The 2014 NBA Draft is projected to be a loaded one. Andrew Wiggins, Marcus Smart, Aaron Gordon Julius Randle and Jabari Parker are only a few names that could be next June’s draft.
Another name that is also being considered a candidate to be a 2014 lottery pick is Michigan State rising sophomore guard Gary Harris. The 6-foot-4 Harris battled through a shoulder injury in his first season in East Lansing. After rehabbing, Harris has recently resumed offseason workouts.
Despite, the injury, Harris still finished his first season in a Spartans uniform averaging 12.9 points per game and earning Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors. Moreover, when Harris announced his return, Tom Izzo told the MSU faithful that, “You haven’t seen the Gary Harris I recruited yet.”
Although, Harris is expected to have an improved sophomore campaign and is currently sitting high in the 2014 mock drafts, Harris’ father says his son isn’t eyeing the NBA. From MLive.com’s Diamond Leung:
“I think all of that NBA stuff will take care of itself whenever it’s time, whenever that is,” Gary Harris Sr. told The Drive with Jack Ebling earlier this month. “There’s no timeline. Just keep getting better, and if he’s fortunate enough to make it, then we’ll just sit back and be fans.
“He enjoys school, so it’s not a situation where he ever wanted to come to school to get in, get out … No timeline. No next year-type deal, but it’s just whenever it seems right. Whenever it is, that’s when it’ll be.”
It was good news for Michigan State that Harris elected to return for a sophomore campaign its even better that he isn’t already looking at shaking future commissioner Adam Sliver’s hand just yet.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne
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.