What Pac-10 divisions might look like


As two new 12-team conferences take shape (Utah to the Pac-10 was official Wednesday), the question of the day is: What will the divisions look like?

(The real question is what’s going to happen to the names. Big Ten, Pac-10 and Big 12 better be doing some swapping right about now. But I digress.)

The Pac-10 may settle on a North-South alignment fairly quickly. Various reports indicate part of Colorado’s inclusion was to be placed with the Southern California schools (something about a large alumni base in SoCal, but I’d guess recruiting was equally important), so it’ll dictate 6-team divisions along these lines.

North                    South
Washington          USC
Washington St.    UCLA
Oregon                 Arizona
Oregon State      Arizona State
Cal                        Colorado
Stanford              Utah

That alignment figures to hurt the north a bit in terms of recruiting and could set up a scenario where one team ends up dominating the north (Oregon in football, Washington in hoops), while the south would be a little more competitive. But that’s at first glance.

Hoops-wise, are divisions even necessary? Would it make more sense to treat schedules like the Big East and vary which teams you play twice every season (not counting your natural rival, of course.) Most of this applies to football.

Maybe the Pac-10 should try a different approach.

A more interesting division breakdown was proposed by Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News: Treat ’em like a zipper, That is, place natural rivals (UCLA-USC, Oregon-Oregon State) in separate divisions. Rivals would be guaranteed to play each other once a year, and go from there.

Such as: Arizona, USC, Stanford, Oregon State, Washington State and Colorado in one division; Arizona State, UCLA, Cal, Oregon, Washington and Utah in the other.

It’s hard to see that proposal catching on – I like the idea of rivals always playing each other and not having geography dictate everything, but what about bragging rights in the standings? – but it’s not a bad start.

Now, about that name…

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter, usually talkin’ hoops.

Former Wichita State assistant returns as a consultant

Chris Jans, Gregg Marshall
Associated Press
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Prior to a one-year stint as the head coach coach at Bowling Green that came to an end in early April as a result of an incident at a Bowling Green restaurant, Chris Jans was a member of Gregg Marshall’s coaching staff at Wichita State from 2007-14. During those seven seasons Jans was a key figure as the Shockers made the progression to a respected national power.

Jans is back in Wichita, with Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle reporting Thursday that he’s serving as a consultant to the program. Jans’ consulting agreement runs for 45 days, which the school can renew, and he’ll be paid $10,000 for the work. While Jans isn’t allowed to do any coaching, he can watch practices and provide Marshall and the coaching staff with his observations.

“He will be able to consult with the coaching staff, only on what he observes in practice,” said Darron Boatright, WSU deputy athletics director. “By NCAA rule, a consultant is not allowed to have communication with student-athletes … not about basketball-related activities or performance.”

While Jans (who according to the story has served in a similar role for another school) can’t do any coaching in this role, his return does give Marshall another trusted voice to call upon when needed. Wichita State bid farewell to an assistant coach this spring with Steve Forbes being hired as the head coach at East Tennessee State, with his position being filled by former Sunrise Christian Academy coach Kyle Lindsted.

h/t ShockerHoops.net

AUDIO: Rick Pitino discusses allegations, future at Louisville

Rick Pitino
Associated Press
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Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.

The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.

“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.

“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.

“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”

Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.