The Memphis Tigers are set to hire Penny Hardaway, and he’s already targeting assistants for his staff.
According to USA Today reporter Dan Wolken, current UK assistant coach Tony Barbee is being considered for Hardaway’s new staff.
Barbee has been at UK since the 2014-15 season. He came to Lexington as a special replacement for Orlando Antigua, who left that year to become head coach at South Florida.
Antigua was later fired, and he spent this past season as an assistant at Illinois. One would think Antigua will be a replacement for Barbee if he leaves, but Antigua won’t be back unless a current assistant leaves. Maybe that ends up being Barbee.
However, fellow UK assistant coach Kenny Payne is considered to be a head-coaching candidate this year, though there’s not been any real chatter on schools being interested in him, yet.
Barbee played under John Calipari at Massachusetts and served nine years as his assistant there and at Memphis. He is 131-127 overall as a head coach, but was 49-75 in four years at Auburn before being fired in 2014. He also coached four seasons at UTEP, where he had great success before taking the Auburn job.
I doubt anything would be finalized with Barbee before the season ends, which hopefully isn’t for a few more weeks. They may agree to something, but Barbee will be coaching at UK until the Cats’ season ends, hopefully in Texas for the Final Four.
If Barbee does leave, who would you like to see replace him on UK’s staff?