Kansas to retire Mario Chalmers’ jersey at halftime of February 16 game against Texas

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The man responsible for getting Kansas to overtime in the 2008 national title game against Memphis will be given the ultimate honor on February 16, as Mario Chalmers will watch his No. 15 jersey get raised to the Allen Fieldhouse rafters at halftime of the Jayhawks’ game against Texas.

A three-time Big 12 All-Defensive Team selection, Chalmers helped lead the Jayhawks to three Big 12 regular season titles, two Final Four appearances and the program’s most recent national title.

“Mario definitely deserves to have his jersey hung,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said in the release. “He was the most outstanding player in a 2008 Final Four, which featured four number one seeds. He was as clutch of a player as we’ve ever had here.

“He was a guy that seemed like the bigger the stage, the brighter he shined. He had an orneriness and toughness that a lot people didn’t see because they saw the smile. He was an assassin on the court.”

Chalmers ranks second all-time in Kansas history with 283 steals, and he also managed to score 1,341 points during his three seasons in Lawrence. The Anchorage, Alaska native will always be remembered for the shot he hit against Memphis, but there was a lot more to his career than that single moment.

Currently playing for the Miami Heat, Chalmers will joins the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Clyde Lovelette (the only other Jayhawk to win both an NCAA and an NBA title) and Danny Manning in the Allen Fieldhouse rafters.

Chalmers also becomes the second Jayhawk of the Bill Self era to have his jersey retired, with Wayne Simien (who began his KU career playing for Roy Williams) being the first.

“I wouldn’t say I expected [to have my jersey retired], but you know something? One of my goals when I first went to KU was to make a name (for myself) and make sure my name lasts forever in Kansas history,” Chalmers said in the release.

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.