Ryan Kelly had surgery to repair damage to the same foot he broke earlier this season, his second surgery on the foot in 13 months, according to multiple reports.
The Duke forward, who was a senior this season, missed 13 games after breaking the foot in a win over Clemson on Jan. 8. He averaged 12.9 points, 5.3 rebounds this season.
After returning with authority right after the injury — the 6-11, 230-pound Kelly scored a season-high 36 on 10-of-14 shooting, including 7-of-9 from three in 32 minutes in a 79-76 win over Miami on March 2 — Kelly’s production tapered off late in the season. He scored 18 in the Blue Devils’ next game, a win over Virginia Tech, but never scored more than his nine-point effort in Duke’s Sweet 16 win over Michigan State for the rest of the season, ending with a seven-point game in the Elite Eight loss to Louisville. Sounds like there might have been a legitimate reason.
Can’t blame a senior for wanting to play his final games in college, injury and all.
The surgery, while a short-term setback, should help Kelly get healthy and catch on with an NBA team, at the very least for the summer. The league likes big shooters (Steve Novak comes to mind when comparing Kelly, duh) and Kelly shot 42 percent from three-point range and 81.2 percent from the free throw line this season.
Kelly’s career at Duke is one to be admired. He steadily improved his scoring average each year. Going from 1.2 points as a freshman to 12.9 as a senior. And also built his game around the arch — from 26.3 percent as a frosh to his percentage this season.
Those last two paragraphs alone could get Kelly a shot. I mean, just down the road, the Charlotte Bobcats need all the help they can get.
Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten
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.
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.