Malick Kone, Fuquan Edwin

Rutgers sophomore wing Malick Kone to transfer

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With two junior college wings in Rutgers’ incoming recruiting class, playing time was likely to be an issue for 6-6 sophomore guard/forward Malick Kone next season.

On Friday morning it was reported that Kone, who averaged 2.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game this season, has decided to transfer. The news was first reported by Alex Kline of The Recruit Scoop.

Kone played in 28 of Rutgers’ 31 games in 2012-13, averaging 10.4 minutes per game and shooting 40.9% from the field.

Even with the graduation of Dane Miller minutes were going to be tough to come by, as both Chris Griffin (Wabash Valley College) and Craig Brown (Broward JC) are expected to have an impact in 2013-14.

Rutgers will also add point guard Shane Rector to the program, and if the one-time St. Raymond’s HS (Bronx, N.Y.) product can contribute at the point immediately that would ultimately lead to Eli Carter and Myles Mack seeing even more time off the ball.

How would that affect a player like Kone? If Coach Rice can go small at times with those three (junior Jerome Seagears would also factor into the equation) that would cut into the minutes available to the wings.

Kone, who attended St. George (Va.) Blue Ridge HS after moving to the United State from the west African nation of Guinea, also received interest from schools such as East Carolina, Jacksonville, Marshall, Penn State, Virginia and Virginia Tech before committing to Rutgers.

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.