Wyoming UNLV Men's Basketball

Welcome to 624, Wyoming’s most exclusive nightclub

Leave a comment

One of the ugliest in-season, off-court headlines of last year came when Wyoming’s Luke Martinez was charged with felony aggravated assault and battery stemming from a bar fight on Dec. 30 that put one man in the hospital with serious facial injuries.

That incident, along with others the Cowboys have seen with other programs, has led to a few older players creating an alternative option to hitting downtown Laramie on the weekends.

Welcome to 624. Laramie’s newest club…. that you probably can’t get into. Unless, of course, you’re a member of the men’s basketball team.

The concept was created by Wyoming players Derek Cooke, Jr. (pictured at right) and Charles Hankerson, Jr., presumably as a way to avoid stuff like the Martinez incident in the future. In 624, they’ve found a way for players to hang out and have fun, and most of all, lessen the risk of any extracurricular trouble.

“Me and [Hankerson] Jr. kind of started it. It’s not always good for us to go downtown, so we figured we’d have our own fun,” Cooke told the Casper Tribune. “So we invite our teammates and friends over to our apartment, make sure it’s before quiet hours and just have a good time.”

The “club” mainly consists of college-kid stuff: video games, movies, just general hanging out. And that’s pretty cool considering that some of my best memories were made in nights like that in college.

The club is, if you haven’t figured out by now, the residence of Hankerson, Jr. and Cooke, Jr. It closes at midnight, when quiet hours start and every guest has to leave. The club is exclusively Wyoming basketball’s. And many of the biggest frequenters are freshman on the team.

Though not everyone has been to take part in Wyoming basketball’s newest program. Apparently senior Nate Sobey is playfully resilient to the place. For others, it’s just a matter of distance.

“I don’t go out there, it’s too far for me. But yeah, those are great guys, like I said. They’re always inviting everybody,” Redshirt senior Jerron Granberry told the Casper Tribune. “There’s no cliques. It just happened that those two guys live together, and they’re probably the two clowns of the team. They’re always making people laugh. It’s just a joy to be around them.”

This is a pretty solid idea by the leaders of this team. The Cowboys nose-dived last season after starting 13-0, and some of that had to do with Martinez’s arrest. The then-fifth-year senior was averaging 14.5 points and three rebounds before his arrest and subsequent suspension. His case is scheduled to go to trial Aug. 26-28 and he never played in another game for the Pokes. He’s also being sued by the victim’s family for $150,000 in damages.

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.

h/t ShockerHoops.net

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.