Arkansas v Missouri

Marshawn Powell tweets he’s entering the NBA Draft

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Arkansas forward Marshawn Powell is headed to the NBA Draft, if his tweet is any indication.

The redshirt junior has chosen to forgo his senior season and enter the June draft. Powell averaged 15.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and shot 48.7-percent from the floor this season for the Razorbacks. He played in the two games in 2011-12 before a knee injury sidelined him for the rest of the year.

A Newport News, Va. native, the 6-7, 240-pounder is a bit of an undersized big man, which he came to Arkansas as, but has developed an offensive game that has become consistent from 15-feet and in, and has expanded his perimeter game. He set a career high going 27-for-78 from three-point range this season. In two full seasons prior, Powell shot a combined 15-for-65 from deep.

(CLICK HERE to follow along with who is turning pro and who is returning to school.)

After a monster freshman season in which Powell averaged 14.9 points and 6.7 rebounds, he decided to come back to campus, and endured a sophomore campaign in which he was hampered by a foot injury that brought his production down to 10.8 and 4.5 per game. He finally got healthy prior to this season and it definitely showed, as Powell looked like the prospect that everyone saw as a freshman.

He’s developed nicely. But where does he go in the draft? Does he go at all? He’s not listed on latest projections. He’d be a good fit for a team like Utah, that has thrived with a number of undersized big men. He’s averaged over a block per game in two of his three full seasons in Fayetteville.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

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.