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Kentucky Phenom Rejects New Coach To Follow John Calipari Starting A Trend Likely To Continue

Zvonimir Ivisic scores a bucket for Kentucky during a game against Arkansas.
Zvonimir Ivisic scores a bucket for Kentucky during a game against Arkansas.

John Calipari took over at Arkansas this April following a 15-year stint at SEC rival Kentucky. He landed his first commitment on Monday, and it came from a familiar face.

Croatian phenom Zvonimir Ivisic will become a Razorback after spending Year 1 in Lexington.

That decision is likely the first in what will become a trend this offseason.

Coach Cal knew straits were dire when he arrived in Fayetteville. While he takes over a program with recent NCAA Tournament success, as well as a national championship pedigree, he entered without much help.

Actually, with no help at all!

Not a single player on the Razorbacks’ roster opted to stick around when head coach Eric Musselman bolted for USC, leaving the cupboard bare for Calipari.

“I met with the team – there is no team!” Calipari quipped in his intro presser. “We gotta get a roster together.”

In the transfer portal era, most didn’t think that player-less lineup would stay that way long – and the overwhelming majority believed they knew exactly where the soon-to-be Arkansas contributors would come from.

Kentucky!

Whether that be with current players or prospects in the recruiting class, the consensus was that John Calipari would use past relationships to build his new program.

That narrative played out on Monday.

Zvonimir Ivisic became John Calipari’s 1st Arkansas commit.

In a message posted to his Instagram story, the 7-foot-2 big man announced his decision.

“Today, I met with Coach Pope and had a great meeting with him. He’s an amazing guy and he will do big things here! After our conversation, I informed him that I will not be returning to Kentucky,” Ivisic wrote.

“With that being said, I made the lifetime decision to come to college for a few reasons. [The] main one’s to win a championship and go to the NBA. [A] monumental part of that decision was Coach Cal, and no one does both of those at the same time better than him. That’s why I am excited to announce that I am committing to Coach Cal and the Arkansas Razorbacks!”

With the Wildcats last season, the center averaged 5.5 points and 3.3 rebounds in 15 games of action.

It was the second big loss for Kentucky on the afternoon as five-star prospect Boogie Fland asked out of his NLI earlier in the day. The first dominos have fallen, and they’re not likely to be the last!

While new UK head coach Mark Pope appears to have the support of his fanbase, he fights an uphill battle this offseason in keeping the ‘Cats’ superstars on campus.

The post Kentucky Phenom Rejects New Coach To Follow John Calipari Starting A Trend Likely To Continue appeared first on BroBible.

 

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