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The Big Blue Daily Mail -- Kenny Payne Edition

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Well, the word is that Kenny Payne has been offered and accepted the assistant coaching position vacated by Rod Strickland earlier this year.  Congratulations to Kenny, and welcome to Lexington.

As a side note, how ironic is it that a former player for UK's 1996 national championship team is coaching for Louisville (Walter McCarty), and a former player for Louisville's 1986 national championship team (Kenny Payne) is coaching for Kentucky.

Who'da thunk it?  The news follows the jump.

  • Oregon basketball: Dana Altman confirms that Kenny Payne is going to Kentucky |

    Payne, who has coached at Oregon since 2004, has gotten much of the credit for Oregon's recruiting successes in recent years. His departure leaves Altman with just one assistant, Brian Fish, who followed Altman from Creighton.

    It will no doubt hurt the Ducks' recruiting efforts, at least initially, as the next recruiting period is about a month away.

    Uh oh.  Will we now see a bunch of Ducks fans assailing us for "stealing" their best recruiter?

    Those of you planning to head up to the northwestern United States this summer might want to leave your school colors at home. :-)

  • Brandon Knight caps stellar high school career with more awards - Broward High Schools -

    Already the most decorated boys' basketball player in Florida history, Knight added to his haul Wednesday by winning the Herald's 3A-1A Basketball Player of the Award for the fourth consecutive season and the Overall Male Athlete of the Year Award for the second straight time.

    Congratulations to Brandon Knight.

  • Early betting odds for the 2010-11 college basketball season
  • Indian Brothers Inspiring Gigantic Hoops Hype - Chris Littmann - The Sporting Blog - Sporting News

    That's probably a fair assertion, not only because he's right, but because Calipari gets his true pick of the top players in the nation at the moment, so he won't need any special in for this duo probably.

    Who knows if Calipari will even recruit these guys?  They have great size, but they are not athletic.  Still, you can't teach 7'4".

  • Kentucky Basketball Raised Its GPA By a Tenth of a Point: Does It Matter? - Andy Hutchins - The Sporting Blog - Sporting News

    Kentucky bragging on its men's basketball team's minimal improvement seems silly to me, though, when I consider their women's basketball team. They made the Elite Eight just like their male counterparts, and though their spring average is not listed in the article, I'd guess it's around the 2.77 they posted (PDF) in the fall. They also didn't require a ton of spin and extra legwork from the athletic department.

    Exactly right.  Barnhart should just shut up about the men's program except to say that things will get better, and quit trying to make excuses for their performance.  It is better than it was, but only just.  And the women's program should be proud.

  • Bad Things Happen in Threes, Three Times Over - The Daily Gopher

    Jurors ruled yesterday that the University is obliged to pay Jimmy Williams nearly $1.25 million in an employment lawsuit which claimed that he was falsely promised a job by Tubby Smith. Fans can only hope that this incident is now in the past and doesn't influence Tubby to look elsewhere.

    Hard to figure why Smith would look elsewhere based on this.  It seems he made a mistake, and the school's insurance will have to pay.  Maturi was part of the problem, so it's unlikely that Smith will get all the blame, if any.

  • Former Cavs coach Mike Brown should be glad team fired him - Jeff Pearlman -

    Thanks to the Cavs' decision to ax its unambiguously successful coach, Brown has washed his hands of the Cirque du Freak that is LeBron James' free agency. No longer does Brown -- an intelligent and worldly man -- have to swallow his pride in order to woo a 25-year-old kid with the apparent curiosity of a coffee table; no longer does he have to beg and grovel and plead at the feet of someone half his age; no longer does he have to "recruit" his own player with promises of unlimited riches, more personnel power, a date with Cheryl Cole, trades for Dwight Howard, Julius Erving, Bob Cousy and God, and -- if all else fails -- the key to the city of Cleveland (Literally. The real key. The one that opens and closes the joint).

    I'm going to say that I agree with this assessment.  Now, why would Calipari want to step into those shoes and leave the best job in college basketball? 

    He wouldn't, unless he were batsh*t crazy.

  • Minnesota athletics tarnished by mismanagement - News - Opinions -

    It turns out Smith looks better on paper than in person. His resume is impeccable. His work in Dinkytown is spotty. Smith has returned the basketball program to relevance, and to the NCAA Tournament.

    He has not, however, become the ambassador for the program or the university that we assumed he would be. He has not been as visible or as charming as many of us expected.

    If these guys actually expected an "ambassador" for their program in the sense that Calipari is for UK, I could have told them they would be disappointed.  Smith was very quiet here, and he's quiet there.  It's just his way. 

    He is an excellent basketball coach, and he isn't the most charming man in the world, nor does he love the limelight.  If this is coming as a surprise to the Minnesota sports press, it's only because they failed to do their homework.  Smith is just being himself.

  • Turkish spirit catches on in Kentucky - Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review

    "I love basketball very much but I also know there is a life after basketball," Kanter said. "I will be 35 years old someday and will enter a second part of my life. I need to take steps to prepare for that life and only a good education can help me to get there. I am so happy to be enrolled at the University of Kentucky. Not only are the people kind and warm, but the education is excellent and I know this is going to help me to be successful in life."

    Well, he is saying the right things, whether or not he actually means them.

  • Ticket skimming scandal tops $1 million for KU -

    Both the Kansas attorney general and Douglas County district attorney’s offices confirmed they had received copies of the report. But spokesmen said federal prosecutors are taking the lead in the investigation and they would be involved only if asked for assistance.

    This is going to get ugly.

  • Ticket scandal rocks Kansas - College Basketball -
    All the sordid details to date about the Kansas ticket scandal. What a mess.

  • NCAA Facing Its Own Erin Brockovich -- NCAABB FanHouse

    One of the key points of contention in the case will be the legality and enforceability of a document, the "3a form," that all college athletes are required to complete prior to every season. It stipulates, among other things, that athletes allow their schools to utilize their name, image and likeness for promotional use and for-profit endeavors.

    This is interesting.  My question is, how can you sign away your rights in perpetuity using this kind of instrument?

  • High School Sports

    Cobbins, 6 feet 2, 195 pounds, with 4.44 speed in the 40-yard dash, delivered his commitment to Kentucky Coach Joker Phillips via telephone Wednesday, the day before the Roneagles concluded spring practice with a scrimmage at South Lafourche, Cobbins and McDonogh 35 Coach Wayne Reese said Friday.

    Tee Martin is paying dividends already for Joker Phillips.

  • UK Football: Football helps UK GPA improve:

    That was a significant improvement overall for the athletics department from the fall semester and football played a huge role in that increase. After having a combined GPA of 2.35 in the fall, Phillips’ Wildcats raised that mark to 2.66 in the spring. Considering football has more scholarship athletes than any other sport, the team’s improvement was a huge boost to the school’s GPA.

    Congratulations to the football team for getting the academic job done.

  • Husky Men's Basketball Blog | More On Carrick Felix Who Is Reportedly Drawing Interest | Seattle Times Newspaper

    Not sure if the Carrick Felix-to-Washington rumor will pan out, but it seems the 6-6 guard at the College of Southern Idaho is drawing interest from Pac-10 schools.

    Felix didn't like Duke, apparently, so now he's considering the Huskies.