According to a report by Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports, Kentucky assistant coach Kenny Payne met with Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin in New Orleans on Friday.
Murray State head coach Steve Prohm signed a contract extension shortly after talking with Mississippi State and Valparaiso head coach Bryce Dew withdrew his name from consideration as well.
Payne has Mississippi roots, growing up in Laurel and winning the state’s Player of the Year award as a high school senior in 1985.
Payne played his college basketball at Louisville, Kentucky’s opponent on Saturday night.
Before joining Calipari’s staff Payne was an assistant at Oregon for six seasons, and his work with Josh Harrellson is seen as one of the keys to Harrellson’s development into a key cog on a team that went to the Final Four last season.
The one question mark regarding Payne is the connection to William Wesley, known in many circles as “World Wide Wes”.
It will be interesting to see if this serves as any sort of deterrent should Stricklin consider advancing with Payne in the hiring process.
Photo Credit: University of Kentucky