The Floyd Street Tribune: How Kenny Payne's first Louisville staff fits together
Inside: The ways Kenny Payne's first three assistants at Louisville cover a number of buckets. Plus, a lengthy look at recruiting for the 2022-23 season.
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One Medium Thought: What Kenny Payne’s three hires say about him
Building a coaching staff is a lot like building a roster: You need versatile personnel who have that go-to calling card while also bringing their talents to other areas. That’s my view of Kenny Payne’s hiring of Josh Jamieson, the long-time director of basketball operations at Oregon, which came as a bit of a surprise on Wednesday.
There are a number of directions Payne could’ve gone with the third assistant hire after his first two. He locked up an ex-head coach who is a college basketball legend and former NBA All-Star in Danny Manning, and he added a young ace recruiter and former star guard in Nolan Smith. You have two brand-name former players — both NBA Draft picks, All-Americans and national champs who played at blue-blood programs — who can coach guards (Smith) and coach bigs (Manning). So when the third assistant spot needed to be filled, Payne opted to go for an organizer, a guy he trusts, another coach with deep Nike connections. He went with a guy who can help him run a program in his first year as a college basketball head coach.
“(It was) his background,” Payne said Wednesday. “He graduated business school. He’s very organized, (can) put together practice plans, game prep. … When I tell you, this man is really smart, I’m under-selling it. He is more than what I’m telling you.”