With Donnie Tyndall off to Tennessee, there is now a new head coaching vacancy down there in Hattiesburg at Southern Miss and one of the names being tossed around in the early stages is Kenny Payne. Payne was a candidate for the Golden Eagles job two years ago when Tyndall was hired to replace Larry Eustacy; CBSSports.com’s Jon Rothstein went as far as to tweet at the time: “Southern Miss’ replacement for Larry Eustachy should begin and end with UK assistant Kenny Payne.”
Payne is from Laurel, Mississippi, 30 minutes from the Southern Miss campus, and has several ties to the area. He’s also a proven recruiter nationally, one of the top assistants in college basketball.
It’ll be tough to see Payne go if this picks up steam and a hire is made, especially after seeing UK lose Orlando Antigua earlier this month, but it would be a good move for both parties. Payne returns home; Southern Miss gets a great coach.
We’ll keep an eye on it.