Kevin Ware has no doubt he’ll play next season

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The most iconic moment from this year’s NCAA tournament, and possibly this entire college basketball season, was the photo of Kevin Ware laying on his back, the training staff working on his broken leg as he held his teammate’s hands and told them to win the game and not worry about him.

At that point, Ware’s lower leg was, essentially, in two pieces, held together by nothing more than muscle and skin while part of his tibia was exposed, sticking through the skin.

The idea that he would play basketball again in 2013 seemed unlikely, and anyone that watched the injury happen at some point thought that might be the end of Ware’s basketball career.

Nope. Turns out that Ware could possibly end up being ready to play by next season.

“None, honestly,” Ware said when asked by WDRB whether there’s any doubt he’ll play in 2013-2014. “Just looking at the scar and how it’s healing, it’s really just going to be about me having the confidence to work hard.”

“I’ve been able to put pressure on it a lot more and in about three months I’ll be doing swimming exercises,” Ware added. “I’ll be good in six months. Doctors keep telling me that I’m young and that’s why it’s healing a lot faster. I’ve always tried to keep myself in good shape, and not put in a lot of outside things that hurt my body, like fast food. I really feel like I’m good.”

Ware may be able to get back on the floor next year, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be the same Kevin Ware that had played the first couple of rounds of the NCAA tournament. He’ll be coming off of a long stretch where he didn’t touch a basketball. He’s going to be out of shape and he’s not going to have the same kind of strength in his legs. He’s going to have to learn to have the confidence and comfort to do something like run full speed at a shooter on the wing.

That will take time.

But it will be an adjustment that happens while he’s playing.

That’s impressive enough in its own right.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

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.