3-point shot: Calipari keeps staff together

April, 25, 2012
4/25/12
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1. Kentucky coach John Calipari said Tuesday afternoon that Rod Strickland, a director of basketball operations, would be staying with the Wildcats and not heading to work for Larry Brown at SMU. Calipari said his entire coaching staff will remain intact; assistants Kenny Payne and Orlando Antigua had interest in a few openings but never got too far in the process. Assistant John Robic has been a steady presence next to Calipari during his tenure. Meanwhile, Calipari said he’s hopeful that the Wildcats can add one more recruit after already securing a top-five class.

2. Tony Benford could have joined Larry Brown’s staff but made the wise choice. Benford has longed to be a head coach and getting a North Texas gig that will be one of the best in its current and possible future league makes sense. The SMU staff situation continues to be an odd process as the school/Brown search for a possible coach-in-waiting rather than dealing with the now and simply turning to recruiting and coaching. SMU was supposed to hire one coach, not one for now and one for the future.

3. Loyola (Md.) coach Jimmy Patsos would be a great choice for Virginia Tech after he made the NCAAs and coached in the ACC as an assistant. Patsos is a tremendous worker and brings unbelievable enthusiasm. But the Hokies will likely look for high-level coaches they can’t get (VCU’s Shaka Smart), flirt with others who may make too much money or have a buyout (Richmond’s Chris Mooney) before looking at coaches who fit for cost, timing and location of this job. I will be surprised if Virginia Tech were to lure a coach who has a solid, stable situation in a top-eight league.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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