Kentucky basketball doesn't seem to be lagging any money since the departure of John Calipari. The Wildcats have close to $700,000 in new recurring NIL contributions from fans since Mark Pope took over the program, per The Athletic. That number seems to be increasing day-to-day, based on program estimates, and doesn't include the $5 million raised through private donors.

Kentucky's coaching change

Mark Pope
Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Kentucky basketball got hit with a shock wave this offseason, as long-time coach Calipari announced he would leave the school for SEC rival Arkansas. After swinging and missing on Baylor coach Scott Drew and a few others, the Wildcats hired alumnus Mark Pope to take the reins. Pope previously coached at BYU and was a member of the 1996 Kentucky national championship team.

Kentucky's NIL collective Club Blue has $690,000 in pledged contributions recurring annually since the hire, per The Athletic. Pope is making use of that money already, as the Wildcats are working hard in the transfer portal this offseason. Kentucky basketball landed West Virginia transfer guard Kerr Kriisa, who is expected to run the show for the Kentucky offense. The Wildcats also added former McDonalds All-American Brandon Garrison, a big man from Oklahoma State. Kentucky also has five more transfers, at time of writing, with more players expected to head to Lexington.

Kentucky's recent struggles

The Kentucky basketball program has seen some turbulent times in the last few years. The Wildcats have failed to make it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament in their last several tries. The program hasn't made a Final Four since the 2014-15 season, and that is unacceptable in Lexington. The recent tournament struggles were considered to be a primary reason why Calipari decided to head for the exits.

Kentucky's recruiting strategy was seen as another reason for the struggles. The Wildcats relied heavily on true freshmen to lead them under Calipari, and the team struggled to compete against more experienced teams with older players. In his last three NCAA tournament trips, Calipari and Kentucky were upset twice in the first round, and lost in the Round of 32 the other year. Pope's recruiting strategy is proving different so far, as the new coach is leaning more heavily into experience through the transfer portal.

Calipari's new club

Calipari is building the Arkansas basketball program back up. The Razorbacks have one of the top 5 classes in the transfer portal this offseason, per 247 Sports. Calipari seems to be embracing the portal more at his new stop. He has added one of his former players in big man Zvonimir Ivisic, as well as a few other high-profile transfers. Again, more top prospects are expected to head to Fayetteville in the coming days.

Arkansas also has a large pool of NIL money, which was seen as a reason why Calipari decided to make the move. The Arkansas donor base has deep pockets, as NFL owner Jerry Jones is one of the school's supporters. So are other high-profile members of the business community, who have pledged to support Calipari's Razorback program.

It will be certainly interesting to see which program has more success in the next season, as both Kentucky basketball and Arkansas fight for more NIL dollars and top prospects.