Game of the Night
Vanderbilt 66, Xavier 64 OT: Kyle Fuller scored 12 of his career-high 25 points in overtime as the Commodores went into the Cintas Center and picked up a win they desperately needed, coming back from a 40-27 deficit early in the second half. Fuller gave Vandy the lead for god with 1:26 left in overtime on a leaner in the lane and followed that up with an and-one drive that pushed the lead to four. This is a bad loss for a Xavier team that had been a pleasant surprise early in the season. Vandy is young and, frankly, not very good. They lost to Marist by 17 already this season, scoring 33 points in the process.
No. 4 Syracuse 84, Long Beach State 53: CJ Fair went for 16 points and 13 boards and Michael Carter-Williams added 15 points and 10 assists as the Orange used a vicious press late in the second half to open up a 20 point lead. The 49ers were never able to respond.
No. 11 Cincinnati 87, Arkansas-Little Rock 53: The Bearcats got 18 points from Sean Kilpatrick as they ran over UALR. The score was 44-17 at the half.
No. 17 San Diego State 84, UCSB 70: Chase Tapley went for 23 points and the Aztecs shot 11-17 from three in a win over the Gauchos.
LaDontae Henton, Providence: Henton went for 21 points and 17 boards while playing the full 40 minutes in a 72-57 win over in-state rival URI.
Greg Gantt, Florida Atlantic: Gantt had 34 points and seven boards as the Owls knocked off Stetson 88-78.
Doug McDermott, Creighton: McDermott went for 27 points on 10-19 shooting as the Bluejays beat their in-state rival Nebraska by 22.
James Ennis and Mike Caffey, LBSU: The 49ers shot 29.2% from the floor as a team, but their two stars — Ennis and Caffey — couldn’t hit anything. Ennis was 3-14 from the field and Caffey was 2-7. They’ll need to shoot better to have a shot at beating Ohio State in Columbus.
Arkansas-Little Rock: They had 32 turnovers against Cincinnati. 32. Thirty. Two.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.
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.
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.