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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / September 22.
  • Kentucky Shuffles Staff

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    Kentucky coach John Calipari will have a new-look staff next season.

    Now the question remains whether Calipari himself will stick around.

    Calipari has been linked to various NBA openings and sat near the Cavaliers bench during Game 5 of the Celtics-Cavs series in Cleveland.

    He has also been mentioned in association with the Chicago Bulls job, possibly in some sort of package deal involving LeBron James.

    “I think that any time you’ve got a coach of his quality, there’s going to be conversations about [other jobs],” Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart said Thursday, according to the Louisville Courier Journal. “I’m very confident he’s going to be our coach next year.”

    What is certain is that Rod Strickland, the former Knicks point guard, has been demoted from assistant coach to a non-traveling administrative position following a DUI arrest last month.

    Rob Mullens, the deputy athletic director, will also have a new administrative position.

    “We have a chance to help Rod get to a spot where he is comfortable in his workload and can get back on his feet,” Barnhart said, according to the Courier-Journal.

    In a press release, Calipari called Strickland “a vital part of our success here at Kentucky [who] will continue to be an integral part of our future successes in a non-coaching capacity.”

    Oregon assistant Kenny Payne has been mentioned as a possible Kentucky assistant even though he is currently under contract with the Ducks.

    “As of right now, I have no interest,” Payne said, according to the Courier-Journal. “I’m happy where I am, and I feel comfortable where I am.”

    “We definitely want Kenny to be part of our staff,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said, according to The Register-Guard. “He’s still investigating all his options. I’ve been really impressed with his relationship with the players, and his rapport with people here in the department and around the community. He’s really done a great job of helping us make the transition here in our first two or three weeks.

    “From an experience standpoint, he’d have a lot to offer. We’d like to have him join our staff, but he does have other options. I’m sure he’s going to give those consideration and let us know in the very near future.”

    (Photo courtesy Kentucky Athletics)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.