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There weren't many things that could get Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl more motivated in this offseason after the Vols' first-round NCAA tournament loss.
But Kentucky just did when it pushed the button Tuesday to hire John Calipari away from Memphis.
"It doesn't take much to get my batteries recharged,'' Pearl said. "Not playing last weekend was enough.
"But this ... John Calipari will bring another level of energy to this league.''
Pearl became the first coach in SEC history to finish ahead of Kentucky four consecutive years this past season.
But Pearl acknowledges staying ahead of the Wildcats for a fifth straight year likely will be more difficult with Calipari at the helm.
"John Calipari will absolutely elevate the quality of our league,'' Pearl said.
"He will force us all to continue to recruit at the highest level, because he will upgrade their talent.
"I promise you, the talent level at Kentucky will increase dramatically.''
Pearl said Calipari's addition elevates the SEC Eastern Division coaching ranks to epic proportions.
"To be in a division with Florida and Kentucky, and now also with Billy Donovan and John Calipari, you are talking about two of the brightest stars in college basketball,'' Pearl said.
"It will make championships worth even more, and of course, harder to get.
"I think it's a great thing for our league.''
Pearl is 2-2 in his annual battles against Calipari at Memphis.
The Vols fell to Calipari and the Tigers in Knoxville, 54-52, this season, a loss that knocked them out of the national rankings for the remainder of the year.
Last season, Tennessee's 66-62 victory at previously unbeaten Memphis gave the Vols their first No. 1 ranking in school history.