Xavier lands 6-8 forward Aleksandar Vezenkov

Leave a comment

A few days after landing a verbal commitment from 2014 point guard Edmond Sumner, the Xavier basketball program made an addition to its 2013 recruiting class on Thursday.

6-8 forward Aleksandar Vezenkov, a native of Bulgaria, will attend Xavier next season according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Vezenkov played in 20 games this past season for Aris BC in Greece, averaging 14.3 minutes, 4.0 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.

As a member of Bulgaria’s U18 team last summer Vezenkov led the team in scoring (16.7 ppg) during the U18 European Championships in August while also averaging nearly six rebounds per game. In what was a busy summer for the young forward, Vezenkov also helped Bulgaria’s U20 team gain promotion into Division A the month prior.

Vezenkov is expected to once again represent his country this summer, making the move to the States just before the start of the fall semester.

Vezenkov joins Brandon Randolph and Kamall Richards in Xavier’s 2013 class, but it must also be noted that two players forced to sit out due to academic issues will be eligible as well.

Shooting guard Myles Davis and power forward Jalen Reynolds will be able to play, adding both depth and talent to a program that’s making the move from the Atlantic 10 to the Big East this summer.

Guards Semaj Christon (15.2 ppg, 4.6 apg) and Dee Davis (8.3 ppg, 3.4 apg) return, but Xavier did lose Travis Taylor and Jeff Robinson to graduation. Isaiah Philmore returns, and the new additions (especially Reynolds) will help the Musketeers in the paint.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Former Wichita State assistant returns as a consultant

Chris Jans, Gregg Marshall
Associated Press
Leave a comment

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
Leave a comment

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.