John Cooper

Miami University announces addition of two transfers

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Having finished the 2012-13 season with a 9-22 record (3-13 Mid-American Conference), the Miami RedHawks found themselves in a position where adding depth to the program would be more than welcome.

Add to that the fact that leading scorer Allen Roberts (12.3 ppg) is no longer with the program, and there’s a chance that the 2013-14 campaign could bring on more growing pains for second-year head coach John Cooper.

On Friday, Cooper announced the official addition of two transfers, 6-10 forward Blake McLimans and 6-3 guard Willie Moore. McLimans, who spent the last four seasons at Michigan (redshirting in 2009-10; 4.3 mpg), will be eligible to play immediately and he’ll be a two-sport athlete as well. A pitcher in high school, McLimans is expected to join Miami’s baseball program.

Moore didn’t see much playing time in his one season at Oregon (7.2 mpg), averaging 2.1 points per game in 2012-13. And with the Ducks retaining the likes of Johnathan Loyd and Dominic Artis, as well as adding Houston transfer Joseph Young, that was unlikely to change in 2013-14. Moore, who has three years of eligibility remaining, will have to sit out the 2013-14 season per NCAA transfer rules.

As a result Miami gains two players who have been a part of successful programs, something that shouldn’t be taken lightly given the task in front of coach Cooper and his staff.

“We are thrilled to add these two players to our program,” Cooper said in the release announcing the moves. “Both Blake and Willie bring postseason experience with them to Miami, which will only help us as we move into the future. I think it always helps when you have young men in your program with NCAA Tournament experience.”

Miami lost ten of its final 11 games last season, and the RedHawks struggled throughout the 2012-13 campaign defensively (11th in the MAC in both field goal and three-point percentage defense) and on the boards (12th in rebounding margin, 11th in offensive rebounding percentage and 9th in defensive rebounding percentage).

Senior forward Will Felder (11.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and sophomore guard Reggie Johnson (8.4 ppg) return in 2013-14, as the RedHawks look to take the next step in their rebuilding project.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

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.