The Lakers will reach out to Kentucky head coach John Calipari and UConn head coach Kevin Ollie to gauge their interest in the job opening, the report says.
Calipari has long been part of the rumor mill when it comes to coaching in the NBA. His name has been tossed around as a potential head coach for the Knicks in recent offseasons, and he has coached in the NBA in the past, leading the Nets back in the late-90s, when they were still in New Jersey.
Calipari isn’t an ideal candidate to coach in the NBA, however. He’s better-suited to the college game. What he does best is recruit. He accumulates talent and sells them on buying into a system before jettisoning them to the NBA Draft. He’s not a pure x’s-and-o’s coach, and that’s what you need to be to be successful in the NBA.
Ollie is a more intriguing candidate. He spent 13 seasons in the NBA, and while he went to UConn, he’s a native of Southern California. He also has a close relationship to Kevin Durant, who will become a free agent in 2016, and you can bet that the Lakers are already picturing what it would look like to have Durant on the same team as Kevin Love.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.