Scott Drew turns down Kentucky: Baylor coach will remain with Bears after passing on Wildcats’ offer

Scott Drew turns down Kentucky: Baylor coach will remain with Bears after passing on Wildcats’ offer

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Baylor coach Scott Drew opted to pass on Kentucky’s offer on Thursday after conferring with his family, sources told CBS Sports. It’s the second major opening Drew has turned down this cycle; he was Louisville’s top choice in March but decided to stay with the Bears after the school privately rallied a significant uptick in NIL resources.

The decision boosts a Baylor program all the more. The Bears have one of the best winning percentages in the sport over the past five years and are looking to reload following a 24-11 season that ended with a second-round loss in the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

Baylor’s head man staying put will also keep the Bears near the top of the Big 12 hierarchy. The league expands to 16 teams this year with the additions of Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah. The Bears have a top-10 incoming recruiting class, according to 247Sports, led by five-star prospect and potential No. 1 pick VJ Edgecombe, which should keep them in the mix for conference title contention and beyond.

Drew also passed on an NIL plan at Kentucky that was poised to approach $6 million in the the next 12 months, according to a source. 

So, Kentucky’s search continues. It remains to be seen whether Billy Donovan would be a viable target; he’s still coaching the Chicago Bulls through next week at minimum. UConn’s Dan Hurley has been publicly tabbed as a potential target as well, but the two-time national champion — a Northeast native and East Coast lifer — has given zero indication he would consider leaving the best program in the sport for Lexington.

“Yeah, yeah, I don’t think that’s a concern,” Hurley said Monday night after his Huskies won their second consecutive national championship when asked about whether he’d entertain leaving the school. “My wife, you should have her answer that.”

Drew has accumulated a 446-244 record at Baylor since taking over the program in 2003, building it into a juggernaut after taking the job when it was on the brink of collapsing as a program under scandal. The program has enjoyed numerous firsts under his watch over the last two decades, which includes five Sweet 16s, three Elite Eights and a 2021 Final Four appearance that finished with its first-ever men’s basketball national championship.

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