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On Mississippi State: ‘Our program is not in shambles’

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Times are tough in Starkville, Mississippi right now.

Two weeks after Rick Stansbury retired, leaving a coaching vacancy at Mississippi State, the Bulldogs are still without a coach and the man who was reportedly their top target, Murrary State’s Steve Prohm, signed an extension to stay with the Racers.

Valparaiso’s Bryce Drew was reportedly also interviewed the position, but he will be staying in his current position.

But reassuring words (if you’d like to call them that) are coming from a former Mississippi State player who also happens to be the father of a current Bulldog.

Ricky Hood played for Mississippi State from 1978-80 and is the father of Rodney Hood, a freshman who averaged 10.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in his first season.

“Our program is not in shambles as some people make you believe,” the elder Hood told the Clarion-Ledger. “We’re going to have a difficult year, regardless, like most programs do. It’s going to be a different team.”

Arnett Moultrie is reportedly headed to the NBA draft, as is junior Renardo Sidney. Point guard Dee Bost is graduating. We’ll have to see how many of Stansbury’s five recruits for 2012 stick around. It’s difficult to put a bright spin on things until some variables are cleared up.

The Bulldogs lost seven of their last nine games in 2011-12, going from a team who won the 2K Sports Classic in New York City early in the year to a team that finished sixth in the SEC.

We may have to see who Mississippi State ends up hiring before sounding any alarms, but it’s clear that the Bulldogs have work to do.

Also in the Clarion-Ledger report is a word on Rodney Hood, saying that he will wait to see who is hired before deciding whether to leave or stay with the program.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

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.


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.