Harvard v Arizona

Report: Harvard basketball has below average APR scores for private colleges

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Harvard men’s basketball has seen a rise in its on the court success. The past two seasons, the Crimson has qualified for the NCAA tournament, and in March upset No. 3 seed New Mexico in the second round. Harvard is the favorite to win the Ivy League again, returning multiple starters in addition to Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry rejoining the team.

However, according to The Harvard Crimson and Bloomberg.com, the men’s basketball team received the university’s lowest four-year average score (956) in the NCAA’s academic progress ratings. That score was below the average mark (967) compared to other private schools. The NCAA’s reports were posted in June and consists of a four-span, through the 2011-2012 season.

“Harvard has maintained our high academic standards for all students and student athletes,” Director of Athletic Communications Tim Williamson, said in an email. “The Ivy League has the most rigorous academic requirements of any athletic conference, and we are in full compliance with those standards.”

Next year, the APR reports will range from the 2009-2010 season to the 2012-2013 campaign, and Harvard is expecting a noticeable improvement in its basketball team’s score.

“An early calculation of the APR for next year indicates a perfect or near perfect score for our men’s basketball team, reaffirming the program’s continued commitment to academic achievement,” Williamson added.

The NCAA requires teams to maintain a four-year rolling APR of at least 900 or a two-year rolling APR of 930, or face a postseason ban. In June, six men’s basketball programs — Alabama State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Florida International, Grambling State, Mississippi Valley State and New Orleans — were barred from postseason play. Beginning next season, the four-year average will be moved up to 930, and the two-year average is increased to 940.

Harvard’s score was the lowest in the Ivy League, 25 points behind the program with the second-lowest score in the conference, Columbia.

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.