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UK’s Calipari Pushes Assistant Payne For MSU Job

While Murray State’s Steve Prohm has been mentioned most prominently in connection with the head coaching vacancy at Mississippi State, the name of a current SEC assistant has also been kicked around a bit.  Yesterday, John Calipari did some of the kicking.

Kentucky assistant Kenny Payne is a Mississippi native and Coach Cal thinks his aide would be a good fit at MSU:

“You’re not ready to be a head coach unless you’re ready to say no and ready to create discipline in these kids’ lives, and (Payne) is.  He’s probably tougher on our kids than I am and recruiting speaks for itself.  And he grew up there.  He would be a good choice…

He’s going to have opportunities… Someone is going to say, you know what, we need this program to go to another level.”

Calipari already has a number of ex-assistants who’ve moved on to coach elsewhere.  Bruiser Flint washed out at UMass but he almost got Drexel into the NCAA tourney this year.  Josh Pastner did get Memphis to the Big Dance this year, though they washed out in the first round.  And Tony Barbee is about to begin his third year of rebuilding at Auburn.

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