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Kentucky Coaching Odds After Calipari’s Introduction at Arkansas

Kentucky men’s basketball. Photo via Chet White/Kentucky Athletics.

A new era of SEC basketball is right around the corner.

While folks have known about the anticipated arrival of both Texas and Oklahoma into the Southeastern Conference for quite some time now, the recent coaching news from the SEC only adds more fuel to the fire when it comes to next season.

After a wild 48 hours involving internet speculation and student photojournalism, the big news is officially official. The John Calipari era at Kentucky is over as the Hall of Fame head coach was announced as the next coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks on Wednesday.

While the news itself is massive for the Arkansas program and something to keep an eye on for Tennessee fans, it seems like a good chunk of Vol Nation is more interested in seeing who rival Kentucky will get as their next head coach. Kentucky is unquestionably a top job around the country and the Wildcats are going to swing for the fences after a run of postseason disappointment in Calipari’s final few years.

So who will Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart turn to? A coach from the SEC? Someone from outside the program? Fortunately, Christopher Boan of has the odds for Kentucky’s next head coach.

More from RTI: See Tennessee Basketball’s 2024-25 National Championship Odds

According to Bet Kentucky, Baylor head coach Scott Drew is the favorite to land the job at +300. Chicago Bulls and former Florida head coach Billy Donovan is next at +500 with Arizona’s Tommy Lloyd and Alabama’s Nate Oats rounding out the top four at +900.

Other intriguing names from Bet Kentucky’s 10-coach list include Auburn’s Bruce Pearl at +2000, Marquette’s Shaka Smart at +2000, and UConn’s Dan Hurley at +3000.

At 7:47 p.m. ET on Tuesday night, Kentucky Sports Radio’s Matt Jones tweeted out that “Kentucky’s list is 1. Danny Hurley 2. Scott Drew 3. Billy Donovan” but notes that he “would be very surprised if it got past #2.” Jones has not posted an altered or revised list since the original tweet was posted.

So, there you have it. No matter which way you turn, it looks as though Scott Drew and Billy Donovan are the leading candidates, with the white whale of Dan Hurley potentially lurking out in the distance.

“Folks it’s been 24 hours since UK officially had its coach officially resign,” Jones tweeted about the coaching search at 3:50 p.m. ET on Wednesday. “We can all chill. It’s not a ‘circus’ and there is nothing to worry about yet. It’s a process.”

Stay tuned to Rocky Top Insider for more big updates from the Kentucky coaching search.

To view Bet Kentucky’s full Top 10 odds list, click here.

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