Jay Wright, Nate Oats say thanks, but no thanks on Kentucky | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / May 24.
  • Jay Wright, Nate Oats say thanks, but no thanks on Kentucky

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    By CHARLIE PARENT

    Legendary Villanova head coach Jay Wright and Alabama head coach Nate Oats both said Monday they will not be taking the open Kentucky job.

    The news comes after longtime head coach John Calipari reportedly took the job at Arkansas Sunday.

    “Well, I appreciate that, Kenny [Smith], and I am so happy doing this,” Wright said on TBS’ National Championship pregame show. “I’m telling you right now. I like being Kenny’s coach. Even thought I’m not Chuck’s [Barkley’s] coach yet. I haven’t earned that yet. I’ve haven’t earned that yet. But I love being Kevin’s coach and I say this. Chuck, to your point about John running his course.”

    Wright won two NCAA Championships at Villanova, making four Final Fours, before retiring 2022.

    Oats, who just signed a new six-season mega-contract at Alabama and has an $18-million buyout, rejected any rumors in a statement earlier Monday. He is coming off a Final Four loss to UConn Saturday night.

    “I am fully committed to this team and to this University,” he said. “We have already accomplished some great things here, and there is nothing I want more than for the University of Alabama to win its first national championships in men’s basketball. Despite any rumors to the contrary, rest assured that I will continue that pursuit as your head coach.”

    Oats led the Tide to their first Final Four in program history this season. He’s won two SEC regular season titles and two SEC conference tournament titles in Tuscaloosa.

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