NIT Season Tip-Off

UPDATED: Pitt’s Trey Zeigler popped for DUI

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Trey Zeigler was already struggling as he adjusted to life in a major conference. The last thing he needed was to get pulled over so a DUI, but, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that’s precisely what happened on Sunday morning.

Zeigler “will be charged by mail summons with two misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence”, according to the report, although the details of the arrest and of the punishment he’ll be given by Pitt are not yet known.

(UPDATE: Both Jamie Dixon and Zeigler have released statements:

Dixon: “The incident involving Trey Zeigler is not only surprising, but incredibly disappointing. Although I believe it was out of character for Trey, he has been immediately suspended until further notice. Trey has expressed his deep regret to me and understands and respects the importance of accountability for one’s actions.”

Zeigler:”I want to apologize to my family, the University of Pittsburgh, my teammates and coaches and the entire Pittsburgh community. This is not indicative of the kind of person I am, nor the kind of person I want to be.”

Zeigler has been suspended indefinitely by the school.)

The 6-foot-5 junior transferred into Pitt with much fanfare, as he was a former top 30 recruit that averaged 16.0 points and 6.1 boards last season at Central Michigan. But Zeigler’s father was fired as the head coach at CMU during the offseason, so he left the program and was allowed to enroll at Pitt and play immediately without having to sit out a season.

The early returns haven’t been promising, however Zeigler is coming off the bench and averaging just 6.2 points and he’s yet to hit a three-pointer this season. That shooting prowess is why JJ Moore has played over him in the early going, and Lamar Patterson’s ability to create shots for teammates are why he’s seeing minutes in front of Zeigler. His slashing-style doesn’t exactly fit with this Pitt group, and an arrest is unlikely to help his playing time situation.

Pitt looked good at the Preseason NIT in New York last week, giving Michigan all they could handle before running Delaware off the floor.

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

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.