C.J. Wilcox, Will Dilorio

Washington guard C.J. Wilcox to return for senior season

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Having lost three of their top four scorers due to graduation, the Washington Huskies could not afford to lose leading scorer C.J. Wilcox to the next level.

Wilcox averaged 16.8 points and 4.3 rebounds for Lorenzo Romar’s team last season, and the 2013-14 roster will feature newcomers and role players who would benefit from playing alongside a player as experienced as Wilcox.

Luckily for the Huskies that will be the case, as Wilcox has decided to return to school for his fifth season (he redshirted as a freshman).

Wilcox, named team MVP at their end of season banquet, was a second team All-Pac-12 selection and managed to generate some second round buzz among those who evaluate NBA prospects.

But after taking time to consider his options with his father the Pleasant Grove, Utah native ultimately decided that a fifth year in Seattle was the best path to take.

“The main thing is that my dad and I were talking and thinking back to about when I first got here and the vision to redshirt my first year and have that last year to become the best player that I can be and lead the team,” Wilcox said.

“We were not expecting the NBA to come into the picture so fast. That kind of got off track and we lost track of the vision. We started to seriously consider it and meeting with agents. But at the end of the day we went back and wanted to finish what we started and come back for my fifth year and lead the team.”

Wilcox, who is just 20 three-pointers away from overtaking Ryan Appleby (231) as the program’s all-time leader in made three-pointers, will combine with redshirt sophomore Andrew Andrews and freshman Nigel Williams-Goss to form a solid perimeter trio next season.

And even with the possibility of UNLV transfer Mike Moser joining the program (Moser is also considering Oregon according to multiple reports) the Huskies already have two talented transfers who will take the floor in 2013.

Perris Blackwell, who was one of the best front cout players in the WCC during his time at San Francisco, and 6-10 FIU transfer Gilles Dierickx are both eligible and will help Washington account for the graduation of center Aziz N’diaye.

Is this all enough to make the Huskies a factor in the Pac-12 race (Arizona and Colorado should be the preseason favorites)? That remains to be seen, but Washington stands a much better chance of having an impact thanks to the return of Wilcox.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Sun Belt approves new scheduling format

Sun Belt Conference
Sun Belt Conference
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With an 11-member setup the Sun Belt Conference has played a 20-game conference schedule the last couple of years, which may be seen as a positive when it comes to determining the regular season champion (home-and-home between every team). But for a conference that spans from North Carolina (Appalachian State) to Texas (UT-Arlington, Texas State) travel was far from easy in that setup.

And with Coastal Carolina joining next season, it was clear that the league needed to do something with its scheduling.

Thursday the Sun Belt members approved an 18-game conference schedule, which will begin with the 2016-17 season when the league consists of 12 members. Included in the agreement is the assignment of travel partners (similar to setups in the Pac-12 and Ivy League), and teams playing no more than three consecutive conference games on the road.

Schools will also be guaranteed at least five weekend home games during conference play, and there will be no more weekends in which teams play conference games both home and away (thus cutting down on travel). Obviously with the addition of Coastal Carolina the Sun Belt needed to make some changes in their scheduling, and this week the conference made the moves they needed to make.

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