Confidence in Bruce Pearl's Auburn basketball recruiting higher than ever after Calipari leaves UK for Arkansas

Auburn Tigers head coach Bruce Pearl and Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari shake hands
Auburn Tigers head coach Bruce Pearl and Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari shake hands / Jake Crandall / USA TODAY NETWORK

Forget about Bruce Pearl taking the Kentucky job after John Calipari shockingly left Lexington to take the Arkansas job Eric Musselman's own departure opened up -- Auburn Daily's Andrew Stefaniak sees the Auburn basketball program reaching new heights after the Wildcats' world-beating run on the recruiting trail is set to take a step back with UK's massive coaching loss.

Stefaniak predicted the Tigers having their best recruiting haul ever in 2025 with the SEC's most successful program losing its mastermind.

"Hopefully, Calipari leaving for Arkansas will help Coach Bruce Pearl get a leg up on the recruiting trail," Stefaniak prefaced before saying, "Now, Coach Calipari will still try and recruit these players to Arkansas more than likely, so it will still be a battle, but Calipari getting out of Lexington could help the Tigers on the recruiting trail."

Auburn basketball can be biggest beneficiary of SEC coaching turnover, conference success

The saying, "rising tides lift all boats," is especially true right now with Nate Oats lifting Alabama to a Final Four appearance. Oats is a Kentucky candidate, more seriously a candidate than Pearl, but he also signed an extension to stay in Tuscaloosa. Alabama likely isn't losing their program-raising head coach either.

The more relevant the Tide is, the more top national recruits will be looking at the state as an option, and the Iron Bowl of Basketball specifically. The SEC eating can inadvertently lead to AU's plate being full too.

That's only possible because Kentucky isn't what it used to be, and Arkansas isn't about to become what the Wildcats were just because Calipari is there. The king is dead, and the underlings are about to take over the kingdom.

Auburn and Alabama can rise together and the rivalry can/will intensify in that scenario. But forget the Tide for a second; hard as their fans make that.

AU can rise from everything going on around it if Bruce continues building what he has.