Louisville Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino directs his team during the first half of the men's NCAA Final Four semi-final college basketball game against the Kentucky Jayhawks in New Orleans

Akoy Agau and Anton Gill among those officially signing with Louisville [Video]

Leave a comment

Louisville officially recognized the five members of its 2013 recruiting class with a press release Wednesday, hours after they signed letters of intent to play for Rick Pitino and the Cardinals.

Below are video highlights of each prospect, along with input from Pitino about each player.

Akoy Agau | F | 6-9 | 240 lbs. (Video Highlights)

“As soon as I saw Akoy, I immediately wanted to see him in a Louisville uniform,” Pitino said in a release. “He’s a triple-threat guy — he scores, passes and handles it very well. He has a very high basketball IQ. He’s won three straight high school championships and that’s the type of player we look for: someone who is conditioned to win. We’re very excited to have him.”

Anton Gill | G | 6-4 | 185 lbs. (Video Highlights)

“Anton is a very gifted athlete who we’ve known for quite some time,” Pitino said. “He shoots it and runs the floor extremely well. He’s a left-hander who is good off the bounce and scores. We’re thrilled to have him as a Cardinal.”

Chris Jones | 5-10 | 195 lbs. (Video Highlights)

“I feel Chris is the best point guard (prospect) in the nation,” Pitino said. “He’s as explosive a point guard at both ends of the floor as I’ve ever recruited. He’s a prolific scorer, tougher than nails, and is a big-time winner. I’m not sure what phase of his game is the best because he’s a great passer, a great rebounder at 5-10, big-time steal guy, big-time scorer and wants to win as much as any player I’ve ever recruited. We needed to have a great one replace Peyton Siva and we have it in Chris Jones.”

Terry Rozier | G | 6-1 | 165 lbs. (Video Highlights)

“Terry is someone we were counting on for this year, but needed a year in prep school,” Pitino said. “He’s an explosive scorer and athlete who plays two positions. He’s a very good on-the-ball defender. We thought he was one of the best guards in the nation last year and is having an outstanding season at Hargrave.”

Mangok Mathiang | C | 6-10 | 210 lbs. (Video Highlights)

“We could not have signed a high school player this year as good as Mangok,” said Pitino. “He gets a year of practice under his belt with us before joining this class on the court next season.”

Note: Mathiang is practicing with the team this season and will have four years of eligibility at the start of the 2013-14 season.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, 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
Leave a comment

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
Leave a comment

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.