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You Usin' The Whole Fist There, Doc?

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That sound you heard was a collective groan of disappointment from Lexington, Kentucky as Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan announced he will not be interviewing for the coaching vacancy at UK. If you read my morning notes, you know that I'm a bit surprised, as I thought Donovan was likely to take the job.

Now that he's announced he's staying at Florida, the situation is getting complicated. I have several questions.

What should we expect to hear at the 3:00 p.m CT press conference from Florida's back-to-back title winning juniors?

We all assume they're turning pro, but. . . isn't it at least possible that the group decided they want to shoot for a three-peat? And that Coach Donovan's decision was influenced by that? It's almost unfathomable, but if I've learned anything over the last few years, it's that you shouldn't be surprised by anything anymore. We'll see.

Is Rick Barnes the frontrunner for the UK job now?

We haven't heard anything official from UK's athletic department, and Scott McConnell, UT's media relations director for basketball, said that as of today Rick Barnes has not been contacted, so we don't really know anything yet. . . but those with sources are saying that Rick Barnes' name is at or near the top of Kentucky's Plan B list.

Suddenly, this post seems relevant, huh?

What if Rick is the frontrunner, and Kentucky comes a calling. What does Rick do? We know he's not in love with the fan support in Austin, though he likes most everything else about his situation at Texas. If the Kentucky job is, in fact, a dream job in his mind, is he willing to pack his bags and leave the comforts of his situation in Austin?

What about Durant?

Again, we don't know if Rick is the guy Kentucky wants, but let's assume they do. How does this affect Rick Barnes and Durant - both individually and collectively? If you're Barnes, you probably don't want to leave if Durant is returning. If you're Durant, you probably don't want to return if Barnes is departing. Is this a package deal? By that I mean, should we assume that if Durant announces he's staying, Barnes will too? Or if Barnes announces he's leaving, Durant will head to the NBA? Or if Durant announces he's coming back, then Rick won't consider taking another job?

Like it or not, until we hear something more definitive, Texas basketball is officially in dramatic limbo.

At least we'll have something to talk about?

--PB--