Syracuse v Marquette

Quadriceps issue leads to slower recovery than Steve Taylor Jr. hoped for

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When it was announced in early May that Marquette rising sophomore forward Steve Taylor Jr. had undergone a surgical procedure to remove a benign growth from his right knee, the expectation from the school was that his recovery would take anywhere from three to four months.

Of course most athletes hope to recover at a rate that allows them to return to the court ahead of time, and that was no different for Taylor. But according to Andrei Greska of Paint Touches, Taylor’s quest to return to full strength hit a bump in the road due to atrophy of his right quadriceps muscle.

According to Greska the hope now for Taylor is to be back at full strength by August 25, which is when the team is due back on campus for the start of the fall semester.

“I’ve been lifting with the team (on upper body) every time we lift,” the Chicago native said. “I’ve been doing some lower body work like squats and stuff like that, but I don’t squat as heavy as the team.”

For now, Taylor will continue his rehab process in hopes of being back to full strength by the time Marquette begins its school year, within the 3-4 month time frame given back in May.

“I’m hoping to be back to full strength when we come back to school on August 25th,” he said. ”Hopefully I’m cleared to do full practices by then.”

The Simeon HS product didn’t see a great amount of playing time as a freshman, averaging just 8.6 minutes per game (3.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg), but one area in which he took full advantage of his minutes was on the offensive glass.

Marquette’s biggest personnel losses came on the perimeter, with point guard Junior Cadougan graduating and Vander Blue leaving school a year early to enter the 2013 NBA Draft.

With the returns of centers Davante Gardner and Chris Otule and forward Jamil Wilson, as well as the arrival of highly touted junior college transfer Jameel McKay, one of the nation’s best offensive rebounding teams in 2012-13 (18th in offensive rebounding percentage) could be even better in 2013-14.

How much of a factor could Taylor potentially be for Marquette, which will be one of the early favorites in the Big East? That will depend upon whether or not he’s back to full strength when classes begin. If so, head coach Buzz Williams and his staff can use those weeks before the official start of practices for skill work, as opposed to having to focus on Taylor’s rehab.

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.