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Barbee, Justus reportedly moving on in possible staff shakeup at UK

UK assistant coaches Joel Justus and Tony Barbee are reportedly leaving the program. (UK Athletics Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky (KT) — The rumor mill has been swirling and changes could be in store at the University of Kentucky next season.

Several media outlets, including ESPN, are reporting that Kentucky assistant men’s basketball coaches Tony Barbee and Joel Justus could be on the move. Barbee, also a former head coach at Auburn and UTEP, is reportedly set to be the next coach at Central Michigan, while Justus is reportedly taking an assistant coaching position at Arizona State.

The Wildcats are coming off a disappointing 9-16 season and missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2013 season. Kentucky coach John Calipari said following the season that changes could be in store for the Wildcats during the off-season.

“We gotta evaluate everything,” Calipari said. “We can’t do it emotionally. We have to do it thoughtfully. We all know this is Kentucky. Unacceptable what just happened. This is going to be a big summer for us.”

The Kentucky coach said last season was “unacceptable” and said his priority is to avoid another losing record.

“We all know why we’re here: to compete and win national titles,” he said. “I’m not satisfied. My whole mission now is,  let’s put this behind us and let’s continue to say, ‘This is Kentucky. This is a standard.’ And there are a lot of happy people out there that we had this kind of year. And you know what? Enjoy your time now, next year is going to come soon enough.”

Former Kentucky assistant coach Orlando Antigua has been rumored as a possible replacement on Calipari’s staff. Antigua has been an assistant coach at Illinois for the past four years and served as an assistant to Calipari at Kentucky from 2009-14.

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Keith Taylor
Keith Taylor is an award-winning journalist who has covered Kentucky athletics since 1995. He is the sports editor of Kentucky Today and his work appears in 12 daily newspapers as well as various weekly and web sites throughout the state. Reach him at Keith.taylor@kentuckytoday.com or twitter @keithtaylor 21.

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