Baylor v Kentucky

The Big 12/SEC Challenge schedule has been announced

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The SEC and Big 12 announced the formation of the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Tuesday afternoon with 10 games slated for the 2013-2014 season.

Both these leagues have been apart of interconference battles in previous seasons — the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series and the SEC/Big East Challenge — and will attempt to replicate the level of interest the ACC-Big Ten Challenge has created. All of the 10 games will be aired on ESPN. This event has the advantage of having Andrew Wiggins and Kansas as well as Kentucky’s heralded freshman class participating in the first-year event.

“The ability to showcase SEC basketball in this kind of conference competition makes this a unique and exciting event for our coaches, student-athletes and fans,” SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said in a statement. “We are pleased to be able to work with the Big 12 and ESPN to highlight the sport of men’s basketball.”

The SEC has 14 members meaning

Arkansas, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee will not be included in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Kentucky travels to Baylor on Friday, Dec. 6 looking to avenge a home-court loss to the Bears last season. The headlining game should be the following Tuesday with Florida hosting a freshman-heavy Kansas team.
The name will switch to the SEC/Big 12 Challenge for the 2014-2015 season.

Below is the schedule for the 2013 (rankings are based on updated preseason Top 25 rankings):

Texas Tech at Alabama — Thursday, November 14

Vanderbilt at Texas — Monday, December 2

Ole Miss at Kansas State; West Virginia at Missouri; TCU at Mississippi State — Thursday, December 5

South Carolina at No. 10 Oklahoma State; No. 1 Kentucky vs. Baylor (Arlington, Texas) — Friday, December 6

No. 5 Kansas at No. 7 Florida — Tuesday, December 10

Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma (Houston, Texas) — Saturday, December 21

Terrence is also the lead writer at and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

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.