Julius Randle on Kansas: ‘That was a great visit’


One of the nation’s top remaining recruits wrapped up his official visits this past weekend in Lawrence. Julius Randle (Prestonwood Christian/Plano, Texas) was inside Allen Fieldhouse for the Jayhawks’ 73-47 win over Texas as former KU stars were in attendance.

Being inside one of the best college basketball environments was more than enough for the 6-foot-9 Randle to enjoy his time in Kansas.

“That was a great visit,” wrote Randle in his player blog for USA Today. “Kansas really made a big impression on me. I know I’d have a legit chance to win a national championship there.

“Those fans were really loud. I mean those fans were just crazy. They might’ve been the best fans I’ve seen. They chanted all throughout the game and they were loud. I heard it pretty loud at N.C. State, but these guys were just loud.”

The top-ranked power forward has given high praise to other visits in the past, going as far to say his visit at North Carolina State back in January was, at the time, his best.

Randle had previously been to Kentucky, Florida, N.C. State and Texas before spending Saturday in Lawrence. During his time at the game, Randle mentioned that he got to be around former KU bigs Thomas Robinson, while Marcus and Marikeff Morris were also there.

With alumni present, a big win and an always loud crowd, Bill Self put himself in a good position to potentially land a sixth commit for his incoming class. Kansas is looking to add some size in this class to go along with 7-footer Joel Embiid (The Rock School/Gainesville, Fla.)

Before his visit, Randle also made a return to the floor, after being sidelined with a foot injury since late November. In limited minutes, the No. 2 ranked recruit in the Class of 2013, went for a double-double of 19 points and 10 boards.

No date has been set for an announcement.

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.