In late June the Louisville recruiting haul for 2014 received a nice boost in the form of 6-5 combo guard JaQuan Lyle, who is regarded as a Top 25 prospect by most major scouting services. However that move triggered the domino that was Quentin Snider de-committing from his hometown school in July, and on Thursday Snider wrapped up his recruitment by committing to Illinois.
And late Friday night it was reported by multiple outlets that Lyle has de-committed from Louisville. Lyle would eventually confirm the news via his Twitter account.
This is certainly an interesting turn of events when looking at the 2014 class as a whole, especially when considering the fact that Lyle made his decision without taking any of the five official visits he’s allowed per NCAA rules. Who gets those visits? He has a solid list of schools that were interested in his services before making the decision to commit to Louisville, but what those schools have done thus far on the recruiting trail will certainly have an impact on who’s still interested.
After attending Bosse High School in Evansville, Ind. the last three years Lyle will be playing at Huntington Prep this season, a program that has turned into one of the top prep schools in the country. Lyle averaged 27 points, 13.4 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game last season, and he left Bosse ranked 8th on the city’s all-time scoring list (1,440 points). How much of an impact will playing at Huntington Prep have on Lyle’s recruitment? That ultimately comes down to how well he plays.
As for Louisville, the Cardinals are down to two commitments in the 2014 class (forwards Shaqquan Aaron and Jaylen Johnson), and the absence of a guard in that projected haul could mean that Rick Pitino and his staff look to grab a guard. After the 2013-14 season, the Cardinals lose the valuable Russ Smith and Luke Hancock from their perimeter rotation. Perimeter players who will have eligibility remaining in 2014 are junior college transfer Chris Jones, juniors Wayne Blackshear and Kevin Ware, and freshmen Anton Gill and Terry Rozier, so the Cardinals won’t lack for options if they don’t add a guard in this class.
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.