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Why Louisville Cardinals may seek Kenny Payne as a replacement for Rick Pitino

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The Kentucky assistant has Louisville connections.

NCAA Basketball: South Carolina at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

With Rick Pitino being fired today, the Louisville Cardinals will look for a replacement to attempt to lead the program out of a very dark period of scandal.

One of their candidates may be right next Lexington. Kentucky assistant Kenny Payne played for Louisville, and was apart of the 1986 Cardinals National Championship team.

After being drafted to the Philadelphia 76ers, Payne had a pro career that spanned 11 years, though most of that was overseas.

He began coaching in 2004, joining Oregon’s staff as an assistant. He was hired by Kentucky in 2010, and has been here since. He met with Mississippi State’s athletic director in 2012 when they had a head coaching vacancy, but nothing more came of the situation.

The Courier-Journal also listed Payne among the top candidates to replace Pitino.

Is it likely? Probably not. But Payne played for the Cards, and they’re going to need someone to carry them out of this.

They’d probably like that someone to actually be able to beat Coach Cal, and Payne might have a few ideas on how to do that.

Oh, and here’s a video of Kenny Payne dunking a long time ago.

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