Report: Miss. St., Kenny Payne meet

Updated: March 31, 2012, 12:50 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin met Friday with Kentucky assistant coach Kenny Payne, Yahoo! Sports reported Friday, citing anonymous sources.

The pair met Friday at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in New Orleans, Yahoo! reported.

Mississippi State has a head-coaching vacancy after Rick Stansbury retired earlier this month.

Payne, a native of Laurel, Miss., is in his second season with Kentucky after spending six seasons as an assistant at Oregon.

On Thursday, the top recruit from Mississippi, Devonta Pollard, told the (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger that he was no longer considering the Bulldogs after Stansbury's retirement, but he might change his mind if Mississippi State hires Payne, Georgetown assistant Robert Kirby or Callaway High School coach Wayne Brent.

Mississippi State interviewed Valparaiso's Bryce Drew on Tuesday, sources told ESPN.com, although Drew later decided to sign an extension at Valpo. The school interviewed Murray State's Steve Prohm last week, but the Racers announced Monday that Prohm also had signed an extension. Bulldogs officials also have spoken with Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Rob Jeter, who is not expected to get the job.

Kentucky plays Louisville in the Final Four on Saturday.