Tre Johnson, Kyle Cain

Montana State disciplines two players charged with stealing from parked vehicles

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After two players were arrested last weekend on charges of stealing from parked vehicles, Montana State announced the punishments for those two players on Friday.

Junior forward Tre Johnson has been dismissed from the program by head coach Brad Huse, and fellow junior forward Jeff Budnich will remain on the team but faces multiple penalties.

According to the Associated Press, Budnich faces a reduction in his scholarship, a three-game suspension and community service.

The two players have pleaded not guilty to two counts of criminal trespass to a vehicle and two counts theft, but according to court records both acknowledged the acts to the arresting officers.

According to charging documents:

Officers were dispatched to the area near Cooper Park shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday for reports of two men shining flashlights into parked vehicles.

Officers contacted Budinich and Johnson. When asked to empty his pockets, Johnson pulled out a GPS he said didn’t belong to him. He told officers he took the GPS from a truck parked on Sixth Avenue.

Budinich was wearing a backpack he admitted he stole from a vehicle parked on the 1000 block of West Koch Street. He also said they took a camera from the same vehicle.

Johnson started 20 of 26 games last season for the Bobcats, averaging 9.0 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, while Budnich averaged 4.5 points in 25 games played.

With Mohamed Fall being ruled to be out of eligibility by the NCAA to go along with other personnel issues, the Bobcats really couldn’t afford to lose anyone else.

For Brad Huse, he has to be wondering what else could possibly happen with this group of players. Last season, wing man Jamie Stewart was academically ineligible after the first semester. Antonio Biglow had academic issues crop up at his junior college, and missed all of last season. Xavier Blount was injured in a bar fight. Shawn Reid left the team after the season.

Montana State finished last season 12-17, dropping nine of their last ten games, and if Huse’s team is to improve on that this season the personnel problems of last season cannot carry over into 2012-13.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Louisville’s Rick Pitino on allegations: ‘We will get through this’

Rick Pitino
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville coach Rick Pitino remains defiant that his program will survive the allegations in a book by an escort alleging that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players.

Pitino said Tuesday that the Cardinals “will get through this the right way.”

The coach told a packed room at a tipoff luncheon that he understands the motivation behind Katina Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” but questions the need for the alleged activities given the talent his program has produced.

Pitino added, “We will find out the truth, whatever it may be, and those responsible will pay the price.”

Georgia Tech lands Class of 2016 guard

Brian Gregory
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Georgia Tech picked up its third Class of 2016 commitment on Tuesday as the Yellow Jackets landed a pledged from three-star guard Josh Okogie.

The 6-foot-4 guard is considered the No. 143 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016 rankings and Okogie played with a very talented Team CP3 in the Nike EYBL. In 22 games this spring and summer, Okogie averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field.

Okogie joins three-star wing Christian Matthews and four-star big man Romello White in head coach Brian Gregory’s Class of 2016 at Georgia Tech. The group is definitely a solid influx of talent with some coming from successful grassroots programs.