One person’s gain is another’s pain.
Over the last 24 hours Kentucky fans have gained newfound offseason optimism by adding shooting guard CJ Fredrick and assistant coaches Orlando Antigua and Chin Coleman. Fans at their former schools in Iowa and Illinois are not happy.
The jabs from Iowa began when Fredrick entered the transfer portal. Fran McCaffrey’s program issued a one-sentence statement before Fredrick could make the announcement. Shortly after, their compliance department Tweeted this:
— Hawkeye Compliance (@UIowaCompliance) April 20, 2021
Iowa also has an ax to grind with UK’s new assistants, particularly Chin Coleman. After the Illini lost to the Hawkeyes in February of 2020, Coleman shared some words with McCaffrey, who reacted as expected by throwing a temper tantrum and storming out of the handshake line.
Little verbal confrontation between Fran McCaffery and Illinois assistant Ron “Chin” Coleman after the Iowa win. pic.twitter.com/YguUYJJeGO
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) February 2, 2020
Illinois fans have known for a few weeks that their top two assistants were likely on their way out the door. Once news broke Thursday morning, the Illinois Loyalty message board lit up with comments from fans who had plenty of grievances to share.
Most fans are grateful for the coaches’ contributions, yet are also eager to get the “stone-steppers” out of town as soon as possible.
One fan is resorting to his rosary in hopes that the school can find suitable replacements.
Of all the reactions, I never thought one fan would describe losing their top assistants to Kentucky as an “honor.”
McCaffrey may not be happy about Fredrick’s departure, but Illinois head coach Brad Underwood is taking the high road. Shortly after the news dropped, he thanked his former assistants and wished them good luck in Lexington.
“Orlando and Chin have been instrumental in the building of this program from day one, and they deserve a lot of credit for the success that we’ve experienced,” Underwood said in a statement. “They are dear friends who I’ll miss working alongside each day, and I am grateful for the impact they’ve had on my life, which is bigger than basketball. All the best to Coach O and Coach Chin from the Fighting Illini.”