Nerlens Noel

John Calipari ‘comfortable’ with Nerlens Noel’s NCAA situation


Priority No. 1 for Kentucky was securing Nerlens Noel’s commitment. Done.

Priority No. 2 was getting him academically cleared. Also done.

Priority No. 3 is what Kentucky is working through now, trying to make sure Noel’s amateur status is intact and that he’ll be able to play this season for the Wildcats.

As the NCAA expands its investigation into the details of his recruitment, reported last month by Pete Thamel of, Kentucky coach John Calipari is optimistic about Noel’s chances of suiting up for UK in 2012-13.

“We feel comfortable,” Calipari told USA TODAY Sports. “It’s a review that those kinds of players go through. When you reclassify, you’re going to have reviews. When you reclassify and some people are mad you reclassified, there are going to be some reviews. That’s how it is. We’re comfortable that he’s done everything he was supposed to do.”

Noel is Kentucky’s answer to the departure of National Player of the Year Anthony Davis, another shot-blocking presence on the interior that the Wildcats hope can anchor the defense.

He reclassified from the Class of 2013 to the Class of 2012, announcing his decision to sign with Kentucky in this spring.

Many analysts had him ranked as the best prospect in the 2012 class, alongside UCLA guard Shabazz Muhammad.

Noel is part of a four-man recruiting class for Kentucky, joining Alex Poythress, Willie Cauley, and Archie Goodwin in Lexington.

He chose Calipari’s Wildcats over Syracuse and Georgetown.

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.