State rules require that all state job openings must be posted for seven days before they are filled. Those seven days are now up for the UK Assistant Basketball Coach job and the winner may have been picked. Multiple people tell me that Kenny Payne, the assistant at Oregon who has taken on “Matt Pilgrim like” internet Beast qualities (I sometimes wonder if Payne is the college recruiting Bill Brasky…”Kenny Payne can recruit anyone no matter what….I once saw Kenny Payne get a player to commit while he was watching “Dancing with the Stars” and singing Adam Lambert falsetto!”) was in town this weekend to meet with Calipari and the crew. Late last week I was told that the staff hoped to have the opening filled by early next week and with Payne in town, it seems that he will be the likely choice.
All indications are that Payne is a recruiting giant, and considering his connections with Nike and many high school players, will make an otherwise tremendous recruiting staff even better (although one might ask how much better can it be?). He went to Louisville in the late 80s and seems to be the better of the “we take Kenny Payne, you take Steve Masiello” former player assistant trade with the Cardinals. If the visit went well (including dinner at Bakers 360 I am told), then the college basketball world should once again be on notice…UK has no plans to lose any player…ever.