Why John Calipari will have huge success with Arkansas basketball

Many wonder if John Calipari will succeed at the highest levels at Arkansas. Here's why he will.
University of Arkansas Introduces John Calipari
University of Arkansas Introduces John Calipari / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages
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John Calipari and Arkansas. At first, it might seem like a strange fit to some people.

Will an east-coast guy be a fit in Fayetteville? Does the 65-year-old still have what it takes to win at the highest levels of the sport? Is Calipari willing to adapt to the changing world of college basketball?

Those are all valid questions to ask about the new man in charge of the Razorbacks. After all, this move isn't necessarily a slam dunk (no coaching hire ever really is when it is made), even if it is about as good of a move as Arkansas could have made after losing Eric Musselman to USC.

However, there are plenty of reasons to believe that this move will be successful. Let's look at why Arkansas fans should have wild optimism about the Calipari era.

Arkansas has Big NIL capabilities

Never in the history of the sport has money talked louder than it does currently. Fortunately, Arkansas appears to be flush with cash for its N.I.L. program.

It is being reported that Arkansas will have an N.I.L. budget of at least $5 million to work with. That would be one of the deepest N.I.L. pools in the nation.

According to On3Sports, Calipari "will have 'at least' $5 million annually in NIL funds to disperse. The same source estimated the budget will be in the $6 million ballpark. That will place the Razorbacks at the top of the sport, where typical Power 4 budgets range from $1 to $4 million."

Of course, there are some big names set to support this program. The Tyson family (of Tyson's chicken) and the Waltons (of Wal-Mart) have more than enough money to support a college hoops N.I.L. To those folks, $6 million dollars would be less than a drop in the bucket meaning that whatever Calipari needs financially, he will get.

Now, Calipari will have to figure out how to best utilize his budget. At Kentucky, he dealt almost exclusively with bringing in high school players. Will he do the same at Arkansas or will he finally embrace the transfer portal? Either way, having the resources to land top talent from whichever pool he decides to fish in won't be a problem.