Rick Barnes says he nearly left Tennessee for UCLA: ‘I think I would have been the coach at UCLA’ | NCAA Basketball

Rick Barnes’ determination to stay Tennessee’s males’s basketball coach, it appears, got here all the way down to UCLA’s refusal to pay his buyout.

Barnes, talking with media on Tuesday, was candid about his decision-making process when it got here to selecting to stay at Tennessee or take over at UCLA. In the long run, Barnes mentioned his decisioin to stay at Tennessee got here all the way down to his and UCLA’s incapacity to work out his buyout. 

“It has to make sense from a monetary standpoint. And the underside line is, we simply could not work it out, the buyout,” Barnes informed reporters (via David Ubben). 

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Barnes, when requested if he’d be at UCLA if the Bruins had lined it, mentioned, “I believe I’d have been the coach at UCLA.”

Barnes, who simply concluded his fourth season at Tennessee, has coached the Volunteers to an 88-50 document, an SEC regular-season championship and two NCAA Event berths, together with a visit to the Candy 16 in 2019. The Bruins had reportedly supplied him $5 million per yr.

Barnes later clarified he nonetheless appears like he belongs at Tennessee.

“God informed me I wanted to remain at Tennessee. It’s not simply basketball. I really like this college,” he mentioned (via Sports Illustrated). “I really like this group. I really like this state. I belong right here.”

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UCLA’s teaching search started when it fired Steve Alford in December. The Bruins approached Barnes to be their subsequent head coach after failing to shut a cope with TCU’s Jamie Dixon and, earlier than that, making the head-scratching determination to supply Kentucky’s John Calipari a pay minimize to teach the crew.

Ultimately, UCLA completed its bumbling teaching search by deciding on Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin, who ought to have extra affect and expertise obtainable to him in Los Angeles than he ever had in Cincinnati.

That mentioned, UCLA was one buyout away from getting its third teaching desire in Barnes, versus its fourth in Cronin.

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