For the second year in a row, the Knicks lost one of their assistant coaches to the NCAA.
Louisville is expected to name alumnus Kenny Payne as the team’s next head coach on Friday, according to multiple reports. He joined the Knicks last year to join Tom Thibodeau’s staff after spending a decade as an assistant to John Calipari in Kentucky from 2010-20.
The Knicks also lost Mike Woodson to his alma mater, Indiana, last March, and he led the Hoosiers to a First Four victory over Wyoming on Tuesday night in the school’s first tournament appearance since 2016.
Louisville finished the regular season with a 13-19 record and fired head coach Chris Mack in late January.
RJ Barrett played a season for retired coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, and Thibodeau coached alongside Coach K with USA Basketball. Both are eyeing Krzyzewski’s latest foray into the NCAA tournament, beginning with Friday’s first-round game of the No. 2-seeded Blue Devils against Cal State-Fullerton.
‘Man, he’s been at this a long time, a long time. I’m happy for him; he’s had a great career,” Barrett said before scoring 31 points in the Knicks’ 128-98 win over the Trail Blazers. “Hopefully they go out there and win in the end. Of course that would be for the best. I’m happy for him; happy that I got to be one of his boys.”
“I mean, his career speaks for itself,” added Thibodeau. “He’s a great friend. And that’s why he’s just happy that he’s happy with everything that turned out. I think when he gets a chance to step back and look back, he’s just so unique and so special.”
Quentin Grimes (dislocated kneecap), Derrick Rose (ankle) and Nerlens Noel (foot) stayed out for the Knicks.
Thibodeau said Grimes is “very close” to making his first appearance since February 16, possibly on Friday against the Wizards.
https://nypost.com/2022/03/17/knicks-kenny-payne-expected-to-be-named-louisville-coach/ Knicks’ Kenny Payne expected to be named Louisville coach