Every early-entry decision made by a college player has repercussions. Ripples that flow outward from that simple “yes” or “no” to testing the NBA waters.
At Tennessee, Jarnell Stokes decided to pull back his candidacy and remain a Volunteer for his senior season. That had direct personal implications for his own development and financial prospects. It also had a positive effect on the lineup head coach Cuonzo Martin can expect to put on the floor next season.
The ripple effect reached a little farther than the obvious however. Martin had done what so many coaches feel forced to do – he oversigned. Planning ahead for the possibility of Stokes’ departure, the Volunteers head coach used up all of his scholarships. When Stokes decided not to leave, that meant someone had to go.
That someone, according to AL.com, is Travon Landry, who signed with Tennessee in 2011. Landry spent this past season as a teammate of Andrew Wiggins at Huntington Prep.
He averaged two points and about three assists for Huntington, the country’s seventh-ranked team this past season.
According to the report, Landry was the casualty of what’s tantamount to a cut after Tennessee sophomore big man Jarnell Stokes decided to return to Knoxville for his senior season instead of entering the NBA Draft, leaving the team one over its allotted number of scholarship players.
Rivals.com lists him as having an offer from Vanderbilt. 247sports.com rates him as the nation’s No. 67 overall player at his position.
While it’s hard not to be overshadowed by a player like Wiggins, Landry’s lackluster senior season stats can’t have helped his case when it came time to decide which UT scholarship commitment would be sacrificed to the early-entry deadline.
Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.
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.