NC State walk-on guard Staats Battle charged with driving while impaired

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In the early hours of New Year’s Day, NC State walk-on guard Staats Battle was arrested on a charge of driving while impaired, as reported by WRAL television in Raleigh.

Battle, who did not dress for games against Boston College and Georgia Tech, has played in just seven games this season and played a total of ten minutes.

Head coach Mark Gottfried released the following statement on Battle’s legal situation and status on the team:

“We are aware of this unfortunate incident and have talked to Staats and his parents about it. Any further issue would result in his dismissal from the team.”

Obviously not having Battle available isn’t a major blow for the Wolfpack, who have won nine straight and host No. 1 Duke on Saturday afternoon.

The responsibilities for a walk-on are straightforward: go to class (getting good grades, of course), give the players in the rotation a good look in practice every day and stay out of trouble.

And doing those things won’t necessarily guarantee you “token” minutes at the end of games either.

Failure to uphold one’s responsibilities in the classroom or in society can lead to a shorter leash for a walk-on, because as callous as it is to say those players are essentially a dime a dozen on a major college campus.

But the most important aspect of this story is that no one was injured. No word from NC State on when Battle will be back with the team but hopefully when the time comes he’ll return having learned his lesson.

Photo credit: NC State Athletics

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

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.

Boise State loses guard Harwell to torn ACL

Leon Rice
Associated Press
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Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.

Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.

Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.