was first to report that Drew had handed on the chance to be the subsequent head coach at Kentucky. Drew launched an announcement later Thursday morning.

“In our program, we attempt to place Jesus first, then others, then ourselves,” he said in a post on X. “We actually imagine that God has known as my household and I to proceed our work right here at Baylor, surrounded by the very best folks and group anybody may very well be blessed to have.”

Drew was additionally thought-about to be the primary selection for the offseason emptiness on the College of Louisville, which employed Charleston’s Pat Kelsey final month to interchange Kenny Payne, a longtime Calipari assistant who was fired after two seasons with the Cardinals.

Scott Drew has been the head coach of the Baylor Bears for the past 21 seasons, and he led the program to the 2021 national championship.
Scott Drew has been the top coach of the Baylor Bears for the previous 21 seasons, and he led this system to the 2021 nationwide championship. Evert Nelson USA TODAY NETWORK

The highest candidates to interchange Calipari now embrace UConn’s Dan Hurley, who led the Huskies to their second consecutive nationwide title this week, and Chicago Bulls head coach Billy Donovan, who received two nationwide championships at Florida earlier than leaping to the NBA 9 years in the past.

Hurley is extensively anticipated to remain at UConn this offseason, and he has addressed hypothesis that he could be linked to the Kentucky opening a number of occasions for the reason that Huskies received the NCAA title Monday evening.

“It’s definitely flattering, however I’ve acquired a protracted profession of turning down jobs or extra money to remain in locations I used to be glad and that match me and that present me the sources to at that degree obtain the belongings you need to obtain,” Hurley stated throughout an appearance on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” on Wednesday. “Proper now at UConn … what the place means to us, the chance to go for a three-peat proper now’s the one factor that’s clearly on anybody’s thoughts right here.

“I simply can’t see that being a factor.”

Donovan was on the prime of Kentucky’s record when the job opened up in each 2007 and 2009, when UK finally employed Billy Gillispie and Calipari, respectively. Each occasions, Donovan determined to remain at Florida, the place he led the Gators to the nationwide title in each 2006 and ’07, additionally advancing to the Closing 4 in 2000 and 2014.

Now in his fourth season with the Chicago Bulls — and his ninth as an NBA head coach since leaving Florida in 2015 — Donovan addressed the Kentucky opening throughout his pregame press convention Tuesday evening. Taking a number of questions on the subject, Donovan burdened that he had not been contacted by anybody at UK and that he was absolutely dedicated to the Bulls for the rest of the 2023-24 season, although he didn’t unequivocally deny curiosity within the UK job past that time.

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“Clearly, I spent 5 years (there),” he stated of Lexington. “My first 5 years in teaching, when Coach (Rick) Pitino gave me a job. Two children have been born there. Like in any respect my stops, you have got very, very fond reminiscences. I’ve not been contacted by anyone. I haven’t spoken to anyone. My complete dedication and focus is right here — to this workforce and to this group.”

The Bulls’ season may finish as quickly as Wednesday, once they’ll compete within the first “Play-In Event” sport, but when they win two video games in that occasion subsequent week, they might qualify for the NBA Playoffs, which may lengthen Chicago’s season till no less than the top of April.

Donovan is just not anticipated to entertain any presents from Kentucky so long as the Bulls’ season remains to be alive.

Drew, who took over Baylor’s program in 2003, has a 446-244 record in his 21 seasons with the college. He led the Bears to the nationwide title in 2021, when Barnhart was chair of the NCAA Event choice committee.

Barnhart’s seek for Calipari’s alternative will now transfer on to its subsequent stage, and a course of that regarded prefer it may very well be over by Thursday morning will proceed, with no fast finish in sight.

This story was initially printed April 11, 2024, 11:01 AM.


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Ben Roberts is the College of Kentucky males’s basketball beat author for the Lexington Herald-Chief. He has beforehand specialised in UK basketball recruiting protection and created and maintained the Subsequent Cats weblog. He’s a Franklin County native and first joined the Herald-Chief in 2006.
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