Elijah Pittman

Thundering Herd will add a new floor this year

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We’ve seen a lot of new basketball floors go in this past offseason, and most of them have been colorful and inventive, to say the least.

The latest school to announce that a new court will go in is Marshall, though we don’t know yet what the design will be. Given the school’s unique nickname, I have high hopes.

The Huntington Herald-Dispatch has the lowdown on the costs associated with the new floor, which is actually one of the smaller investments the school is making as far as sports facilities upgrades this summer.

The mainstay of the facilities upgrades are coming through the Vision Campaign, which was launched in 2011 and represent a $30 million project that, once completed, will feature an $8 million soccer complex, an indoor practice facility, Hall of Fame, academic support center and Sports Medicine Translational Research Center.

There has also been $3 million construction of additional luxury suites and a new elevator at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Hamrick said Friday that project is on time for completion prior to the Aug. 31 football home opener against Miami (Ohio). As soon as that project is finished, renovations will shift to Cam Henderson Center where a new basketball floor will be put down in time for the 2013-14 men’s and women’s basketball season at a cost of $160,912.22.

While the basketball team won’t see much in the way of direct improvement to their own building, the new academic and sports medicine facilities should be a boon to hoopsters as well as the school’s other athletes.

We’ll keep an eye out for the new floor design, with fingers crossed for a rampaging gang of Bison bison as a personal preference.

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.

h/t ShockerHoops.net

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.