Episode four of the College Basketball Podcast is here to ring in the new year. Host Troy Machir is joined by expert college hoops insider Jeff Goodman of CBSsports.com to check the pulse of the college basketball world.
The show opens up with a reminder of the podcast’s core values: We’re here to talk hoops. We didn’t bring Jeff on to ask him about his Christmas presents or his New Years plans. The CBT Podcast is dubbed “The best 30 minutes in college basketball” for a reason.
We dive right in to recapping the action and setting the tables for conference play. The Big-10, Big East and SEC are all discussed and Jeff tries his best to predict the top-5 in each conference.
But the overarching theme of the podcast is “leadership”. Michigan State is trying to replace Draymond Green, one of the greatest leaders in college hoops history. Louisville, who Jeff still thinks is the best team in the country, has a terrific leader in senior guard Peyton Siva. Across the state in Lexington, the Wildcats are looking for leadership out of freshman Alex Poythress, who has struggled recently to get himself involved in important moments in games.
Finally, we hand out some awards for the first two months. You will be surprised to hear who Jeff thinks is “most improved”.
So if you’re ready for the best 30 minutes in college basketball, click “play” or open the link below and let’s get things started.
What did you think about the podcast? Have a question you want featured on the next episode? Have suggestions about the format? Let Troy Machir know by contacting him on Twitter at @TroyMachir
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.