Doug Collins finally got a gold medal

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We’ve all heard the story and we’ve all seen the video.

The 1972 US Olympic basketball team was cost a gold medal when the Soviet Union was given three chances to inbound the ball and score with just seconds left on the clock and the score 50-49. Doug Collins, who is currently the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, had hit two free throws to give the Americans the lead, but the Soviet Union eventually scored on a layup from Aleksandr Belov for a 51-50 win.

The US protested, but they were never given a gold medal.

Fast forward to 2008, and Doug’s son Chris, an assistant on Coach K’s staff at Duke, was on the coaching staff of the Redeem Team, who won the gold medal in basketball that year. He didn’t receive an actual gold medal, as those are only given to the Olympians, but Jerry Colangelo, the executive director of USA basketball, had replicas made up for everyone on staff.

Chris gave his to his pops:

“To me, it’s the greatest gift of being involved,” Collins said. “I gave the gold medal from 2008 to my dad. It’s one of the proudest things I’ve done in my life because of what happened in ’72.”

Collins said he was moved by the gesture of the team putting their gold medals around his father’s neck in Beijing as a gesture. But he wanted to do it for keeps.

“They went through so much hurt, going through with such a commitment and then having the game swiped away from you,” Collins said. “I’ve always said that if it weren’t for all the funny stuff at the end of the game, my dad might be one of the greatest Olympic heroes for making those two free throws. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who made two pressure-packed free throws in that moment.

“He was robbed of that moment, and for us as a family not to have that medal in our house for this many years, it meant a lot to help him get it. I wasn’t an elite player where I was going to be considered. The only chance was to be a part of the staff and I have for two Olympics and two world championships. It’s been incredible and I owe it all to [Coach K] to be associated with him, making the decision to play for him and to see how it all turned out. It’s been once in a lifetime.”

Those two have a special relationship. Chris turned down the chance to coach at Illinois State — his father’s alma mater, where Doug is a legend with the court named after him — in an effort to avoid putting any kind of tarnish on his father’s legacy there.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Sun Belt approves new scheduling format

Sun Belt Conference
Sun Belt Conference
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With an 11-member setup the Sun Belt Conference has played a 20-game conference schedule the last couple of years, which may be seen as a positive when it comes to determining the regular season champion (home-and-home between every team). But for a conference that spans from North Carolina (Appalachian State) to Texas (UT-Arlington, Texas State) travel was far from easy in that setup.

And with Coastal Carolina joining next season, it was clear that the league needed to do something with its scheduling.

Thursday the Sun Belt members approved an 18-game conference schedule, which will begin with the 2016-17 season when the league consists of 12 members. Included in the agreement is the assignment of travel partners (similar to setups in the Pac-12 and Ivy League), and teams playing no more than three consecutive conference games on the road.

Schools will also be guaranteed at least five weekend home games during conference play, and there will be no more weekends in which teams play conference games both home and away (thus cutting down on travel). Obviously with the addition of Coastal Carolina the Sun Belt needed to make some changes in their scheduling, and this week the conference made the moves they needed to make.

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