Posted April 5th, 2007 by Brian
Filed under: Basketball

Rick Barnes isn't going to KentuckyIt’s been a crazy day for Texas basketball fans. Depending on who you asked and when you asked the question, the answer was different every time. [tag]Rick Barnes[/tag] was either not interested, very interested, or already in contract talks for the open coaching position with the University of Kentucky.

Reports from early this afternoon were that Barnes was very interested in the job and that he was Kentucky’s second choice (behind Florida’s Billy Donovan), there was actually lots of noise that he was as good as gone. Either those reports were erroneous or something changed. The latest and most official news is that Rick Barnes will be back next year as the head basketball coach for the University of Texas.

Texas coach Rick Barnes on Thursday said he plans on being the Longhorns coach next season, shooting down speculation that he would entertain leaving for Kentucky’s vacant head coaching job. “I’m the Texas basketball coach,” Barnes said.

Great news for Texas fans. It sounds like Texas AD DeLoss Dodds and Barnes were able to work out more than just a pay raise to keep him in Austin. He and his entire staff deserve everything they get. Or maybe there was no raise but Kevin Durant called him up and told him he’d be back if Barnes was back. I can dream. There’s got to be at least a slightly higher chance KD comes back to school now. At the very least the Horns will have their basketball coach back and don’t have to worry about any current players or recruits wanting out.

My favorite rumor of the afternoon: Barnes to Kentucky and Texas A&M savior Billy Clyde Gillispie to Austin to replace him. As much as I would’ve hated to lose Barnes, the meltdown in Aggieland would have been hilarious and might have made it worth it. Though the Aggies are still screwed. Since Barnes passed on Kentucky, Gillispie is now the favorite there and he’s not likely to pass on the job. Texas A&M sources are already telling ESPN he’s gone. Now I can actually root for the guy.

No matter how everything went down, the Longhorns came very close to losing an incredible basketball coach today. Barnes is nowhere near a perfect coach, but he’s turned the Texas Longhorns into a marquee basketball program and Texas fans should be ecstatic that he’ll be back next year.


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