Analyst predicts Bruce Pearl winning a title at Kentucky if he leaves Auburn for UK

Yale v Auburn
Yale v Auburn / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

USA Today's Blake Toppmeyer predicts a championship for the supposedly big-ego'd Bruce Pearl if he were to leave his head coaching post at Auburn for the recently-vacated Kentucky job; one that shockingly opened up on April 7 deep into the night when John Calipari took the Arkansas job. The Razorbacks job had been open after Eric Musselman left Fayetteville for USC's position.

"A big ego is useful in this job. Kentucky's coach must be comfortable in his skin, be immune to pressure, and operate with complete confidence," Toppemeyer prefaced before saying, "Who does that sound like? Bruce Pearl. Pearl never has coached at a basketball-first school, but he’s taken two football schools (Tennessee and Auburn) to their deepest NCAA Tournament runs in program history.

"Yes, Pearl and Auburn just lost to Yale in March Madness. Don’t be a victim of the moment. He took Auburn – yes, Auburn – to a Final Four, and he breathed enough energy into that program to transform Neville Arena into a rockin’ venue. Give Pearl five years at Kentucky, and I think he’d win a national championship."

Kentucky job enticing to Bruce Pearl, but there's unfinished business at Auburn

Losing to Yale in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and immediately leaving town to coach for a program that's made a habit of saying that the Tigers hosting them at the Neville Arena is Auburn's Super Bowl doesn't feel like the logical conclusion to Pearl's Plains story.

Especially not after an SEC Tournament victory.

Pearl has the support of John Cohen and AU's higher-ups and could be returning several key members of the 2023-24 team; none more important than future NBA big man Johni Broome. While several pieces have been lost to the transfer portal like KD Johnson and Tre Donaldson, Pearl is bringing on high upside guards in Tahaad Pettiford and Jahki Howard to replace them.

Steven Pearl could be the eventual Tigers head coach, but it just doesn't seem like now is the time for Bruce to move on.