What John Calipari leaving Kentucky for Arkansas means for Virginia Tech

John Calipari made the stunning decision to leave Kentucky for Arkansas Sunday night and what does that mean for Virginia Tech going forward with the transfer portal?
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Practice Day - Pittsburgh
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Practice Day - Pittsburgh / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The college basketball coaching carousel is in full effect. The latest to leave is one of the biggest names when John Calipari made the stunning decision Sunday night to leave Kentucky for Arkansas. It's a move in the same conference, the SEC, to that matchup beginning next season will be a matchup to watch.

What makes this move even more interesting is that it is happening with the transfer portal open and already active. Calipari and the Wildcats are coming off a stunning first-round exit last month in the NCAA Tournament at the hands of Oakland. Clearly, Calipari was in transfer portal mode for the 2024-25 season in Lexington when fellow conference coach Eric Musselman left Arkansas for USC last week. Now that Calipari is gone from Kentucky, what does it mean for Virginia Tech?

What John Calipari leaving Kentucky for Arkansas means for Virginia Tech?

Since Virginia Tech was eliminated in the second round of the NIT on March 23 at Ohio State, head coach Mike Young has seen several players enter the transfer portal to begin the process of leaving Blacksburg for next season. Lynn Kidd has already found a home in Miami, while Mylyjael Poteat withdrew from the portal and announced that he was coming back to the Hokies for his final year of eligibility.

Two other players, however, were recently contacted in the portal by Calipari about possibly going to Lexington next season. Sean Pedulla and Tyler Nickel were contacted by the Wildcats in the transfer portal and what makes this interesting is that Nickel said in his announcement that he is leaving the door open to return to Virginia Tech next season.

Of course, if Pedulla wanted to play for Calipari, he could simply follow him to Arkansas, but this move by Cal makes you wonder if it affects Pedulla or Nickel's decision to go to Kentucky if they were considering it. It also leaves the door open a crack for Pedulla to return to Blacksburg.

Who knew two weeks ago when Kenny Brooks left Virginia Tech for Kentucky to coach the women that he'd be the longest-tenured hoop coach in Lexington before coaching a single game?