Austin Seferian-Jenkins, James Blasczyk

Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins won’t play hoops this season

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After playing in 17 games as a freshman last season, Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins has decided that he won’t be playing basketball for the Huskies this season.

Seferian-Jenkins finished the 2012 football season with 69 receptions for 852 yards and seven touchdowns.

“I just need to focus on school and get (rested). I don’t feel like I’d be to help the basketball team much right now,” Seferian-Jenkins said in a statement released by the school.

At 6-6, 250 pounds Seferian-Jenkins gave the Huskies another physical body to call on inside last season, averaging 7.2 minutes in the 17 games in which he played.

But as the lone underclassman finalist for the John Mackey Award, which is given annually to the nation’s best tight end, and a second team All-Pac-12 selection this is an important offseason for the sophomore in regards to what he can accomplish on the gridiron.

Washington is in better shape inside now than they were during non-conference play as Shawn Kemp Jr. has played in the last six games after missing the start of the season with a knee injury.

Rebounding’s been a problem for the Huskies all season long, as their defensive rebounding percentage (64.9%) ranks dead last in the Pac-12, and that was going to be a problem even if Seferian-Jenkins were to decide to play.

The Huskies begin Pac-12 play on Saturday night with a visit to rival Washington State.

But for Pac-12 fans who enjoy watching football players on the basketball court don’t get too upset about the news. There’s still Oregon defensive lineman Arik Armstead, who joins the team this weekend, and USC offensive lineman Zach Banner to keep tabs on.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

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.