Jay Wright

Catholic 7 schools with a forgettable night on Friday

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Tucker Halpern went off the high screen, fading to the corner. He took a high pass, caught, pump faked Josh Fortune into the air, took a dribble and drained his eighth 3-pointer off the night to give Brown a 69-68 lead with seven seconds remaining. Providence got the ball inside the 3-point line, but Vincent Council fumbled the dribble and missed a three, followed by a miss tip-in, as the Bears took down city rival at home Friday night.

Vincent Council, who returned to the PC lineup for the first time since Nov. 10 due to a hamstring injury, went to the line up 67-66 and sank the first free throw, but missed the second, setting up Halpern’s late-game heroics.

Providence was without leading scorer, Bryce Cotton, but the loss to Brown (4-6) was the headlining act for a forgettable night for three members of the Catholic 7.

Besides the PC loss, Villanova and Seton Hall both struggled with the likes of NJIT and Stony Brook.

Villanova was able to pull away late in the second half to beat NJIT 70-60, but it wasn’t easy. NJIT, who started Division I play in 2006, had the game tied a 52 with just over 10 minutes to play. The Highlanders have played three Catholic 7 schools this season before the Villanova game – Providence, Seton Hall, and St. John’s – and lost all three games by a total of 18 points.

Stony Brook almost sneaked out an upset against Seton Hall, but the Pirates held off the Seawolves 60-59. Stony Brook lead 55-51 with 6:21 to play until Seton Hall put together a 7-0 run to get the lead for good. Stony Brook had a chance to win at the buzzer, but a 3-point attempt from Anthony Jackson was off the mark.

Catholic 7 is back in action when Marquette hosts North Carolina Central and DePaul takes on Loyola (IL) on Saturday.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

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.

h/t ShockerHoops.net

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.