Skip to content

Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Kenny Payne got a lot of love

Ally Tucker was at last night’s press conference and she got a firsthand look at what Kenny Payne means to the program… 

The somewhat unexpected star of last night’s press conference was none other than assistant coach Kenny Payne. Kenny Payne, or as the players referred to him over and over again in the press conference, “KP”, got a lot of love last night from the players while they were announcing their decisions, saying their thank you’s and reflecting back upon their time at Kentucky.

Kenny Payne watched the entire press conference from a seat in the balcony overlooking the practice gym, where the five players and Coach Calipari sat in front of a large gathering of media members. Throughout the first few minutes, as the players took their seats behind the microphones and Calipari began to speak, I couldn’t help but notice the players continually looking up and smiling at someone. I discovered quickly that the someone was Kenny Payne. A certain bond was evident between players and coach, a sharing of small moments and laughter. 

And then the players actually had their turn to speak. At least three of the five players (perhaps more, those are just the ones I clearly remember), referenced Kenny Payne (or KP) in some manor during their speeches. The general vibe from their comments was that Kenny Payne puts in immeasurable time working with these players. I gathered that he is clearly the coach that spends the most time with these players on an individual basis in the gym. John Robic has always been clearly defined as the “x’s and o’s guy.” Orlando Antigua has always been touted as the big-time recruiter. Rod Strickland, who will now be joining SMU’s staff, has always been given credit for helping develop the point guards. Kenny Payne seemingly is the “development guy” on the staff. The close bond that the players share with him seems to be the type of bond you form with a coach who pours hours and hours of extra time into you as a player. Payne is obviously that guy for Kentucky.

I remember Payne getting loads of credit for Josh Harrellson’s improved play last season. Calipari often mentioned the workout regimen that Kenny Payne put Josh Harrellson through. The players in last night’s press conference seemed to echo those sentiments entirely.

When the individual (or “breakout interviews”) subsided, the players began to casually mingle with one another. Doron Lamb, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague all clung to Kenny Payne. They were joking, laughing, smiling and interacting constantly with Payne. The rapport could not have appeared any stronger between coach and player.

I left the press conference yesterday thinking about Kenny Payne and his role for this Kentucky program with much more attention than I expected. An article was written recently about Payne’s preference for flying under the radar on Calipari’s staff, showing preference for the behind the scene work. His behind the scene work might deserve more credit than we even know. The camaraderie and gratitude the players all displayed toward Payne was not behind the scenes at all last night. It was on full display.

[KSRCollege.com]

Article written by KSRCollege.com

26 Comments for Kenny Payne got a lot of love



  1. Roggensak
    9:42 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    2nd???



  2. Roggensak
    9:42 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    bwahahahhahahahha



  3. Roggensak
    9:43 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    Go CATS!!!!



  4. Roggensak
    9:44 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    Must be pretty slow tonight???



  5. Roggensak
    9:44 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    Dang???? 4th?



  6. Roggensak
    9:44 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    oh, and 5th and 6th…



  7. Roggensak
    9:45 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    OOooooooo



  8. Roggensak
    9:45 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    C



  9. Roggensak
    9:45 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    A



  10. Roggensak
    9:46 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    T



  11. Roggensak
    9:46 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    S



  12. Floyd
    9:47 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    I think we got the better end of the deal in Payne/Pitino trade.



  13. Roggensak
    9:47 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    Can’t wait for Football to start to hold me over for basketball…



  14. The Rock
    9:48 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    Shhh keep this a secret! We don’t want other schools reading this and trying to hire KP away from us.



  15. tyrus
    9:55 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    Nice one



  16. Bigcat4453
    9:57 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    Kenny has been a strong member of Ky’s coaching staff. He learned a great deal while playing under Denny.



  17. Bigcat4453
    9:57 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    179 days til Big Blue Madness…..



  18. kentuckyjoe
    10:02 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    Good post Ally. I wondered who they were talking about; now I know. It was pretty amazing how almost all of them mentioned him. He’s valuable.



  19. UKRN
    10:05 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    I remember the funny banter back and forth Payne and Terrence had at the Women’s Clinic this fall. His connection to the players was obvious.



  20. BigBlueSkyDog
    10:13 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    It’s great that the Kentucky Effect can even work on a Card. I always liked Kenny Payne.



  21. UKBlue
    10:33 pm April 18, 2012 Permalink

    You could also hear the players thinking him on TV as soon as we won the championship for all the days on the treadmill.



  22. Capt price
    12:10 am April 19, 2012 Permalink

    If cal ever leaves, he should replace him. While we are at it, lets put kp in at football coach.



  23. soggyUKgrad
    3:14 am April 19, 2012 Permalink

    manor is a house. sure you meant manner.



  24. bluesince66
    5:53 am April 19, 2012 Permalink

    While coach Delk was here he was my favorite, after he left coach Payne became my favorite. He does spend alot of time in the gym with the guys.



  25. WestPointCard
    10:01 am April 19, 2012 Permalink

    nice article



  26. ajhjack
    12:54 pm April 19, 2012 Permalink

    Saw KP at the Paducah stop on the Trophy Tour last week. He was hanging around the bus while everyone else was doing the presentation and the group photos. Lots of folks were coming up for autographs, pictures. He posed for a cute photo with my 5-yr old daughter. It’s genuine, he is a super nice guy, not a spotlight-seeker. We were thrilled with them all coming out to see the fans. We are lucky to have the whole coaching staff!